Nonprofit professionals at a custom training session.

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.


Ten Trends in the Economy Impacting Nonprofits

In our Axelson Access sessions, experts engage the big questions that inform and structure your work as a nonprofit leader. This session offers an opportunity to address questions you have about our current economic landscape and what it means for the nonprofit sector in 2022. Join us to engage questions like: What does inflation mean for your organization’s financial strategy? What are the larger trends within the “Great Resignation”? How might supply chain disruptions impact your business model?


Presented by Paul Hawkinson, Associate Professor of Finance & Strategy, North Park University

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

12 – 1:00 pm




Building a Stronger Board: Series Overview

In this session, learn about the role and responsibilities of nonprofit boards. At the end of the overview, presenters from each of the topic-specific workshops that follow will give a brief introduction to their session.


Presented by Suzanne Griffith, Founder and Managing Principal, VEGA Partners LLC

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm




Building a Stronger Board: Board Versus Management Responsibilities

The board of directors and the chief executive of a nonprofit share leadership of the organization. This diffuse leadership structure builds accountability and sustainability into the leadership model of nonprofits, but sometimes these roles overlap. In this session, we’ll explore the lines of responsibility between CEO and board and provide insights on maintaining a healthy balance. 


Presented by Rob Acton, Founder & CEO, Cause Strategy Partners, BoardLead, and BoardLearn Partners LLC

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm



Building a Stronger Board: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Board

This workshop will explore the value and importance of recruiting and retaining a diverse group of board of directors. Attendees will leave with a rough sketch of a recruitment plan for new board members.  


Presented by Janine HillPhD, MPH, ACC, President of Soar Strategies

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm



Building a Stronger Board: 6 Things to Boost Your Board’s Performance

Most boards are mediocre, many others are failing the organization and its mission completely. It shouldn’t be that way. There are several high-impact strategies that nonprofit executives and board leaders can immediately deploy to boost the performance–and overall impact–of their board of directors.


Presented by Robert B. Acton, JD; Founder & CEO, Cause Strategy Partners, BoardLead, and BoardLearn

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm



Building a Stronger Board: Fundraising

In this session we will discuss how to engage your board in fundraising, establishing expectations of your board and creating accountability.


Presented by Anedra Kerr, Senior Consulting Associate at Morten Group

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm



Building a Stronger Board: Carrying on in a Crisis

Crises are moments when nonprofit organizations need their boards to step up and show up more than ever. This session will examine how boards can show up during a crisis to help a nonprofit organization navigate to smoother waters. It’ll cover both proactive and reactive strategies for crises nonprofits may face.  


Presented by Laura Zumdahl Ph.D, President and CEO of New Moms

Link to Registration Page

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

12 – 1:30 pm


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 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.

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