workshop offerings

The six 2019 workshops, 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 are held at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston

workshop calendar

all workshops are from 5:30 to 8:00pm, registration required.
In educational partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Management, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

* Our nonprofit workshop series is sponsored by Evanston Community Bank & Trust, a Branch of Wintrust Bank.

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Increasing Board Engagement for Strategic Stewardship


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Managing Risks

greenbar 233x10Tuesday, March 19 - REGISTRATION CLOSED
Becoming an Equitable Institution

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Tuesday, April 9 at Evanston Public Library at 11:30am
Facilitating Online Learning: Creating a Team Experience


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Thursday, May 9
Systems Change – Moving the Needle for Everyone

greenbar 233x10Wednesday, June 12

Board Engagement in Major Gift Fundraising

workshop descriptions

Increasing Board Engagement for Strategic Stewardship (January 23)
Today’s nonprofit board members and their organizations face a changing environment with increasing competition, sophisticated donors, and new methods of solicitation. How should the nonprofit leaders change their approach to help board members react to this environment more effectively and provide leadership that supports their nonprofit organizations? How can board members use their time and commitment to become better ambassadors and help organizations increase their impact and meet their missions? 

In this program, you will learn tools to assist executives and board members in maximizing donor engagement. You will explore the key roles and responsibilities of staff leadership and board members and understand the importance of successful partnership. Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management faculty will engage you with a rich mix of classroom learning and interactive discussion.
Facilitator: Liz Howard

Managing Risks (February 21)
In today’s world, nonprofit boards and their organizations are experiencing harsh economic times that are rapidly changing. Past economic hardships have awakened boards and executives to take a critical eye in considering their organization’s risk management practices. How should boards and their directors integrate risk management into the organization’s strategy? How do we enhance performance and mitigate risk?

In this program, you will learn tools for identifying and managing risk including fraud and theft. In understanding the reputation of your organization as a valuable asset, we will explore the importance of managing reputational risk and protecting financial resources through proper use of internal controls. You will experience a mix of classroom learning and interactive discussion through the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management. 
Facilitator: Ivy Walker

Becoming an Equitable Institution (March 19)
Many nonprofits are working to increase racial equity and justice in the communities they serve, but struggle with applying an equity lens to their own internal operations. Even when leadership sets inclusion as a goal, organizations may not have structures in place to sustain meaningful change. How can nonprofit leaders create a culture of change using tools and methods that will engage board, staff, and stakeholders to operationalize equity? In this workshop you will explore key concepts of racial equity and inclusion and how they intersect with your organization’s core values. You will learn tools to begin developing an equity strategy including an interactive demonstration of an equity assessment.
Facilitators: Tiffany McDowell and Eileen Hogan Heinemen

Facilitating Online Learning: Creating a Team Experience (April 9 at Evanston Public Library)
Join us for a session with the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management featuring Elise Madrick Townsend and Amy Stewart Smith sharing information about Nonprofit Management Essentials, a flexible and free online learning opportunity provided by funding from the Allstate Foundation. In this highly interactive session, you will explore ways you can customize and implement a learning experience for your own organization. You will learn about facilitation strategies and experience the facilitation of one online module from Nonprofit Management Essentials. You will leave with a new, free tool to help broaden awareness of leadership and management topics within your organization.
Facilitators: Elise Madrick Townsend and Amy Stewart Smith

Systems Change – Moving the Needle for Everyone (May 9)
Systems change, or “intentional process designed to alter the status quo by shifting and realigning the form and function of a targeted system” (, is an increasingly popular focus for foundations and private philanthropy. This workshop will define system change and differentiate it from program effectiveness. Through both discussion and exercises, participants will be challenged to think about how they might work collaboratively to scale their own efforts and how such efforts might improve racial equity in Evanston.
Facilitator: Michelle Shumate

Board Engagement in Major Gift Fundraising (June 12)
In the past several years, the art and science of best practiced-based major gift fundraising – whether for annual gifts, special efforts, or comprehensive campaigns – has dramatically changed the philanthropic landscape. Both large and small nonprofits that have embraced these new major gift fundraising strategies have benefited mightily. Many of these programs have successfully engaged their board members as active partners in the major gift process in a variety of ways that has enhanced their volunteer experience. This workshop will provide an up-to-date overview of current major gift fundraising insights from using donor motivation behavioral economics research and analytics to identify prospects to engagement and stewardship best practices. The workshop will include a three-act mock solicitation scenario performed by Evanston’s Mudlark Theater senior staff and volunteer leaders that is certain to educate and entertain as well as spark lively discussion and commentary.
Facilitator: Marc Hilton with Mudlark Theater

about the facilitators
Liz Howard (Increasing Board Engagement for Strategic Stewardship, January 23)
Professor Liz Howard is the Executive Director of Kellogg’s Nonprofit Management Executive Education Programs and a Clinical Professor of Management. She has developed and currently teaches curriculum for M.B.A. students and nonprofit executives. Professor Howard serves as the Academic Director for a variety of nonprofit executive education courses and has designed several custom executive education programs. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management. She has an extensive history in development and fundraising as an Assistant Dean for Development at Kellogg and a fundraising consultant for organizations across Chicago. Professor Howard was selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and serves on the boards of a variety of nonprofits. She is considered an expert in the area of board governance.

