Wisconsin Nonprofits Connect to Learn

people reaching their arms across a desk and putting their fists together

Supporting, learning, and growing together is one way nonprofit changemakers can boost their ability to make an impact.

Wisconsin Nonprofits Connect to Learn provides you with opportunities to advance your skills while connecting and learning from your peers. The program covers content that is important to nonprofit leaders while centering the formation of a peer network for ongoing support, mentorship, resource sharing, and collaboration.

Fund Development and Donor Relations

Wednesdays, June 12 – July 17, 2024 (No class the week of July 3rd)
Virtual – 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This course focuses on developing strong relationships with potential donors and cultivating effective fundraising strategies that align with your organization’s mission and goals. You will learn the principles of donor stewardship, including communicating effectively with donors, recognizing their contributions, and building long-term relationships with them.

Through this course, participants will:

  • Develop relationships with other nonprofit professionals to support your organization’s growth.
  • Evaluate your fund development strategies and funding sources.
  • Identify individuals and organizations that share a passion for your organization’s cause.
  • Identify strategies for building relationships that support your fundraising efforts.
  • Develop a roadmap to guide building your donor network and transform those connections into resources that support your organization’s work.

Upcoming Sessions

Email wncl@extension.wisc.edu if you want to be notified when registration opens for any of the upcoming offerings.

If you would like to receive emails with information about upcoming educational offerings and resources relevant to nonprofits, please complete this signup form.

  • Wisconsin Connect to Learn Resource Session, topic TBD, August 14, 2024 (virtual delivery)
  • Evaluate Your Outcomes, Fall 2024
  • Building Your Board Leadership Team, Winter/Spring 2025

Through participating in the offerings that make up Wisconsin Nonprofits Connect to Learn you will:

  • Increase your capacity to effectively deliver on your organization’s mission.
  • Develop your organization’s capacity for continuous improvement.
  • Center equity, inclusion, diversity, and justice in your non-profit organizational practices.
  • Engage in an environment of peer learning and networking that can support you and your organization.
  • Identify opportunities for joint action to create change at policy, systems, and environment levels.

The audience of this program is:

  • Early phase non-profit organization leaders.
  • Small to midsize non-profit organization leaders.
  • Individuals who are new to their non-profit leadership roles.

To get the most out of the program we recommend that your organization:

  • Is either a 501c-3 or a fiscally sponsored organization (e.g., beyond the pre-formation stage).
  • Has some funding base, whether through grants, donations, program revenue, or corporate sponsorships.
  • Has developed a mission statement, a purpose statement, or a theory of change.

The program is delivered using real-time sessions, self-paced learning, and collaborative open space.

  • Real-time sessions may be conducted in-person or virtually using Zoom. Real-time sessions will be interactive, using a variety of learning strategies including small group exercises, discussion, story-telling, applied improvisation, and storyboarding.
  • Self-paced learning is designed to support the concepts explored during real-time sessions. This may include readings, reflections, worksheets, videos, and audio recordings. Self-paced learning includes applying concepts directly to your organization through the development of organizational plans, and suggested conversations to facilitate with your staff or board members.
  • Collaborative open space may be in-person or virtual and is an unstructured time for participants to come together to network, discuss what is on their minds, and further explore the application of content to their organizations.

The program uses an online learning management system called Canvas. The Canvas ‘course’ site will serve as a central location for resources and agendas, and provides space for participants to engage asynchronously with one another,  program facilitators, and guest speakers.

Note: The exact format of the program will depend upon the specific offering.

We’ve heard from non-profit leaders that the best way to learn about running a non-profit organization is through one’s peers – people who are encountering similar challenges, who have creatively overcome barriers, and who are knowledgeable about the resource environment.  We hope that a peer learning environment will accomplish three objectives:

  1. Provide support to one another: peers can provide encouragement, suggestions, and offers of mutual aid.
  2. Share technical know-how: peers can lean on one another for information regarding how to build more effective organizations, and share information about resources.
  3. Collaborate for community change: when it comes down to it, people get involved in the non-profit world because they care about working toward positive, equitable, sustainable community change. The peer learning network will hopefully launch partnerships and collaborations, and long-term relationships that lead to support for each others’ change initiatives.

Local non-profit leaders will be featured in video presentations talking about their areas of expertise. Collaborating presenters include:

Contact the Extension offices in these counties if you are interested in knowing when they are planning to offer the program next.

Sign up for our email list located here to be notified when we will be offering the following mini-courses statewide:

  • Hands-On Organizational Planning, Simplified (statewide – virtual)
  • Fundraising & Donor Relations (statewide – virtual)
  • Communicate What Matters! (statewide – virtual)

You might also be interested in the following:

The Nonprofit Coffee Break – Grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage), find a comfortable chair, and gift yourself a few minutes to engage in topics that tackle common nonprofit questions, introduce tools you can apply in your organization, and spark creative thinking.

Organizational Effectiveness – on this page you can learn more about how Extension supports community organizations through research, educational programs, and process facilitation. This page also includes links to additional resources of interest to community organizations and nonprofits.

Organizational Development Videos – Division of Extension’s YouTube playlist with videos related to organizational development.

Wisconsin Nonprofit Resource Group – an inventory of public and nonprofit sector offerings and resources available to nonprofit and community organizations throughout Wisconsin.

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