Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

Professional Development Workshops

The Axelson Center offers a series of workshops each fall and spring, providing you with an opportunity to connect with knowledgeable experts and network with colleagues from across the sector. Whether you’re a program manager at an arts organization, a financial manager at a social services organization, an executive director at an education-based nonprofit, a fundraising director at a transportation advocacy organization, or you wear all of these hats on a daily basis, the Axelson Center’s workshops will re-energize you and prepare you to meet the nonprofit management challenges ahead of you.

To receive the latest information about workshops via email, please click here.  Information about registration rates, payment options, and our cancellation policy can be found at the end of the page. Also, you can find information about our prior workshop offerings below.

Spring 2020 Workshops

The Essentials of Major Gifts: Trends, Prospecting, Planning and Solicitation
Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenter: Sidney Freitag-Fey, MA, CFRE, Director of Development and Marketing, Delta Institute

Activate Your Strengths, Elevate Your Organization
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenter: Monika Black, PhD, CPC, Co-founder and Chief Strategist, TandemSpring

Optimizing the Three T’s of Your Governing Board: Time, Talent and Treasure
Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenter: Mary Morten, President, Morten Group LLC

Equity and Governance: Rethinking Best Practices
Wednesday, March 11, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenter: Shelley A. Davis, MUPP, President and Executive Director, Forest Preserve Foundation

Strengthen Your Core: Essential Practices for Small Nonprofits
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Self-Help Federal Credit Union, 3960 W. 26th Street, Chicago, IL 60623

Sidney Freitag-Fey, MA, CFRE, Director of Development and Marketing, Delta Institute
Jennifer R. Madden, PhD, MNO, Chair & Associate Professor of Management and Marketing and Director, Master of Business Design & Innovation Program at Carthage College, President, Leverage Point Development
Mary Morten, President, Morten Group LLC
Gretchen Upholt, MPA, Lead Consultant, Midwest, FMA

How to Use Your Newsletter to Strengthen Relationships (Free)
Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 9 – 11 am at North Park University
Presenter: Malayna Evans, PhD, Vice President of Marketing, PWR New Media

Becoming a Thought Leader
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenters: Mark Ishaug, CEO, Thresholds and Dorri McWhorter, MBA, CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Culturally Responsive Evaluation
Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 9 am to Noon at North Park University
Presenter: Dominica McBride, PhD, Founder and CEO, Become Center

Previous workshops this fall:

Journey to Conscious Inclusion: Understanding, Challenging and Managing Bias and Microinequities

Grant Writing for Beginners: Research, Approach, Write

Best Practices in Junior and Associate Boards

Digging Deeper into Digital Marketing for Mission Impact

Axelson Access Event: Nonprofits and the Future of Chicago

Understanding Full Costs of Programs

Fundraising 101

Honest Conversations About Leading

Storytelling for Nonprofit Leaders: Connecting the Personal to the Professional

Understanding Your Form 990

You may register for more than one workshop in a single transaction. To pay by check, complete this registration form. Please make your check payable to North Park University and mail to:

Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management
3225 W Foster Ave, Box 4
Chicago, IL 60625

Please note: Day-of registration is not permitted.

Event Locations

Most workshops take place on North Park University’s campus, located near West Foster and North Kedzie Avenues in Chicago, unless otherwise noted. Specific session location information for each workshop is sent via email to registrants.

Workshop Fees

The following fees apply for workshops unless otherwise stated:

  • Half-Day Workshops: $90 (includes beverages and course materials)

20% Discount available for in-person workshops

  • Forefront (formally known as Donors Forum) associates: individuals who are employed or volunteer with a tax-exempt organization; Independent consultants, consulting firms and grant making organizations are ineligible for this discount.
  • Individuals from tax-exempt organizations with an annual operating budget less than $1 million
  • Current undergraduate and graduate students from any college or university
  • Individuals with 5 years or less experience in the nonprofit sector

Payment Options

All workshop registration will be processed online through the Axelson Center’s NeonCRM system. Payments will be processed through PayPal and appear on your statement as PAYPAL* NPU AXELSON or Paypal*NPU Axelson.

Registrations using check payments cannot be indicated online at this time. Please complete the Axelson Center’s Manual Registration Form (a fillable PDF) and return to the Axelson Center via mail or e-mail to register by check. Checks should be made payable to North Park University.

Cancellation Policy

(Last updated 7/31/14)

The Axelson Center reserves the right to cancel any workshop. Should the Axelson Center cancel, registrants will receive a full refund.

Registrants choosing to cancel their workshop registration will receive a refund minus a $15 administrative fee. Notice of cancellation must be received by the Axelson Center at least five working days prior to the workshop. We regret that no refunds can be made after that date under any circumstances. Registration payments may not be transferred to a different event.


Contact the Axelson Center via email or at (773) 244-6284.