Is it time for a Capital Campaign?

Sharon Castle
Capacity Builder

A capital campaign is a significant undertaking requiring a substantial, and possibly, unprecedented investment of organizational resources and many nonprofits have little or no experience in this area.  From initial planning to wrap up to pledge collection, the effort will likely take years and should propel your organization to a new level of fundraising.  

2023 Capital Campaign Cohort Participant Feedback

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Staff Announcement - Welcome Crystallee!

Crystallee Crain, Ph.D.
Capacity Builder

My Approach to Nonprofit Consulting: Fostering Self-Determination, Integrity, Care, Belonging, Solidarity, and Trust


As a nonprofit consultant, I am committed to providing a holistic and pragmatic approach that centers around key values: self-determination, integrity, care, belonging, solidarity, and trust. As a young person growing up in Flint, Michigan I saw firsthand the power of community led efforts to meet the needs of people that the system failed. I learned early in life that it was people in the community that made the decision to give, share, and lead that changed our lives. Later in life I learned about the opportunities nonprofit organizations bring to the actualization of our community of care. 

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Let's Talk About Generational Giving

Sharon Castle
Capacity Builder

A new report from the Giving Tuesday Data Commons recently released *Rethinking Resilience:  Insights from the Giving Ecosystem, A Lookback at 2022 Trends in Global Generosity. *”  

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Upgrade Your Toolbox


We're always having conversations with leaders about self-care. But today, we're specifically thinking about professional development. When we contemplate professional development, we immediately think about the goal of your mission and what you hope to achieve. But before the work starts, we need to prepare, and choose the right tools for the task. Invest time to equip yourself for success.  

Time and the right tools are a resounding endorsement of professional development.  Which leads us to two questions: 

1) Why do we jump straight into the work? 

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Benefits of Board Governance Training.

Leading a nonprofit organization is a lot like preparing for an athletic competition.  It requires consistent training, practice, and a plan to succeed. An athlete never gets to check the box off next to a basic skill. It doesn't matter how many times you've run that drill—you still review, practice, and adapt when necessary, and yes, keep on training. And it is the same for a board of directors.

A board is never past the need for training.  Seasons, needs, pandemics, growth, and experiences are just some of the variables that change the environment in which a nonprofit lives. All board members benefit from regular governance training.  So, let's talk about what some of those benefits include:


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I See You

Regina Pinney
Executive Director


Being colorblind is the idea that ignoring or overlooking racial and ethnic differences promotes racial harmony. In some circles, it’s called color-evasive. In others, it is called a myth.

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Mental Health Challenges in Today's Environment



May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

In addition to my role as a consultant for nonprofit and public sector organizations, I am also a mental health professional. I’ve been a licensed clinical social worker for over twenty years. I served as the deputy director of a community mental health authority, and I occasionally see clients in my private practice.

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They Why Behind Peer Coaching

Sharon Castle

Capacity Builder

“This has been the single most impactful Professional Development I have ever been a part of. This process of utilizing empowering questions to guide coaching, along with reiterating thoughts, and not going straight to advice- this has all been a game changer for me and how I communicate.”

“Peer coaching is BY FAR one of the best continuing education courses I've ever taken. I use the skills in my personal and professional life, and they have gotten me unstuck from many challenging conversations and relationships.”                       ~ Peer Coaching Cohort Participants – March 2023

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The Importance of Community Conversations

Katena Cain, PhD
Nonprofit Management Consultant

“Far too often, people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

As humans, we operate within many different networks, all of which influence our perspectives and serve different purposes in our lives. While most networks are formed around a shared experience – such as the organization we work for, the city we live in, or identities that we hold – it is important to be cognizant of the networks we are part of and the diversity that is present within them. Given that our networks influence the way we think and the opportunities we give and receive, lack of diversity within these networks can propagate inequitable systems and create echo chambers of perspectives.

