2023 virtual

institute for trustees

Presented by Essex County Community Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, SouthCoast Community Foundation and The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

The annual Institute for Trustees (IFT) brings nearly 1,000 nonprofit leaders together for six weeks of educational workshops led by experts in the sector.

This spring, attendees are invited to participate in the IFT Kickoff and Keynote Session, 18 different educational workshops and a series of topic-driven, informal peer discussions. The event will be delivered completely virtually, providing attendees with both flexibility and value. Attendees can participate in as many live or recorded sessions as they’d like.

IFT 2023 Keynote Speaker

March 28, 2022 | 12PM – 1:30PM
Rachel Hatch
Chief Operating Officer | Institute for the Future

about rachel

As COO, Rachel returns to IFTF after five years of work in philanthropy, where she was selected for Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways program. While working at a private philanthropic foundation, she led community vitality grantmaking and grant-seeking efforts, engaging in public-private partnerships to garner place-based investments from California’s Strategic Growth Council, Caltrans, Housing and Community Development, and the California Energy Commission; as well as New Markets Tax Credit funding from CDFIs and CDEs.

Previously, Rachel served on IFTF’s leadership team and was a research director, working with a wide range of corporate, government, philanthropic, and nonprofit clients. She is the author of Museum 2040: Citizen Artists & the New Economy (American Alliance of Museums), co-author of Hack Your Way to a Better Future (Forbes), and a featured speaker for “Forecasting Four Alternative Futures for California,” hosted by the California Research Bureau. As is fitting, her first research project at IFTF, in 2008, was The Future of Giving, a ten-year forecast about philanthropy.

Rachel serves on the board of directors for California Humanities and holds masters degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Yale Divinity School.

keynote session

Resilience and Transformation: The Future of Philanthropy

Join us on Zoom for a welcome message from the participating community foundations followed by the 2023 IFT keynote presentation delivered by Rachel Hatch, Chief Operating Officer at the Institute for the Future. Most people are familiar with nonprofit organizations such as the local food pantry, housing organization or favorite animal shelter. What most people do not realize is the size and scope of our sector and the impact on employment, the economy, healthcare and beyond. According to Candid/Guidestar, there are approximately 1.8 million nonprofits registered with the IRS and more than 23,000 in Massachusetts alone. The pandemic demonstrated the resilience, adaptability, innovation, and most importantly crucial role of nonprofits in our communities. But the pandemic has also shown a new world of how we collaborate with one another, with government, and non-traditional partners as well as how things have fundamentally changed as we look to a post-COVID world. Join Rachel for a discussion around the ways in which nonprofits and philanthropy will need to evolve to address the biggest shifts facing our sector in the coming decades: from a changing climate to the changing world of work & more. We will also hear from local leaders from across our region for a lively dialogue highlighting specific examples in our sector of innovation, adaptability and resilience.


The 2023 IFT is now underway and closed for new registrations. Board members who are part of an already-purchased full board registration can sign up for sessions here.


virtual workshop sessions

Advancing Inclusion in the Nonprofit Workplace | March 29


Speakers: Jenora Ledbetter, The Self Care Network LLC & Sharon Danosky, Danosky & Associates

We define inclusion as the process of creating environments where any and all voices are welcomed, heard, and respected. This seminar will delve deeply into what it means to offer an inclusive space where all contributing voices are heard, embraced and acknowledged. For nonprofits, this means integrating policies and igniting change from the staff and volunteers all the way up through the executive board, which is often easier said than done. To say that your organization “celebrates diversity” and “values equity” and to truly work towards restructuring your policies and practices to foster a safe and productive space for all voices are two very different things. Sharon Danosky and Jenora Ledbetter will lead you through some ways to recognize your own implicit bias, describe the importance of integrating DEI practices into your organization’s values and operations, and how to effectively recruit and maintain staff and board members that can more accurately speak to the experiences of the people you serve. This course will offer insight on how to follow through with your promises to value DEI, and give you the tools you need to have those difficult conversations that will open the door to a more inclusive future.

Creating Strategic Fundraising Plans | March 30

12PM – 1:30PM

Speakers: Sarah Jackson & Corey Jackson, Sarah J Consulting

In this workshop, you will learn concrete approaches to building and/or boosting your nonprofit’s fundraising plan to support your organization’s strategic objectives. Whether your nonprofit achieves revenue goals consistently or is unsure where to begin, Sarah M. Jackson, CFRE, and Corey Jackson, CFRE, will offer tips and tools to make sure that your strategy and fundraising align through an effective fundraising plan: an action-oriented yet flexible roadmap for moving your philanthropy-focused work forward in a mission driven way.

