Nonprofit professionals at a custom training session.

Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

Custom Training for Nonprofit Professional Development

The Axelson Center seeks to meet the professional development needs of nonprofit staff and organizations. In addition to our workshops, annual conference and BootCamp for New Nonprofit CEOs program, we offer custom training programs.

Custom training involves a coaching process to assess the organizational challenge(s), and offer the appropriate short-term or long-term intervention. Our goal is to provide professional development that gives participants practical takeaways in order to build knowledge, skills, performance, and effectiveness. We secure experienced professionals to deliver the service that is customized to fit the particular organization’s needs at a location of the organization’s choosing. We offer support from initial inquiry to content development to program execution and post-event evaluation reporting.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We request that organizations submit an inquiry at least six weeks in advance, but we may be able to develop a custom training on a shorter timeline, depending on the organization’s needs.

Most trainings are three hours in length.

A custom training can be developed for a staff or board retreat, conference or in-house professional development. Also, we can develop a training series that builds on a single topic or covers various nonprofit management topics. A series can be offered over the course of two–three weeks, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly or annually.

Leadership and Governance
• Strategic Planning: Implementation Strategies

Strategy and Innovation
• Creating a Culture of Storytelling
• Program Evaluation for Greater Impact

Human Resources
• Effective Staff Supervision
• The “Game” of Project Management: Skills for Work and Life
• Strategies for Conflict Resolution in the Workplace

Financial Strength and Performance
• Building Sustainable Budgets: Empowering Staff and Engaging Board Members
• Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability

Resource Generation and External Relations
• Building the Best Board Ever!
• Crafting Your Brand Story
• Creating an Annual Fund Plan
• Making the Connection: Grant Writing and Relationship Building
• Maximizing Your Online Presence
• Proposal Writing

*Note: This is a sampling of topics. Additional areas can be addressed.

Pricing begins at $2,000 for one, three-hour training
All tiers include a standard package of services, listed below:

  • Development of program content and learning objectives
    • Identifying and securing subject matter expert(s) to fit organization’s needs
    • Session evaluation (survey development, distribution, analysis and reporting)
    • Providing supplies for session (laptop, slide advancer, hard copy presentation materials, flipchart with markers)
    • Axelson Center staff member available to provide client support, manage all logistics with speaker including contract, and be on-site for session
    • Provide all attendees with presentation materials electronically within one week of session
    • Option to host session at your organization or North Park University (audiovisual support is available on campus)
  • Full suite of registration support, including event website, pre-event and on-site registration, communications to registrants
  • Venue selection and liaison
  • Catering selection and liaison

Past Clients

Active Transportation Alliance
Advocate Bethany Community Health Fund
African American Legacy Fund of the Chicago Community Trust
Chicago Child Care Society

Gads Hill Center
Housing Choice Partners
Latino Policy Forum
Parent Heart Watch
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Swedish American Museum

Custom Training Testimonials

“Working with the Axelson Center has been so helpful, inspiring, and centering. We did a session on defining values. The entire process helped us not just define what we stand for as an organization but helped each staff member see the important role they play in our work. The follow-up training we did with our managers showed us how we could put those values into action.”

—Andrea Juracek, Executive Director, Housing Choice Partners

“I have been providing custom workshops through the Axelson Center for several years. Based on the needs of nonprofits, they do a fantastic job matching consultants with clients. They handle the pre-consultation logistics as well as the day-of set up. The Center is professional and competent and, because of my relationship with them, I have worked with many organizations that I may never have come across otherwise. This relationship allows me to do what I do best without the component of direct client recruitment and logistical setup. It is a much-needed break from the norm of being a consultant.”

—Cori Moschberger, Nonprofit Consultant