Low-cost informative workshops address topics, including grant writing and special events, and informative sessions on issues that affect Connecticut nonprofits, such as changes to the Connecticut state budget.

Improving our Region Through Nonprofit Excellence

Thank you to the more than 100 local nonprofit staff and volunteers who joined us for Improving our Region Through Nonprofit Excellence, a one-day local nonprofit conference.

Keynote Speaker

Dave Sternberg
Dave Sternberg

Dave Sternberg is a founding partner of Loring, Sternberg & Associates (LSA), a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource, and is the only person in America to be affiliated with both The Fund Raising School and BoardSource in such capacities. Dave authored the second edition of Fearless Fundraising for Nonprofit Boards, a publication for BoardSource.

Topics: Philanthropic giving, what is really happening?
A recent report shows philanthropic giving is in decline, but is it? Learn what the current report on philanthropic giving really means, who is giving, and what are your organization’s true opportunities for growth. There is nearly limitless potential!

Fundraising... What does it actually mean and how to make a compelling ask!
Removing the challenges from fundraising can be quite a task. Understanding what fundraising really involves and creating comfort around making a compelling case can play a vital role in improving volunteer participation and encouraging donor investment. Learn how to promote development and make an effective pitch!

Breakout Sessions

At the core, nonprofit board members are the fiduciaries who guide their organizations in fulfilling their mission and ensuring a sustainable future. Over the past five years, nonprofit boards appear to be evolving and taking on enhanced roles.

While boards still execute many traditional responsibilities, they are beginning to adapt to a more purpose-driven leadership role as they face new, more challenging issues. In this breakout session, we will explore the traditional aspects of board leadership roles, responsibilities, and the duties of care, loyalty, and obedience.

We will also examine what it means to be a purpose-driven board, how to prioritize a board's purpose, respect the eco-system in which they operate, commit to equity and inclusion and understand the power dynamics within the communities they serve. We will conclude with discussing the incremental steps every board can do to meet the emerging needs of a challenging world.

Sharon Danosky
Sharon Danosky

Sharon Danosky is a strategist and thought leader who brings a unique combination of expertise in governance, strategy, and fundraising. Sharon’s nonprofit experience began by being a member of the team that raised the funds to build a new hospital, almost 40 years ago.

She started her consulting firm Danosky & Associates in 2008 and has led organizations to achieve unprecedented growth, re-infuse boards with a new sense of purpose, focus discussions on strategy and impact, build sustainable fundraising programs that achieve double-digit increases, facilitate multi-stakeholder collaborations, and challenge existing structures through narrative change.

Securing a major gift for your organization is no accident, and developing a major gifts program is more than asking people for a single large gift. It is a strategic process that is implemented over a period of time and culminates with both the donor and the nonprofit reaping significant benefits.

For the donor it is the ability to have an impact on causes that they are passionate about. For the organization, it is financial support to achieve its mission. This breakout will help executive directors, development directors, board members and volunteers learn how to move donors from casual contributors to significant supporters.

John Brooks
John Brooks

John Brooks has more than 27 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience. He has expertise in major and planned giving, corporate sponsorships, foundation and corporate grants, fundraising events, direct marketing, volunteer management, community outreach, external communications, and media relations.

A successful development office must include policies, structure, and strategies to help build relationships that are vital to nonprofits long-term sustainability. It's more than just fundraising. It's designing strategies to increase revenue and build partnerships. It's learning how to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors.

This workshop will help you plan and organize your development office and implement a successful fund development program.

Gina Marcantonio
Gina Marcantonio

Gina Marcantonio of G. Marc & Associates, LLC is a development professional with more than 30 years of nonprofit experience. She knows firsthand the challenges nonprofits face and can provide organizations with various innovative solutions that help build organizational capacity.

Gina has a master's in nonprofit management and philanthropy. She is the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Connecticut Chapter. She is an AFP master trainer.

Do you often feel alone in this journey as a leader? Not only are you called to serve as a visionary and business executive, but you are also the one who holds high the torch of your organization’s mission and inspires your workforce to embrace greatness. No small feat.

Together we will look at establishing your own “Circle of Strength” to maintain balance and refresh your spirit. Starting with a genuine self-assessment, we will consider how to take the next steps in your personal and professional journey with a more definite sense of your ultimate goals, capabilities, and areas for growth. As a leader of a Board or as the Executive Director, taking the opportunity to “recharge or fill your tank” will keep you inspired and focused as you travel the demanding road of creating a better world for those your organization serves.

Anne Ruwet
Anne Ruwet

Anne Ruwet is a recently retired Chief Executive Officer of a multi-million-dollar agency. Anne is intimately acquainted with the financial governance, service delivery and workforce challenges nonprofit leaders are faced with on a daily basis. Having served as a leader in the nonprofit realm for more than three decades, she is now sharing her experience and insights with others through her own consulting service. Anne also served as a CT State Representative for six years and continues her civic service in municipal government as a City Council member.