Dimensions of Diversity | April 3

12PM – 1:30PM

Speakers: Saleha Walsh & Shavon Andrews, Insource Services, Inc.

The world we live in is a composite of many cultures, values, and ways of interacting with one another. Dimensions of Diversity can include gender, religious beliefs, race, marital status, ethnicity, parental status, age, education, physical and mental ability, income, sexual orientation, occupation, language, geographic location, and many other components. This session is based on a model to help people understand how group-based differences contribute to people’s social identities. These dimensions of diversity are essential in people’s lives and influence interaction styles and experiences. This workshop is designed to increase our cultural competence and understanding of these diversity factors, facilitate bridge-building, encourage understanding, and provide opportunities to expand our understanding of diversity, inclusion, and equity in our work with and across organizations.

The Role of Organizational Agility in Nonprofit Organizations | April 11

9AM – 10:30AM

Speaker: Dr. John D. Lloyd, Agile Consulting Group, LLC

In today’s world, continuous change is the rule rather than the exception. Leaders need to understand the driving forces of change (e.g. politics/elections, economy, social impact funding, workforce/virtual work environment). These varied forces of change have contributed to a growing interest in organizational agility for both practitioners and researchers. While organizational agility has been, and continues to be, primarily associated with for-profits, this training will provide a framework for how nonprofits can incorporate organizational agility into their strategic management philosophy.

Governance and Coming to Consensus: Choosing dignity and respect to address contentious issues | April 11


Speaker: Leslie Ford, LGF Advanced Coach

NBC/Wall Street Journal poll 2018: 8 out of 10 (80 percent) of respondents feel the country is mainly or totally divided. This crosses party lines, and cuts across rural, suburban, and urban populations. In a recent study entitled “Ideologues Without Issues: The Polarizing Consequences of Ideological Identities,” University of Maryland professor Lilliana Mason distinguished between two separate aspects of political ideology — “issue-based” (defined by what one believes about the issues) and “identity-based” (defined by one’s social identity of party affiliation).3 The finding was that we are more strongly influenced for social distance and negative emotional response by how we identify ourselves politically than where we actually stand on the issues. The tendency in our country toward division and a culture of argument soaks in to our public lives and decision making. Nonprofit board members benefit from addressing issues that support productive conversation and decision making for their organization.


  • Stage of Nonprofit development
  • Current functioning level of the Board/organization
  • Individual talent, strength and contribution of each board member
  • Focus on the vision of the organization and the “One Important Thing”
  • Emotional Intelligence skills
  • Engaging in a positive process of discernment
Post-Covid Financial Lessons Learned and Moving Forward in an Unpredictable Environment | April 24

12PM – 1:30PM

Speakers: Susan Nelson & Norah McVeigh, TDC

Are you wrestling with how to think about long term financial health as we emerge from Covid?  This workshop is meant for you.  We will look at what to consider in creating a muti-year forecast. We will look at the impact of a changing workforce as well as the impact of inflation. We will consider how to think about predicting different types of revenues.  Finally, we will discuss the power of creating and using scenario planning to move forward in an unpredictable environment.  Case studies will be used to illustrate these ideas.  There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Capital Campaigns 101 | April 25

12PM – 1:30PM

Speaker: Rachel Keir, CCS Fundraising

The joke goes that most nonprofits are either in a capital campaign, just finished with one, or planning for the next one. No matter where your organization is in the process, there are benefits from consulting experts on next steps and strategies to maximize philanthropy for your highest priorities. Whether constructing a new building, paying off debt, growing your endowment, or expanding program capacity, capital campaigns are complex endeavors that often stretch staff, board members, and volunteers in new and challenging ways. This session provides perspectives on the key elements to successful capital campaigns (staffing, budgets, marketing, recognition, volunteer and board engagement, and so much more)

Board Meeting Facilitation for Engagement | April 26

9AM – 10:30AM

Speaker: Nanette Fridman, Fridman Strategies

Do your board meetings activate your board members? Come learn what should happen before, during and after the meeting to optimize engagement. We will discuss different types of agendas and learn some facilitation techniques for more robust and engaged conversations. Together we will talk about important considerations with in-person, online and hybrid meetings. This session will include time for you to consider how to optimize and energize your next meeting!

