|Nonprofit organizations find themselves in a changed world.
Funding has declined, demand has increased and
competition for scarce dollars is fierce.
Responding to the current environment, key individuals were convened by the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Center for Continuing Education/Extension. We asked them to help us design an innovative educational program that would address the current needs. “Northwoods Nonprofits”- a collaboration among nonprofit organizations and educational institutions was created. Our mission is:
Helping nonprofits in Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin work together
to build capacity through education, networking, mentoring, collaboration, and resource sharing.
NWNP is a comprehensive program to help nonprofit leaders (staff, board, and volunteers) navigate the current environment. While there are some educational offerings around the region that are provided (including at UWS), these single workshops by themselves will do little to create the real changes necessary for the nonprofit sector. A comprehensive program is needed.
This is an innovative and creative project will help nonprofit leaders build stronger, effective, and sustainable programs through the creation of “learning communities” to include:
- Educational sessions (6 over a two year period in each of the three communities) geared to ENGAGE board, staff and volunteers and help them develop creative strategies,
- Action Learning Circles or “peer coaching” (which will follow the educational sessions) to help them apply what they have learned and
- Resources: an array of capacity building resources such as nonprofit mentors, special event calendars, volunteer and intern recruitment methods, and a variety of resources for board and staff through this web page.
By spreading the costs across three “Northwoods” communities, (Twin Ports, Brainerd Lakes and Chequamegon Bay) we are able to provide a high quality program for a low cost. Through this effort, nonprofit organizations will engage board members, discover new ways to collaborate, learn how to increase efficiencies, begin to consider sharing resources, and develop new strategies to deal with current challenges. By focusing efforts on building strong, sustainable programs, the public is better served and philanthropic dollars are wisely utilized.