six workshop offerings

The six 2017-18 workshops, For Organizational Success, offered frequent learning and networking opportunities for staff and board members of Evanston nonprofits and organizations. Facilitated by experts, the workshops are offered free of charge, and advance registration is required. Future workshops will be announced soon.


The workshops were held at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston.

workshop calendar

teal-6x6.png morning workshop 8am breakfast and networking; 8:15-9:30am program

red-6x6.png evening workshop 5:30pm dinner and networking; 6:00-8:00pm program

red-233x10.jpgTuesday, November 14
Collaborate: Navigating Successful Partnerships

Teal-233x10.jpgWednesday January 24

Successful Board Recruitment

red-233x10.jpgTuesday, February 13
Mobilize: Using Shared Narrative to Mobilize Your Fundraising Board


Tuesday, March 20

Embody: Building Board and Staff Culture with Purpose and Intention


Tuesday, April 17

Datavisualization: Using Your Organization’s Secret Weapons To Boost Fundraising and Impact


Thursday, June 21

Tracking Success: Moving Past Overhead to Measure Impact

workshop descriptions

Collaborate: Navigating Successful Partnerships (November 14)
The buzz in the nonprofit world is working together and collaborating. What factors actually lead to success? In this session, we’ll focus on leadership behaviors that increase the likelihood of collaboration success for your organization and for your community. Participants will discuss and engage strategies at three stages: preparing to collaborate, leading collaboration, and evaluating your partnership efforts. Facilitator: Kate Cooper, Ph.D.

Successful Board Recruitment (January 24)
All nonprofits want the best for – and from – their Board. In this workshop, we’ll equip you to help board members understand the unique role of a nonprofit board and how members can best contribute. We‘ll examine the current board make-up of your organization, identify your unique recruitment needs, discuss where to look for board members, and brainstorm tips on how to best approach that perfect prospect. Finally we will discuss orientation, on-boarding and best practices to keep good board members engaged and enthusiastic. Faciltator: Toni Smith

Mobilize: Using Shared Narrative to Mobilize Your Fundraising Board (February 13, 5:30pm)
What does it take for a board member to become a great fundraiser?  Success belongs to those who can build on their relationships and craft compelling narratives that connect with donors’ values and motivations. Participants will learn how to apply Marshall Ganz’s public narrative work to equip nonprofit staff and board members to be effective fundraisers and storytellers. Out of these shared narratives comes a generosity that is abundant, sustainable, and meaningful. Facilitator: Otto Reinisch

Embody: Building Board and Staff Culture with Purpose and Intention (March 20, 5:30pm)
What is your organization’s culture? Does it foster the talent and human capital contributions of staff, volunteers, donors, and board members? Organizations develop culture over time and reinforce cultural values through repeated behaviors, messages, and symbols – often without intention. This working session will help non-profit leaders create an intentional focus on building or enhancing their organizational culture and linking it more closely with their organizational mission. Participants will leave with a framework for assessing and leading changes to enhance culture with their organizations. Facilitator: Jackie English

Datavisualization: Using Your Organization’s Secret Weapons To Boost Fundraising and Impact (April 17, 8am)
Almost every nonprofit has two “secret” weapons, so secret that even those on staff might not be fully aware of them. The first is the data that they have packed away in databases and spreadsheets, often collecting virtual dust on their servers. The second is the visual superpowers of their staff members, board members, funders, and clients. By visualizing data in charts, graphs, and maps, you can capitalize on these secret weapons to more effectively evaluate, plan, and fundraise. You will leave this workshop with a clear understanding of how to deploy data visualization in your work, how to turn a good visualization into a great one, and a resolve to go forth and visualize. Facilitator: Amelia Kohm, Ph.D.