How to Be a Great Board Member - You’ve Chosen to Give Your Time to a Nonprofit; Enjoy It! | April 26

12PM – 1:30PM

Speaker: Kristen Tierney, The Tierney Development Group

You’ve chosen to give your time and talents to a nonprofit. How to ensure your investment of time and work is helping the nonprofit better serve its community and that you are fulfilled? You hold a valuable seat at the table and play a critical role in the success of your nonprofit. I’ll share the one thing I consistently see with every inactive or frustrated Board, Board member, or Executive Director and the simple proven fix and how to avoid it. ‘I can’t get my Board to engage or work; they only come to meetings and then disappear; they only want to get into the operations; what can I do? I need X, Y, Z.’ Executive Directors and Board members will learn: how and what Board members want when they join a Board; how to engage Board members in those areas; how to identify what an organization needs before adding Board members; and, will leave knowing what is necessary to create a strong and satisfied and effective Board and a thriving nonprofit. Attendees will leave this talk with a deep understanding of the value and critical roles of both the governance (Board) and operational (staff/program delivery) arms of your nonprofit and how to seamlessly and effectively work together to create a strong nonprofit and valuable community impacts.

Preventing Nonprofit Burnout Starts at the Top: A Roadmap for Using Your Leadership to Support Your Professional Team | April 27


Speaker: Faun Zarge, Employee Burnout & Resilience Specialist

The challenges of the past few years have been extraordinary, for each of us personally, and for the teams and organizations we lead. As nonprofit leaders, it is critically important that we understand how to intentionally prevent burnout and create a culture where employees can thrive. This interactive workshop will provide tools to use at an individual and organizational level, including a roadmap for supporting your team in an ever-changing work environment.

You will learn:

  • Key strategies for addressing common, yet often overlooked, contributors to employee burnout
  • How to approach burnout as a shared responsibility between employee and employer
  • Realistic ways to recharge and stay energized—and how to model this for your team
  • How to identify and support a struggling colleague
  • Best practices for setting boundaries that will sustain the long-term health of your team and organization
Community Engagement in the Arts: Voice and Intentionality | April 27

12PM – 1:30PM

Speaker: Rosario Ubiera Minaya, RAW Artworks

Art and culture build community. Culture generates social capital and strengthens a community’s character. Art brings people together physically and culturally through its capacity to tell a community’s shared story, give voice to inspire reflection, change narratives, and form connections that transcend differences. Art has the power to empower and spark change.  

Bringing people together is central to our work as leaders in our fields as we build our local ecosystems. This session will provide a perspective on community engagement practice through the lens of a community leader focused on using art as a tool for civic and cultural engagement to empower marginalized communities of color and overcome systemic divides. 

Rosario Ubiera-Minaya will share her unique approaches to community engagement, including different voices and sensibilities, and how her identity journey has informed her practice. 

Nonprofit Funds: Partnering with your local community foundation to invest in a stronger future | May 1

12PM – 1:30PM

Speakers: Stacey Landry and Jennifer Mayo, Essex County Community Foundation, Kara Mikulich, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Joanna Ballantine, The Community Foundation of Western MA, Tricia Grime, SouthCoast Community Foundation

Join us to learn how partnering with your local community foundation to establish a Nonprofit Fund can help your organization plan for and invest in a sustainable future. Do you want access to a professionally managed investment portfolio for a low cost? Do you want to start building an endowment but need a partner who can offer structure and add to the investment knowledge on your board? Whether your goal is to establish a rainy-day fund or to eliminate the administrative aspects associated with your current endowment, a Nonprofit Fund offers your organization access to professionally managed investment pools curated specifically for charitable funds. And by partnering with a community foundation, you’re joining a local nonprofit organization with deep roots in your region, a wealth of financial expertise and a commitment to building a more equitable community for all of us.

Build a Board of Fundraising Champions | May 2


Speaker: Megan Amundson, Megan Amundson Consulting

Every nonprofit organization wants a board that fundraises. But getting a board to fundraise takes investment. Even when your board members are willing, creating a board fundraising program and supporting your board members in their fundraising may still be overwhelming. But you don’t have to recreate the wheel. This webinar will provide tips and ideas for structuring how staff engage, train, coach, and support board members to take their organization’s fundraising to the next level. Presenter Megan Amundson will share models and tools to help participants create a board fundraising program.

How Advocacy Accelerates Your Mission | May 8

12PM – 1:30PM

Speaker: Rick Jakious, Chief of Staff for Seth Moulton

Effective policy advocacy and lobbying can be a game changer for your nonprofit and the people it serves. Break through the myths, confusions and stereotypes to become an effective advocate.