As nonprofits, we cannot meet our missions without having courageous conversations about inclusion and anti-racism in the systems, programs, policies and procedures that govern our organizations. It’s all fine and good to have these conversations in silos, but it is much more impactful when community leaders can come together to engage in conversation about their strengths, barriers and ideas. When we do this, we can learn from each other, share stories and have accountability partners.

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The Many Pieces of a Fund Development Plan

Sharon Castle

Capacity Builder

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; fundraising is tough. Been there, done that, and I continue to do it. Let’s face it, there’s a reason many of us describe fundraising as “the oldest profession.” It has been around a long time and not going to go away anytime soon.  I have great respect for Executive Directors, Development Directors, Board members, Staff and Volunteers who understand and actively engage in fundraising for their nonprofit organizations.

Alas, each of us has a responsibility to play a role in philanthropy: acting as an ambassador and sharing positive aspects of how the community is benefiting from the organization’s activities with friends, relatives and coworkers; being part of a team of solicitors and participating in well developed “asks”; making the public feel welcome at events or when they making an on-site visit; or making a personal gift, something we all should be doing at least once annually. 

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It's Time to Activate the Levers of Power for Your Mission.

Renell Weathers
Advocacy and Public Policy Consultant

It's Time to Activate the Levers of Power for Your Mission.

Life has a way of interrupting our plans, making you either frustrated because you hate change or exhilarated because you embrace change. You may also be confused about which direction to channel your efforts. Whichever best describes you, this is not the time to put your head under the covers. It’s time to engage.  

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A Great Nonprofit Leader Drives the Mission

Katena Cain, PhD.

Nonprofit Management Consultant

A great nonprofit leader drives the mission down through the organization, upward through the board, and outward through the community.  They are also the organization’s chief storyteller, brand advocate, brand guardian, crisis spokesperson, chief marketing officer, and chief fundraiser. To be effective in many of these roles, they must be authentic and be able to connect, collaborate, persuade, mediate, and negotiate with the best.

A great leader is also the ambassador for the health of the organization, both structurally and financially. This means they are responsible for building and maintaining relationships that enable the organization to flourish. They must recruit and retain the talent and supply the tools necessary to develop a strong infrastructure and a culture that builds morale.

A great leader is "tapped-in" to her board, staff, and the people they serve.  They are in tune with the social and economic conditions that affect the organization’s mission. 

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Without a plan, plan to lose money


Regina Pinney
Executive Director

As we emerge to seek a new normal, our post pandemic development strategies must be adaptive and directive and emphasize what we have learned in the past years and what we can (and can not) control.  

A first step is to recreate (or create) a development plan to attract and retain donors and ensure these strategies are cost effective and our investments of time, talent, energy, and resources are efficient and effective.  

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Thinking About a Capital Campaign?

Sharon Castle
Capacity Builder

“I’m a librarian not a fundraiser,” were the words of the library director of with whom I had just signed on as counsel for a capital campaign to assist with raising funds for a new building.  Two years later as we celebrated success and they moved into their new library, she confided, “I know you kept saying that this would be the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my professional career, but I never really understood and, boy, you were right.” 

As my library colleague discovered, a capital campaign is a significant undertaking requiring a substantial, and possibly, unprecedented investment of organizational resources and many nonprofits have little or no experience in this area.  From initial planning to wrap up to pledge collection, the effort will likely take years and should propel your organization to a new level of fundraising.  So, it makes sense that time spent on education and preparation on the front end will save you time and money and help strengthen your organization in the long haul.   

Nonprofit Network has several resources including our Capital Campaign Course. The 12-session virtual course is help approximately once a year and follows a syllabus designed to review all aspects of a capital campaign. Sessions will include structured conversations around assigned reading and homework and participants will gain knowledge around key topics including:

  • feasibility studies
  • factors in working (or not) with a campaign consultant
  • organizational readiness; case for support
  • prospect identification
  • campaign leadership, phases, and planning
  • one-on-one personal asks
  • lower end asks
  • special event utilization
  • campaign materials
  • appropriate thank you and recognition
  • staff involvement
  • concluding a campaign

If you are interested, please click on the link to learn more and register for the next course starting Feb. 2, 2023: Capital Campaigns Course 2023 (12 virtual sessions)
If this date has passed, please check our Capital Campaigns page to learn about our next upcoming event.

