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Building Strong Nonprofits



The Community Foundation has a long history of providing capacity building and technical assistance for nonprofits. In the 1980s, technical assistance funds were awarded through a special grants process and an organization named D.A.T.A. (Development and Technical Assistance Center) which was supported by The Community Foundation. In October 2011, at Endowment 101, experts shared essential information about nonprofit endowment oversight and governance. In 2012 capacity building workshops included Milestone Planning (with Abbie von Schleggel), Grantwriting 101, Mid-level Supervisory Skills, Succession Planning (with Third Sector New England) and Purposeful Boards (with Chuck Loring).


As part of an ongoing commitment to help strengthen the capacity of nonprofits, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven offers a series of training sessions to nonprofits serving its 20-town region, including 5 towns of the Valley. Topics and dates vary. Learn more about the workshops below or contact Jackie Downing at jdowning@cfgnh.org.

Current Workshops

Prepare a Fundraising Plan that Works
Building the Organizational Culture You Desire
Measuring and Communicating Impact
Upcoming 2014 Workshops

Purposeful Boards, Powerful Fundraising (November 1st)
It's never been more important for Boards and staff to work together effectively to solicit financial support for your organization. Designed for Board-staff teams, this practical session addresses the complementary roles Board members play in their organization's governance and resource development. The session begins with a close look at Board recruitment, structure, operations, and culture, knowing that weak Boards don't raise funds effectively. The second part of the session focuses on how to involve Board members in effective fundraising. Organizations are required to bring a team of one senior level staff member and at least three Board members. Organizations participating in Purposeful Boards, Powerful Fundraising for the first time will have the opportunity to have at least three hours of one-to-one follow up consultation with an expert on Board roles and responsibilities at no additional cost. Registration will begin in September. To be placed on the priority list for this workshop, please indicate your interest in an email to jdowning@cfgnh.org.

Introduction to Strategic Planning (November 13th)
A process that aligns mission with community needs, strategic planning is a critical leadership tool. This three-hour workshop helps Board and staff leaders understand what strategic planning is, what it isn’t, and why planning is essential in today’s competitive environment. The workshop includes a step-by-step overview of the process and practical exercises to help nonprofit leaders begin to plan strategically. Organizations are required to bring a team of at least one senior level staff member and at least one Board member. More are strongly encouraged to attend. Organizations participating in this workshop will have the opportunity to have two to three hours of one-to-one follow up consultation with Janna Pedersen at no additional cost. Registration will begin in September. To be placed on the priority list for this workshop, please indicate your interest in an email to jdowning@cfgnh.org.

Chuck V. Loring, MBA, CFRE is a Senior Governance Associate for BoardSource and senior partner of Loring, Sternberg & Associates, based in Fort Lauderdale and Indianapolis, which provides governance consulting services to nonprofits. Chuck has helped hundreds of local and regional nonprofits across the country strengthen their boards and improve governance practices, and advanced the missions of world renowned organizations such as Special Olympics, Second Harvest Food Banks, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Chuck also conducts training programs for funding organizations, including a host of community foundations across the country.

Lori Tsuruda is the founder and executive director of People Making a Difference. She primarily assists charities that lack dedicated staffing and other resources to support their own, ongoing volunteer programs. She also helps select companies improve their community involvement programs, relying on a foundation of knowledge gained from feedback from more than 6,400 PMD volunteers, from organizing nearly 1,000 service projects, from partnering with 125 recipient charities and 38 companies, and from her 35 years as a volunteer and a volunteer manager.

She currently serves as president of the Directors of Volunteer Administration (DOVA), a professional organization for volunteer managers in Greater Boston. She also advises an Alpha Phi Omega chapter at MIT, serves on the board of Hawthorne Youth & Community Center, and volunteers for the Museum of Science's Annual Fund. Tsuruda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied biology from MIT and a Master of Science degree from Tufts University.Though the nonprofit sector uniquely relies on volunteers, we often struggle to identify and to articulate our highest needs and purposes so that we engage and retain the best volunteers to further our missions.  Volunteers will only reliably add value if their roles are well defined and they are effectively managed and planned for by our organizations. Furthermore, volunteers will stay with our organizations if they feel valued and feel that they are making a real difference.

As Vice President of Operations for The WorkPlace, Inc., Adrienne builds upon her wealth of knowledge in the employment and training arena. Adrienne has over ten years’ experience in workforce development as the former Regional Director for the Connecticut Department of Labor. Adrienne has experience administering the state’s unemployment insurance program, job training programs and welfare to work programs. Adrienne is responsible for all program operations at The WorkPlace including: Welfare to Work, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Workforce Investment Activities, Youth Programs and all competitively procured grants. Adrienne teaches legal specialty courses at Naugatuck Valley Community College and Teikyo Post University. She has a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University and a Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University. Adrienne is Chairperson of the National Congress of Black Women, President of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. and Commissioner for the City of Waterbury Human Rights Commission, Charter Revision Commission and Board of Assessment Appeals. Adrienne is an adjunct professor at Post University in Waterbury where she lectures on law and employment related topics.
Mr. Venditti serves as The WorkPlace’s Chief Administrative Officer. In that role, he manages the organization’s finances, human resources and Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. Mr. Venditti’s responsibilities encompass all aspects of fiscal management for an annual budget in excess of $20 million, including budgeting, auditing, accounting and contracting. He oversees a total staff of 50, implementing HR policies and leading the hiring and evaluation processes. Mr. Venditti also directs The WorkPlace’s IT team and the procurement of hardware and software. Working with the Board of Directors, he provides fiduciary oversight and stewardship, as well as driving and monitoring organizational evolution. Mr. Venditti earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Sacred Heart University and brings over 15 years’ experience in management of financial, human resources, and IT policies to The WorkPlace.
Michael McCarthy is the Assistant Vice President for New Business Development for The WorkPlace, Inc. (Southwestern Connecticut’s Regional Workforce Development Board) located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Mr. McCarthy oversees several key divisions aimed at improving the capacity of non-profit organizations, measuring and evaluating program success, creating in-house innovation, increasing competitiveness of business and industries and creating new programs and partnerships that increase the WorkPlace’s position to strengthen revenue from non-federal sources. Prior to joining The WorkPlace, Mr. McCarthy worked for the City of Bridgeport where he was involved in both economic and community development initiatives. Mr. McCarthy is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars on economic and workforce development topics. Mr. McCarthy holds a Master’s of Science in Urban Management from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Albertus Magnus College.


Nonprofit Management Resource Center


U.S. nonprofit executives' responses reveal uncertain future of nonprofit sector

Responses from US nonprofit executives, presented in the CompassPoint Report, Daring to Lead 2011, revealed that:


67% of executives imagine they will leave their current position within four years


33% of executives were very confident that their board would hire the right successor


33% of executives followed a leader who was forced to resign or was fired


Only 17% of organizations have a succession plan


Organizations Seeking Volunteer Board Members

For more information on volunteer opportunities with The Community Foundation or other nonprofits in the region, please contact Jackie Downing at jdowning@cfgnh.org or view a list of local nonprofits actively seeking volunteers for service on their Boards.