Tracking Success: Moving Past Overhead to Measure Impact (June 21, 8am)
Charity Navigator burst onto the nonprofit scene in the 1990's and brought new scrutiny to how much nonprofits spent on overhead. Now the tide is turning and it's becoming more understood that some types of overhead, like marketing and investment in staff, are necessary if nonprofits are to grow and thrive. But without using overhead as a guide, how can you measure the efficiency or overall health of a nonprofit? In this session, we'll give you some tools you can implement to demonstrate or measure your nonprofit's impact and growth. Facilitators: Marilyn Foster Kirk, M.Ed., CFRE and Amy Funk.

about the facilitators

Kate Cooper, Ph.D (Collaborate: Navigating Successful Partnerships, November 14)
Kate Cooper, Ph.D. is a researcher whose main interest is how nonprofits collaborate with others to increase their impact. She is currently the Associate Director of the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact, a lab at Northwestern University. In addition to conducting research on nonprofit collaboration, Kate seeks to translate and synthesize research for nonprofit leaders looking to leverage their networks. She previously worked in the nonprofit sector in Washington, DC, and remains active through volunteering and consulting in the Chicago area.

Jackie English (Embody: Building Board and Staff Culture with Purpose and Intention, March 20)
Jackie English is a highly skilled consultant, strategic partner, and coach for leadership teams seeking to align talent and cultural needs with business strategy. Through her consulting and coaching practice she has helped clients by designing and delivering organization development solutions, leadership development programs, competency and assessment tools, leadership coaching, career development, team-building, and communication strategies. She brings over 15 years of experience leading in organizations, coaching for development, and building positive team dynamics.

Amy Funk (Tracking Success: Moving Past Overhead to Measure Impact, June 21)
Amy Funk started her career in the not-for-profit sector almost two decades ago and has worked in organizations with budgets ranging from $1.2 to $40 million in the performing arts, healthcare and human services fields. During that time, she has been involved in capital campaigns totaling almost $200 million. Amy serves on the Peer Mentoring Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and leads the Annual Fellows, an early career professional development program offered by the Development Leadership Consortium.  

Marilyn Foster Kirk, M.Ed., CFRE (Tracking Success: Moving Past Overhead to Measure Impact, June 21)
Marilyn Foster Kirk, M.Ed., CFRE, is a consultant and Executive Vice President with Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt where she assists nonprofits in fundraising planning and assessment, strategic planning, and campaign planning. She is a seasoned nonprofit professional having served as a front-line fundraiser, chief development officer, and executive of a university-related foundation. She is an adjunct professor in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University and continues to be an active volunteer and board member with many nonprofit organizations.

Amelia Kohm, Ph.D (Datavisualization: Using Your Organization’s Secret Weapons To Boost Fundraising and Impact, April 17)
Amelia Kohm, Ph.D., is the founder of Data Viz for Nonprofits (DVN). DVN delivers, through short-term consultations, high-quality, low-cost visualizations that help organizations to quickly grasp their data, improve their work, and show their impact. Amelia has more than 20 years of experience studying, funding, and evaluating human services. She learned data visualization theory and practice at the University of Washington and has applied her data visualization skills in her ongoing work at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a child policy research center.

Otto Reinisch (Mobilize: Using Shared Narrative to Mobilize Your Fundraising Board, February 13)
At a time when many organizations look online for fundraising success, Otto Reinisch is a compelling voice calling nonprofit leaders back to the relational work of fundraising done in-person, over time, and around shared values. Although Otto’s fundraising roots are in Evanston where he served as the first professional fundraiser for The Rotary Foundation (1977), his 40-year career also includes award-winning work at U-CAN. Since 2001 Otto is Director of Organizational Development for Episcopal Charities and Community Services in Chicago.

Toni Smith (Successful Board Recruitment, January 24)
For thirty years Toni worked with Spencer Stuart & Associates, one of the top three executive search firms in the world.  As a partner of the firm Toni founded and managed the not-for-profit practice, spending most of her time consulting with volunteer boards seeking leadership for their organizations. Since retirement, Toni has been a Board member, former Chair and active consultant with the Executive Service Corps — a nonprofit that provides hands-on consulting services to help other nonprofits succeed. Toni is also a Board member One Hope United, and previous board member of the  Associated Colleges of Illinois and The Chicago Network.