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Welcoming the New Year

Happy New Year!

We at Nonprofit Network are so grateful for all the blessings that we received in 2022 – even the ones wrapped as challenges, puzzles, and barriers.  Each of us is so honored to walk and work alongside our nonprofit partners to build better communities, and most importantly, better outcomes for those you serve.

With deep gratitude, thank you for the passion you bring to your work. 

We’d like to take a moment to share the impact you have had on us. 

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Meet Denice!

Denice Gravenstijn
Consultant Support Specialist

“Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history.
Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill.” 

   – Chadwick Boseman 

This quote from Chadwick Boseman has been one of my inspirations.  I believe that everyone has a purpose in life. Finding your purpose may or may not come easy. The idea of being and making a difference is one of the fundamentals of fulfilling one's aspirations in life. 

I have been with Nonprofit Network since February 2022. I accepted the position of Consultant Support Specialist, and it has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a variety of different communities and at the same time explore and use some of the skills gained from my background in Sociology.  

With a background in Sociology, understanding social institutions, structures and relationships within communities helps to provide great tools to support an active consulting staff. I supply support to the consultants and the organization through communication, organization, and research. This helps Nonprofit Network serve its diverse clients efficiently, effectively, and holistically. 

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Welcome to our website!

welcome to our new website, we fill in the missing pieces desktop picture
It's here! We've launched our New Website!

We are excited to invite you to our new
Nonprofit Network website! And you're invited to join us on Zoom for an in-depth look at our new site. We'll cover how to log-in, the services available to you, and answer any questions you have. We'll also be reviewing the new member-only homepage portal. No registration is needed for these live events.


Our new website is filled with even more help at your fingertips, including: 

  • A new Business Services Directory to help you find discounted and specialized services.
  • Job board that automatically shares your post to Facebook and Google if selected. *Be sure to make use of your member discount code sent in the October 28th Members Only newsletter. 
  • A Learning Center with live events and online courses (an interactive learning management system that allows you to save your work and your resources in one place) 
  • More automation to keep your employees and board members connected to the help they need. 
  • And - more ways for you to utilize your membership benefits.  

>>>  We will continue to add tools, resources and samples weekly, as we always have, so come back often to see what's new.

First Step is to Login
- As members and non-members (prospects) you will both need to set up a new password.  To do this, [Click here]. Your Username is your email address. Once your password is updated, you can [login here] using the new password you just set-up.

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Staff Satisfaction

headshot of Sharon Castle in a black blouseSharon Castle
Capacity Builder

Much has been written about the Great Resignation of 2022 or, as McKinsey & Company recently described it as, “the Great Attrition has become the Great Negotiation.”  

In fact, according to McKinsey, 40% of employees globally are planning to leave their jobs in the next three to six months. The Great Attrition is making hiring harder. Are you searching the right talent pools?

So, what does that mean for the nonprofit sector; a sector historically known for paying low wages for demanding positions?  At Nonprofit Network, we’ve been getting many questions from stressed-out Executive Directors trying to figure out how to hire and then retain talented staff. 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Up Your Networking Game

Alyssa Turcsak headshot

Alyssa Turcsak
Outreach Coordinator

One of the biggest challenges in our sector we hear often is how isolating this work can be. You put so much of your heart and energy into serving clients, rescuing animals, and protecting our planet that connecting with others doing similar work feels very low on the priority list. You’re not alone. Being under-resourced and underpaid leaves nonprofit employees stretched thin.

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5 Steps to Refresh & Restore Momentum after a Bad Board Meeting

Regina Pinney
Executive Director

Have you ever had one of those board meetingsthe kind that makes you question if you are the right person for the job, if you have the stamina to continue, or if anyone in the room is on the same page about anything? The kind of meeting that makes you wonder if working at one of those 9-5 for profit jobs is fulfilling?

You knowone of "those" meetings.

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