Providing opportunities for nonprofit organizations to thrive is a big part of what we do at Berks County Community Foundation. One great example is the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program that the Foundation hosts in partnership with The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University. This fall, join the Community Foundation and instructors from The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University for a ten-month professional development opportunity designed exclusively for Berks County’s nonprofit executive directors and high-potential staff members who are serving in full-time, paid positions. 

The program includes: 

This will be the third cohort of nonprofit executives to experience this program, which runs every other year. 

Molly McCullough Robbins, Berks County Community Foundation’s Vice President for Philanthropic Services, was a member of the 2020 cohort while serving as Executive Director of Wyomissing Area Education Foundation. “Participating in this cohort was incredibly beneficial for me as a nonprofit leader. Not only did I learn valuable skills and best practices for the field, but I made connections with other nonprofit professionals in our community that I value to this day,” Molly said.   

Applicants must be employed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The cohort is limited to 20 participants.  

To receive the certificate at the end of the program, attendance of all nine classes is required.  

Applications are open now, and the deadline to apply is July 22, 2024. Decisions will be made by August 9, 2024. The cost of the program is $500; scholarships or grants toward the cost are not available. Payments are due by August 30, 2024. Please click here for the full schedule

*Note that Berks County Community Foundation is not an accredited educational institution, but rather a nonprofit that seeks to bring professional development opportunities to the community for local leaders. 

Here is a summary of the curriculum for this professional development opportunity: Unless otherwise noted, these sessions will be in-person and 6 hours in length (9am-4pm). 

Building the Board Your Organization Needs (bring a board member session) 

If a board can make or break a nonprofit, what makes or breaks a nonprofit board? There are countless tales of triumph and terror on the topic of nonprofit boards and board members. With surprisingly few legal guidelines to follow, boards can look, feel, and function very differently from one another, even when they have the same assumed purpose. This class aims to explore what your nonprofit board’s role must be, what your board’s goals could be, and what it means for board members to be effective, both collectively and individually. Whether you are a long serving, aspiring, new, or simply curious board member, this course will give you a contextual view of nonprofit boards, governance, and a fresh look through an equity lens at the balance of power between boards, executive leadership, and the people and communities they impact. 

Communication to Build Relationships, Engagement & Understanding 

Communication is one of the most essential skills for individuals at every level of an  

organization, from entry-level through senior management. As we learn to communicate more effectively, we create and maintain a more open and productive work environment. Effective communication can help enhance engagement, foster understanding, and build constructive relationships with co-workers, donors, volunteers, board members, and  

supervisors/supervisees. This class will expand your understanding of communication and teach you how to put this knowledge into practice. You’ll learn about different communication styles and how you can communicate and work more effectively with others, including those who have different approaches to communication, are from a different generation, or are resistant to change/new ideas. We’ll also provide a framework for how to engage in difficult conversations to address challenges and pursue opportunities to improve your outcomes. 

Effective Strategic Planning for Today’s Nonprofits (bring a board member session) 

How does a nonprofit plan effectively during changing and uncertain times? In this class, you will learn modern approaches to strategic planning that will strengthen your nonprofit’s ability to pursue its mission in rapidly changing conditions. We’ll explore techniques for assessing your environment, gaining clarity on changing community needs, and developing strategies that can be adapted to meet new opportunities or challenges over time. This class will show you how to build a plan that will drive strategic thinking across your organization, helping your plan to stand up to unexpected changes both inside and outside your organization. 

Fundamentals of Human Resources 

Too few nonprofits have a dedicated human resource professional on staff. Yet, the minute you have a staff member, or are even thinking of hiring your first staff member, it is imperative that someone in the organization understands the essential human resource responsibilities, regulations, and laws. Because workplace laws guide and control much of what we must do with employees, this class covers the major workplace laws and the legal principles that govern the employment relationship. It will explore the importance of good policies and procedures in creating an effective working environment and introduce some of the most common and challenging HR responsibilities: the performance management cycle; development and management of compensation strategies; and effective guidelines for hiring the right people. 

Understanding and Growing Leadership Capacity (online session, 9am-3pm) 

Effective leadership doesn’t happen by chance or accident; it comes from thoughtfulness, intention, effort, and more. It is a journey, not a destination. Nor is it manifested in one form or in one personal style – it’s present in many. Leadership starts with the personal. Everyone loves to talk about their own or someone else’s “leadership style,” but the reality is if you have just one way to demonstrate leadership you will never be an effective leader. Effective leaders have a toolbox filled with styles and strategies for success. This class will take you through a series of reflective exercises to help you understand what leadership is—and what it is not—and where you see yourself as a leader—or not. Leadership is also a culture, and an abundant resource! This class will provide a tour of different approaches to leadership to help you identify the tools your organization needs to empower  

leadership, at every level. 

Basic Budgeting and Beyond (session is 3 hours, 9am-12pm) 

Do you struggle to prepare your annual budget, lack 100% confidence in it when submitting it to the board, consistently approve it after the fiscal year begins and regularly have actual-to-budget results that you didn’t anticipate? Then this class is for you and your team. Budgeting is a complex, dynamic process that takes a team to effectively prepare, present and perform to. In this class you will learn the seven things you should do to create an annual budget and how to successfully fulfill its promise. From planning a process to presenting your budget, you’ll have it covered after attending Basic Budgeting and Beyond. 

Financial Forecasting: Informed By the Past; Built for the Future (session is 3 hours, 1pm-4pm) 

A strong financial management process is essential to a nonprofit’s well-being. In times of  

concern and uncertainty about the economy and the prospects for funding, the ability to perform accurate and timely financial forecasting becomes indispensable. Day to day challenges, such as gift restrictions, adherence to mission, fixed and variable expenses, call for the skill to accurately forecast cash flow, while being adaptable to changing conditions. The result is a stronger and more resilient organization. This class will explore the basic inputs required to develop and evaluate financial projections for your organization. Understanding how and when resources are available to your organization will not only enable you to guide policy and programmatic decisions but also assist you in strategically planning your organization’s growth and sustainability. 

For more information, please contact Kim Sheffer, Lifelong Learning Program Officer: