Nonprofit Workshops

Saturday Academy Workshop Series

Sharpen your tools and boost your confidence as an organizational leader through this four-part series.


Oct 28, 2023 - Oct 28, 2023


9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


The Connecticut Women's Consortium, 2321 Whitney Ave., #201, Hamden, CT 06518


Jackie Downing



(L-R): Saturday Academy series presenters Sharon Danosky (Sept. 9), Amber Tucker (Sept. 23), Roz Zavras (Oct. 14), Jackie Downing (Oct. 28).

Learn best practices from some of the most knowledgeable consultants and presenters in our community. Whether you are a veteran volunteer or new to board service, a new executive director or a staff member stepping into leadership, the Saturday Academy series will sharpen your tools, boost your confidence, and encourage you to step up and embrace your role as an organizational leader.

This nonprofit management primer for board chairs, board members and executive directors will be presented over four sessions. Each session will provide a detailed overview of key aspects of nonprofit management and professional leadership, with practical tips for board members and executives.

Organizations can register for one or more sessions, and opt to send the same or different representatives to each. Customize your organizational learning experience!

2023 sessions include:

  • September 9: Board Basics with Sharon Danosky
  • September 23: Financial Literacy for Nonprofit Board Members and Staff with Amber Tucker, CPA
  • October 14: Fundraising Basics with Roz Zavras
  • October 28: Board Practices & Best Practices for Nonprofit Teams with Jackie Downing

September 9:
Board Basics with Sharon Danosky

A nonprofit board is responsible for defining the organization’s mission, providing leadership and strategic direction to the organization. The stronger the board, the stronger the nonprofit organization will be. This workshop will provide the tools for any board member that seeks greater clarity or understanding and about its roles and responsibilities and expectations for board engagement. The session will include:

  • Board composition and recruitment, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion.
  • Board member orientation, setting board expectations and mutual accountability.
  • How a Board accomplishes its work – from meetings to committee structures.
  • Purpose-driven Boards- how to foster collaboration to best serve your organization and the broader community.
  • The difference between oversight and management and board work vs. volunteering.
  • Group exercises will provide opportunities for board members to share experiences.

Sharon Danosky is a strategist and thought leader who partners with nonprofit organizations to build organizational capacity. With over 35 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, Danosky knows how to drive change and achieve results, re-igniting boards with a sense of purpose, while building sustainable fundraising programs that achieve double-digit increases. Danosky is a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer and has conducted rousing seminars and workshops through her affiliations with national, regional and local associations and foundations.

September 23:
Financial Literacy for Nonprofit Board Members and Staff with Amber Tucker, CPA

Nonprofit boards need up-to-date financial information to make informed decisions, but budgets and financial reports can seem intimidating if you don’t know how to read and understand them. Ideal for board members and staff members with little or no finance background, this workshop will improve participants’ financial literacy by taking the mystery out of nonprofit budgets, financial reports, and audits. The session will include::

  • Creating and using annual budgets and program budgets.
  • The fundamentals of cash flow.
  • Understanding financial reports, including profit and loss statements.
  • Overview of Federal and State laws regarding tax exemption, charitable nonprofit status, and filing required documents each year.
  • Audits, Financial Statements and the role of an accountant.
Amber Tucker, CPA

Amber Tucker is a Partner at Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina specializing in auditing services to not-for-profit clients. She began her career at a national firm, performing financial statement audits in the not-for profit, manufacturing, distribution and retail industries. Amber is focusing her efforts on the not-for-profit industry, sharing her technical expertise with organizations working in social services, performing arts, museums, among others. As a board member and volunteer, Tucker remains active in the community.

October 14: Fundraising Basics with Roz Zavras

All board members have a role to play in increasing support for their organizations. Join Roz Zavras to understand the basics of modern fund development, including how to create a values-driven development plan and identify individual tasks for the board and staff. This workshop will guide participants in developing a case for support for their organization and provide an overview of different solicitation strategies. The session will culminate in a discussion about donor cultivation, full of tips and strategies for building and maintaining relationships with those who care about your organization’s impact in the community.

October 28: Board Practices & Best Practices for Nonprofit Teams with Jackie Downing

The most effective organizations have boards and staff that work together effectively. The session begins with a close look at mission alignment, board recruitment, structure, operations and culture, and explores the responsibility to provide financial sustainability. Designed for board-staff teams, this practical session addresses the complementary roles board members play in their organization's governance and resource development. Topics covered in this half-day session will include:

  • BoardSource’s 10 Basic Responsibilities; Legal Obligations.
  • By-laws.
  • Board member recruitment.
  • On-boarding new board members.
  • Running a good board meeting.
  • Assessing board and board member performance.
  • Board’s relationship with the executive director.
  • Staff and board succession planning.
  • Fundraising is everyone’s job.

To maximize the benefit of this session, each organization must have at least one staff member and at least two Board members in attendance (all volunteer organizations should come with a team of four). Additional Board and staff participants are strongly encouraged to attend.

Jackie Downing has devoted 12 years of expertise at The Community Foundation supporting competitive grantmaking processes and strengthening nonprofits through capacity building programs, workshops, The Great Give,® and technical assistance.

For questions or changes in registration, please contact Stephanie Chung or Allison Abramson.