Connecting the Dots of Strategic Planning, Governance, and Fundraising | May 9

9AM – 10:30AM

Speaker: Steve Filosa, To the Good

Connecting the Dots of Strategic Planning, Governance, and Fundraising Are you hoping to launch or gain more traction for an access program at your organization? Trying to lobby internal and external parties to more fully embrace and support your work? Finding yourself stuck, without leadership from your board and chief executive or lacking the financial resources to more fully live your mission? Come to this interactive workshop for a discussion about how to build support by examining the connected dots of strategic planning, governance, and fundraising. Steve Filosa will lead the discussion, sharing stories about founding and leading Prep@Pingree at Pingree School for two decades and now advising a portfolio of donors and nonprofits through To the Good (www.tothegood.net). He will be joined by a funder who will offer their own perspectives on what they seek when making philanthropic investments. Come ready to share your own ideas, what you are grappling with in your own organizations, and hear from your peers about their challenges and successes. Participants should leave better equipped to engage with their colleagues, Boards, and funders. All levels welcome, especially startups and young organizations.

Developing Critical Consciousness in Youth and Organizations Through Creativity | May 9


Speakers: Marquis Victor, Elevated Thought

At Elevated Thought (ET), creativity and critical consciousness helps frame the work and organization structure with a human centric approach. The foundational elements of creativity and critical consciousness allows for healthy reflection, evolution and nurture of ET’s goals and mission. Join ET’s Founder / Executive Director, Marquis Victor, for a conversation around what this looks like in action at ET and what it can look like for your organization.

Succession Planning: Good Endings Lead to Good Beginnings | May 10

12PM – 1:30PM

Speakers: Carlyn Madden, Good Insight & Bob Wittig, Nonprofit Coach and Consultant

Executive transitions are an inevitable milestone for every nonprofit; however, most organizations report feeling under prepared for the transition. In fact, just 1 in 4 nonprofit boards have a written succession plan to guide the process. The longer the tenure of the departing executive, the more complex the transition ahead. A succession plan helps key stakeholders, including board, staff, and community partners, navigate uncertainty surrounding the transition. A comprehensive succession plan gives directives in the case of emergency departures, as well as opens the door to thoughtful and strategic discussions about the organization’s future.

Are there different skills and attributes for the next leader to achieve our goals? Is the business model overly dependent on the exiting executive’s fundraising relationships? Are adjustments to strategic direction warranted? Succession planning is not just about preparing the organization, executive, board, and staff, but ultimately how successfully the nonprofit can welcome in their next executive. Preparation at the beginning will improve the end result and help prepare for the successor. This workshop will provide an overview of how to assess the viability for an eventual transition by examining organizational development, personal readiness, and the board’s key tasks in the process. Discussions will center on both short- and long-term planning needs and the board’s leadership role in the process. Participants will have access to readings, checklists, and templates to get their process started.

A Culture of Philanthropy - An Idea Whose Time Has Come | May 15


Speaker: Laurie Herrick, Rainmaker Consulting

Ideas are most powerful when you make them a reality. The idea of a Culture of Philanthropy has been around for years. Fundraisers, Executives and Board Members have sought it. But how do you actually make it a reality? For the last 25 years, author Laurie Herrick has studied and taken apart the concept and has documented organizational fundraising breakthroughs in her newly released book, Choose Abundance: Powerful Fundraising for Nonprofits – A Culture of Philanthropy. Going beyond the typical training of behaviors or systems that support fundraising, this body of work examines the degree to which culture influences fundraising success. In this highly interactive workshop, Laurie will teach participants about a Culture of Philanthropy: · What is it? · What is commonly blocking it/how do we break down barriers? · What is involved in building and implementing a Culture of Philanthropy plan? Building a Culture of Philanthropy is not a one-person-job. Studies have overwhelmingly shown that development staff, executive leaders and board members are the winning formula for an organization wide Culture of Philanthropy. We strongly encourage teams consisting of executive leaders, board members and development professionals to attend this workshop together!

the IFT is generously supported by ECCF’s Corporate Partners

Sponsorship inquiries can be sent to l.vanalen@eccf.org

get in touch

Rebecca Turner
IFT Consultant

thank you IFT partners!

Brace Cove Foundation
John and Mollie Byrnes
Amelia Peabody Foundation
Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation
Edwin S. Webster Foundation
ECCF Trustees

community voices

“I am grateful for the opportunity to improve and strengthen my knowledge in nonprofit management and governance. I do not know where else I could go and find such a range of opportunities!”

– 2019 Institute for Trustees attendee

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