Nonprofits learn how to ‘Seize an Opportunity’

Thursday and Friday, March 23-24 at Regents Hall on the second floor of the Burpee Center on the Rockford College campus, the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence presents a workshop titled “Seizing an Opportunity—Earned Income Solutions for Nonprofits.”

This intensive, two-day workshop is for nonprofit board members and senior executives, and participation is limited to the first 80 people who register. Registration deadline is March 15. To download a registration form, visit < ahref=>

Nonprofits throughout the country have been responding to funding challenges by adopting new strategies that allow them to emphasize a “double bottom line”—one concerned with mission and sustainability.

The workshop will educate participants about emerging trends that will inspire nonprofits to develop alternative funding streams through social entrepreneurship.

Extensive portions of the workshop will be devoted to hands-on exercises, with each person working on tasks specific to his or her organization.

Each participant receives a 150-page training manual. Nonprofits are encouraged to send teams of three or four board members and senior executives. The agenda includes five small-group working sessions, which enable team members to work together on issues directly relevant to their own organization.

The following two publications will be available for purchase: Migrating from Innovation to Entrepreneurship: “How Nonprofits are Moving Toward Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency (2006), and The Social Enterprise Sourcebook and A Practical Lexicon for Social Entrepreneurs.

The outcomes from the workshop will be to introduce participants to the critical success factors for entrepreneurs in the nonprofit sector, and to help participants identify whatever obstacles to entrepreneurship exist within their own organizations.

The workshop will teach participants how to do the following:

Create earned-income strategies for specific programs;

Start a social purpose business;

Form entrepreneurial partnerships with corporations and small businesses;

Bring about the changes in organizational culture needed for a nonprofit to be successful in its entrepreneurial endeavors;

Reposition a nonprofit in the eyes of its stakeholders;

Develop a strategic marketing plan for an entire nonprofit; and

Apply the principles of entrepreneurship to more traditional forms of fund-raising and development.

In conjunction with the workshop, the Center is announcing a Business Plan Competition.

Developing business plans for competition helps nonprofit participants understand the economic realities of their projects, foresee possible conflicts with core mission and attract start-up funds.

Business Plan Competitions are another way to transfer knowledge from the private to the nonprofit sector as Technical Assistance Teams (made of local corporate executives, SCORE volunteers, Rockford College MBA students, faculty and alumni) assist nonprofits with the development of their plan.

Winning organizations will receive up to $10,000 to jump-start their venture.

For information regarding the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence and its programs, contact Pam Clark Reidenbach at 815-226-2833.

From the March 8-14, 2006, issue

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