Professional Development


Workshops, Virtual Trainings, and Webinars

Upcoming Workshops and Webinars

The Axelson Center offers workshops, virtual trainings and webinars, 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, or an executive director at an education-based nonprofit, the Axelson Center’s workshops, virtual trainings and webinars will re-energize you and prepare you to meet the nonprofit management challenges ahead of you.

Our programs are rooted in the Axelson Center’s seven Hallmarks of Nonprofit Managerial Excellence℠ —the essential elements of a successful nonprofit organization. When implemented, the Hallmarks will help move an organization forward on the path of mission fulfillment and better position it for long-term sustainability.

To receive the latest information about workshops, virtual trainings and webinars via email, subscribe here. Information about registration rates, payment options, and our cancellation policy can be found at the end of the page.

Planning To Plan—What You Need To Do To Prepare for Your Strategic Planning Efforts

Before you start your organization’s strategic planning process, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve answered a few critical questions that will make your planning process smoother and more robust. In this session, we’ll focus on how to prepare for your strategic planning process and how you can set yourself up for success.

Presenter: Shailushi Ritchie, Sevah Consulting

March 15, 2023

10:00–11:30 a.m.



Design Tools for Strategic Planning

Learn and experiment with different design-based tools and see how they can contribute to a more effective and generative strategic planning process.

Presenter: Jennifer R. Madden, PhD  Dean, School of Business at Linfield University,  President, Leverage Point Development

March 22, 2023

10:00–11:30 a.m.



Listening for Strategic Planning

Your stakeholders are an important part of your work, but how can you include the feedback of others in your strategic plan without losing sight of your mission? In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn what your organization can gain from listening to others during your planning and methods for integrating it into your process.

Presenter: Emily Taylor, the Principal of teenyBIG

April 12, 2023

10:00–11:30 a.m.



Implementing Your Strategic Plan

You may feel accomplished when the strategic plan is done, but the real work begins with implementation. How you activate your organization’s strategy is as important as having a strategy.

Presenter: Rena Henderson Mason, Bold Agenda

April 19, 2023

10:00–11:30 a.m.



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.

Fall 2022

Accounting for Equity

Preparing for Your Year-End Audit

Spring 2022

Ten Trends in the Economy Impacting Nonprofits

Building a Stronger Board:

  • Series Overview
  • Board Versus Management Responsibilities
  • Building a Stronger Board: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Board
  • 6 Things to Boost Your Board’s Performance
  • Fundraising
  • Carrying on in a Crisis

Attracting and Retaining Talent During the Great Resignation
Nonprofit Business Models
Growing Relationships Online with Content and Storytelling
Axelson Access: Fundraising and Equity: What Needs to Change?

Fall 2021

Fundraising Strategy

Creating Well Crafted Appeals and Engaging Your Annual Fund Donors

Growing Your Digital Fundraising Audience

Rethinking Nonprofit Events Post-Pandemic

Evidence-based Grantwriting

Building Bridges Across Generations and Cultures: Women in Leadership

Budgeting and True Costs

Spring 2021

Managing Change and Motivation: A Three-Part Series for Seasoned Executive Directors

Is Your Job Search Plan Pandemic Proof: Navigating Today’s Job Market

Career Mapping in Uncertain Times

The State of Nonprofits 2021

Fall 2020

Leading Through Joy!

Digital Branding 101

Is Your Nonprofit Grant and Fundraising-Ready?

From Moments to Movements: Racial Justice for Nonprofits

Strengthen Your Core: Essential Practices for Small Nonprofits

Summer 2020 and prior

Self-Care for Nonprofit Leaders

The Essentials of Major Gifts: Trends, Prospecting, Planning and Solicitation

Activate Your Strengths, Elevate Your Organization

Optimizing the Three T’s of Your Governing Board: Time, Talent and Treasure

Equity and Governance: Rethinking Best Practices

How to Use Your Newsletter to Strengthen Relationships (Free)

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


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