Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities

Nonprofits Assistance Fund helps nonprofits in Itasca County strengthen their financial management, develop strong boards of directors, and learn to forge collaborations with other organizations to serve the community more effectively. This initiative provides nonprofits several opportunities to identify and act on their highest priorities for capacity building. (For information on the 2014 – 2016 learning series, please visit our archive.)


Consulting Learning Series Financial Advice Executive Director Cohort Newsletter

Consulting for Organizational Priorities

Every nonprofit organization has goals and plans to deliver its programs in the community and strengthen its organization. No one knows better than the nonprofit’s leaders what types of projects are most important to move to the next level. Working with a core group of experienced consultants, your nonprofit will focus on a project that will help you move forward. Our consulting services projects focus on strategic planning, such as: fundraising, board development, evaluation, and finance/sustainability.  


Learning Series: Revenue

In an article for Nonprofit QuarterlyJon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, outlined the common nonprofit financing models or archetypes. Each archetype requires different systems and structures to bring in contributions or grants and unique relationships with the community and funders, plus provides varying levels of funding reliability and autonomy.  

In the two 2017 winter/spring sessions of the Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities learning series in Grand Rapids, MN, we will more deeply explore some of the most common archetypes, including corporate/foundation grants, individual supporters and earned income. 

Each session is free and will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Timberlake Lodge in Grand Rapids. Networking and ample time for discussion are built into every session. You can attend these interactive and engaging sessions on their own or attend both in the series. You will also have the opportunity to apply what you have learned in between sessions to test out the tools and resources at your organization.

Grants AND Earned Income: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Corporate and Foundation Grants: Identifying solid grant funding prospects requires an understanding of the philanthropic field, research tools, and a strong understanding of your organization's goals. This will be an interactive workshop designed to review and discuss the fundamentals of foundation research, pre-proposal preparation, funder relations and the common components of a well-crafted grant proposal. We will also explore current philanthropic trends across the State of Minnesota. Linda Hollidayprincipal-owner of Impact Minnesota, has over 25 years of experience in grants research and writing, nonprofit management, leadership development and philanthropy, and has successfully authored or co-authored over $25 million in grant awards.  Linda served as vice president for organizational development for the Initiative Foundation from 2000-2016, and was selected as a 2010 Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. 

Earned Income: A social enterprise is an organization or initiative that marries the social mission of a non-profit ... with the market-driven approach of a business.” (Social Enterprise Alliance) Nonprofits are becoming more entrepreneurial and are furthering their mission by developing social enterprises to generate earned revenue to add to their mix of revenue sources. Glyn Northington, special initiatives director at NAF, will lead this session that will launch a new social enterprise initiative in Itasca County beginning Fall 2017.

Individual Giving AND Planned Giving: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cultivation and the Donor Development Cycle: Successful fundraisers know that fruitful donor development programs are built on a strong foundation of donor-centered cultivation strategies. Join Katrina Pierson, CFRE, to learn more about:

  • Why developing and working a donor cultivation plan is critical to your success with individual supporters;
  • How to create pathways for donors and prospects to engage more meaningfully with your mission;
  • How to choose the right cultivation strategies for your donor constituencies that will result in enduring support for your cause.

In addition to the presentation, participants will have an opportunity for a round table discussion to apply what they learned to their own fund development efforts.

For individual donors for your organization, focusing on individuals who are closest to your organization and its mission produces the best results.They are more likely to have a personal connection to and interest in your community, and therefore, may be more inclined to donate and get involved in your cause. Join Wendy Roy to explore how to best cultivate relationships with individual supporters for planned giving.

Katrina PiersonVela Strategy Founder and Principal, has been supporting nonprofits for the past decade, with five of those as an associate and partner at HBH Consultants. She has served as a board chair, communications specialist and development director for organizations in healthcare, the arts, social justice and the environment. She is a skilled fundraiser, leadership coach, and creative communications strategist, and focuses her practice on helping leaders articulate their story to activate support for their cause. Katrina is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), and is also a recent fellow of the Hubert Project through the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Wendy Roy provides consulting services for nonprofits in the areas of development, fundraising, endowment growth, planned giving, strategic planning, and board training. Prior to starting her consulting firm, she was the executive director of Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation for 15 years. 


Nonprofit Business Model and the Mission Money Matrix: Thursday, October 19, 2017

To conclude our 2017 series on revenue, the October Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities learning series will look at the nonprofit business model that makes programs and organizations operate and succeed. We'll look at the financial structure of nonprofits, broken down into four core components: revenue mix, infrastructure, true program cost, and capital structure. This business model creates value for the community and sustains the business entity. We will conclude the session by looking at the Mission Money Matrix, which invites the discussion about whether we are using our revenue to best accomplish the mission of our nonprofit.

This session will be led by Janet Ogden-Brackett, Vice President, Lending, and Glyn Northington, Special Initiatives Director, both from Nonprofits Assistance Fund.  



Nonprofits Assistance Fund is bringing our training to you virtually! This year, join us for any of these free webinars -- you can find out more here.


Executive Director Cohort

In 2016 we added the opportunity for Executive Directors to be part of a cohort that meets for lunch following each of the learning sessions for a deeper dive with their peers into the topics covered that morning. The current cohort will continue to meet through mid-2017. The next cohort is being planned for fall 2018 -- check back here in 2018 as more details become available.   


Open Office Hours

In many instances nonprofits need a quick response for advice and resources on organizational issues when they arise. These situations often don’t require a full consulting project or scope but rather need easy access to an experienced professional with knowledge, access to resources, and availability. 

Call us at 612.278.7180 to schedule an Open Office Hours consultation by phone.


Stay Connected

Since your needs for organizational assistance might arise anytime, Nonprofits Assistance Fund maintains regular communications with a Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities e-newsletter

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For any questions about Healthy Nonprofits, Healthy Communities, contact Glyn Northington.

“NAF is honored to support Indigo Education, which in turn then provides such valuable support for the special education programs in many of our area charter schools.”

Lu Hang, Loan Officer/Financial Specialist, Nonprofits Assistance Fund