Previous Events

Nonprofit Education: Powering Through Covid-19

In 2020, NCCF in conjunction with Community Foundation LEAP instructors, Danosky & Associates, presented Powering Through COVID-19, a series of workshop webinars created specifically to address the challenges facing nonprofits in Northwest Connecticut during the pandemic. As part of a comprehensive response to COVID-19, the Community Foundation is providing these workshop webinars free of charge.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Develop assumptions and evaluate the implications of each assumption, including financial ramifications. Learn to run different financial models to help plan now and in the future.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Communication with all your constituents is vital. How frequently should you communicate and how? What tone of voice is most effective, and how can you communicate most authentically?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Every board and every board member should be stepping up to help the nonprofits they serve weather the storm and stay on course. Learn what board members can take on right now.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Your Business Continuity Plan (BCP): Is it in place? There is still time to look at it.
Preparing a BCP will help you evaluate scenarios now, raise funds, and plan for a successful re-emergence later. Know what resources are available and how to plan when you don't know what lies ahead.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Should you be fundraising now, or cultivating your donors? What is the best fundraising approach? How can you best engage with your donors and what should you be doing, so you can raise funds later?

Leadership Enrichment for Advancing Professionals

Held every few years and based on nonprofit interest, the Leadership Enrichment for Advancing Professionals (LEAP), LEAP 1.0 is presented by Danosky & Associates, LLC (D&A) and consist of 7 sessions designed to build a foundation of skills and awareness.

D&A facilitators share their experience, expertise, and insights, while engaging the proficiencies of all participants. This happens in presentations, group discussions, research and case study analysis, simulations, home assignments, and action-planning activities. The immediacy of the learning experience encourages thoughtful application and experimentation with ideas and best practices.

Previous Nonprofit Educational Events

October 13, 2018

The region's first and only daylong training and networking opportunity exclusively for nonprofit board members and executive directors, featured three learning tracks on nonprofit governance, fundraising and managing organizational change, and nine workshops by leading experts on the latest trends in the field.

May 17, 2018

Nonprofit board expert Chuck Loring led a fast-paced workshop covering several topics critical to achieving exceptional board leadership. Sustainable fundraising is the goal for every nonprofit organization and it is possible with an engaged and educated board of directors.

December 13, 2017

BoardSource Certified trainer Sharon Danosky, Danosky & Associates, led a conversation on how to best utilize evaluation and assessment to strengthen your board. Evaluation and assessment enables a board to hold itself, its members, and its processes accountable, to identify gaps between current performance and expected or hoped-for performance, and chart a course of improvement, refinement, and further progress.

September 7, 2017

Debra Hertz is Managing Director of The Strategy Group, a firm that works to help strengthen the impact of nonprofits and private foundations. The Group works with organizations on issues related to planning, leadership training, merger negotiations and integration, and organizational effectiveness. Debra brings extensive experience serving on and chairing nonprofit boards. She presented on how to cultivate, recruit, orient, and engage board members to get maximum impact for your organization.

McKinsey Board Assessment Tool (pdf)
Board Assessment
Board Member Self Assessment

June 16, 2017

Robert Evans, Philanthropic columnist, Board member of the Giving Institute, and President of The Evans Consulting Group, has been working with nonprofits to harness the power of philanthropy for more than 20 years. He spoke about trends in giving and best practices in leveraging your nonprofit's access to resources in a changing philanthropic climate.

November 29, 2016

What does a recent national survey of nonprofit board chairs tell us about the future of nonprofit boards? Anne revealed the results of the survey and led a discussion on what it may mean for your organization.

October 4, 2016

Sustainability planning is a critical component of nonprofit health, mission effectiveness, and transition readiness. Sustainability planning prepares an organization to weather the departure of key organizational leaders, builds organizational capacity, and strengthens leadership. In this workshop, participants increased their understanding of how sustainability planning builds organizational capacity and clarity on the steps needed to integrate sustainability practices into their organization over the long term.

​Organizational Sustainability Checklist
Emergency Succession Planning Template

Creative Disruption
The Long Goodbye
The Leadership in Leaving

July 13, 2016

For too long we have been recruiting board members with the expectation of “Get and Give.” In many ways this is discouraging to the new board member and does not represent the best utilization of their time and talent. With the average non-profit losing nearly 57% of their donors annually, Sharon discussed that it’s time to stop asking Board members to raise funds and teach them to build relationships with people by being the stewards of a vision.

March 10, 2016

NCCF, Connecticut Community Foundation and Third Sector New England (TSNE) partnered to survey executives and board members to discover the challenges and opportunities facing our leaders and organizations. In this report, TSNE compiled the findings from more than 1,200 leaders around New England. Hez explored the challenges that many nonprofits in the Northwest Corner will face in the coming decade and discussed strategies that will contribute to a thriving nonprofit sector.

October 20, 2015

10 steps to earning the biggest gifts your nonprofit will ever receive

As a consultant, Rick has worked with community foundations from Abilene, Texas, to Oxford, England; with 'alternative' foundations such as the Haymarket People's Fund and RESIST; and with the Council on Foundations, regional associations of grantmakers, and other affinity groups of funders.

June 24, 2015, 2015

In this "truth stampede," attendees learned the best information and insights Tom Ahern has gathered in 15 years of high performance, award-winning direct mail, case writing, and audits for charities.

Communicating Profitably With Your Donors (pdf)

June 24, 2015, 2015

How do you "loverize" your website or newsletter? Attendees learned the nuts and bolts in this heavily illustrated workshop from copywriting master, Tom Ahern.

Creating Websites & Newsletters Donors Will Love (pdf)

April 30, 2015

Anne Yurasek; explores the role improved communication strategies and efforts play in establishing successful governance. Attendees worked with board chairs techniques adapted to fit their strategies.