Ivy Walker (Managing Risks, February 21)
Ivy Walker is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Helios Digital Learning, a firm that works at the nexus of immersive storytelling, emotional intelligence, behavioral economics, and data analytics to help business professionals and students improve their ethical decision making. She is passionate about developing solutions that can help change the alarming decline in trust that citizens around the world have in institutions – especially big corporations and governments. By leveraging the science of decision-making and an understanding of adult learner engagement, Ivy works with clients to identify their specific areas of opportunity and to create captivating and effective compliance program content powered by real stories. This content is designed to engage employees in a way that helps them focus on their decision making and create a connection with the compliance resources available within their organization. Ivy’s background includes a range of Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial experience in both for-profit and not-for-profit/social venture settings. Ivy holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She serves on a number of boards for nonprofits around Chicago and nationwide.

Tiffany McDowell and Eileen Hogan (Becoming an Equitable Institution, March 19)
The YWCA Evanston/North Shore Equity Institute is a catalyst for community change and serves as a hub for best practice toward equity and inclusion in our region. Tiffany McDowell, Ph.D. is a community psychologist focused on building capacity of organizations, community residents, and other stakeholders to develop strategies and action plans toward equity and inclusion. She has committed the past fifteen years to identifying and eliminating systems that push people to the margins of society. Eileen Hogan Heineman has been facilitating racial equity workshops and trainings for fifteen years, the past five of which for the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. She believes that individuals become change agents only after developing a radical empathy for everyone in the communities they serve and with whom they work.

Elise Madrick Townsend and Amy Stewart Smith (Facilitating Online Learning: Creating a Team Experience, April 9)
Elise Madrick Townsend is the Senior Program Administrator for the Center for Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Management. She joined the team in 2018 and is responsible for the development, design, and delivery of open enrollment executive education programs. Her focus is on the growth and development of nonprofit leaders through education on cutting-edge topics in the field.

Prior to joining Kellogg, Elise was most recently the Program Officer of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy in which she was responsible for education and training programs for health and human service providers, administrators and executives across Indiana. Elise has a background in social work providing therapeutic support to youth and families and serving as a committee member for Mental Health of America of Indiana. Elise is a Licensed Social Work in Indiana and holds a Masters in Social Work and a BS in Applied Health Sciences from Indiana University.

Amy Stewart Smith is a director of nonprofit executive programs at the Center for Nonprofit Management, where she specializes in education sector programming. Prior to joining the Center for Nonprofit Management, Amy served as senior director of marketing for Kellogg Executive Education, overseeing record annual participation and the introduction of more than a dozen new programs.

Amy spent eight years with IFF (formerly Illinois Facilities Fund) as director of marketing and business development for the mission-driven lender, developer, and real estate consultant. In that time, she helped IFF grow from a statewide organization to one of the largest community development financial institutions in the country. She was also a frequent presenter at foundations across the Midwest on the topic of facilities financing and development.

In early career roles, Amy has consulted with municipal governments across the United States and Canada, turned around an unprofitable bank branch in Ohio and supported dozens of Fortune 500 companies with research and recommendations around talent development. She co-authored a book on increasing engagement and retention amongst an hourly workforce, and co-edited books on capital project planning and performance measurement. Whether in the nonprofit, public or private sector, Amy thrives on education, outreach, and relationship development.

Amy holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, with concentrations in Marketing and Nonprofit Management, and is thrilled to have returned to her alma mater. She received a BS in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. Amy is also active in her community – particularly in support of her two children – on school committees, as a soccer coach, and within her faith community.

Michelle Shumate (Systems Change – Moving the Needle for Everyone, May 9)
Michelle Shumate is the founding director of Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact (NNSI). NNSI is dedicated to answering the question: How can nonprofit networks be rewired for maximum social impact? In addition, Michelle is a Professor of Communication Studies, the Delaney Family University Research Professor, and an Associate Faculty at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Professor Shumate's research has created new trajectories for organizational communication research in the past decade. She introduced theory and research inaugurating the bonafide network perspective, a public communication-centered model of corporation-nonprofit relationships, and a typology of communication networks. She was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her work on interorganizational networks and nonprofit capacity and her research has been featured by the Conference Board, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Nonprofit Quarterly. Professor Shumate holds a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Communication from Pepperdine University. 

Marc Hilton (Board Engagement in Major Gift Fundraising, June 12)
Marc Hilton has forty years of professional development experience helping social service agencies, higher education, cultural institutions, and professional societies achieve fundraising success. Mr. Hilton worked for Campbell & Company for 25 years where he served as Vice President and as Head of the firm’s professional society practice. Previously, Marc worked for the Chicago History Museum, where he served for eight years as Vice President of Development. During that time, he successfully directed a capital campaign that raised more than double the original goal and helped the Society triple its members and donors. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University, Mr. Hilton also earned an M.A. in History from the University of Chicago and taught American history at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Mr. Hilton has been a faculty member at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies’ Nonprofit Certificate Management Program for twelve years. He is also currently the Instructor and Coach for the Evanston Community Foundation’s Building the Future program.