Nonprofit Learning Cohorts

NAO’s nonprofit learning cohorts are a collaborative approach to capacity building. Small groups of nonprofit leaders will convene around specific shared learning opportunities to discuss mutual issues, learn from the challenges and solutions of their peers, and problem solve together. Each series will be facilitated by a content expert who will guide the cohort, frame each session, and offer tools and resources.

NAO offers two types of cohort learning opportunities: regular and intensive. Regular cohorts meet virtually once a week over the course of five weeks, typically for an hour and 15 minutes per session. Intensive cohorts meet virtually once a week over the course of eight weeks, typically for an hour and 15 minutes per session. Both cohort opportunities provide for rich peer learning and practical and actionable tools and, additionally, the intensive cohorts include additional coaching outside of “classroom” hours and more extensive resources.

Series have limited space per cohort so register now to reserve your spot! 

Regular Five Weekly Sessions via Zoom
$125 for NAO Members
$175 for Non-Members

Intensive Eight Weekly Sessions via Zoom
$240 for NAO Members
$315 for Non-Members

Upcoming Learning Cohorts

Building a Robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan (Regular)

Begins Oct. 20, 2021 ⁠– Details and registration here.

Join a cohort of nonprofit practitioners to ideate, collaborate, and start an organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan. Nonprofit leaders at every level are often tasked with creating and implementing DEI strategies. In this series, participants will design community-centered strategies for the community they serve. Cohort participants may choose to design their own organizational strategic plan or support the development of a peer’s strategic plan.

If you have questions or trouble registering contact training@nonprofitoregon.org.

Prior Learning Cohorts

Below are NAO nonprofit learning cohorts that have either began or completed for the year. Registration for these cohorts is now closed. To be notified of upcoming cohorts, sign up for NAO eNews.

Planning During Change

Began January 25, 2021 - Registration is closed

A five-session interactive series for creating a practical plan to guide your nonprofit through crisis response. Cohort leader Jess Hampton, NAO’s Learning Program Manager will guide participants through the use of "Planning During Change: A Toolkit for Nonprofits," a NAO toolkit specifically designed for short-term planning.

Grantwriting Fundamentals

Began February 3, 2021 - Registration is closed

This five-session interactive series embarks on a unique journey and learning experience into the world of grantwriting. Explore the big picture of writing grants in current times and discuss the detailed nuances of the proposal writing process with grant expert Allison Shirk of Spark the Fire Grantwriting.

Organizational Resilience

Began February 16, 2021 - Registration is closed

This five-session interactive series will help you to establish a more resilient organization through these challenging times. Discover, assess, and apply tools to build or enhance resilience during change that results in a stronger and more sustainable organization.  Led by Corky McReynolds, PhD, CPF. Principal, LeadTeam Consulting.

Fundraising Through Uncertainty

Began March 1, 2021 - Registration is closed

Learn tried-and-true methods for achieving your fundraising goals this year in our time of uncertainty and strengthen your development program for the future. Presented by fundraising expert Laurel McCombs, Senior Philanthropy Advisor of The Osborne Group, this cohort includes introductory presentations, facilitated discussions, participant reflection and action.

Effective Board Management for Small Nonprofits

Began March 18, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

This five-part series builds on the lessons from the Becoming a Great Board Member webinar to include tools for effective board management. Join a cohort of nonprofit leaders to learn about board management best practices while gaining insight from each other’s challenges and solutions, and problem solving together. This cohort is for new and potential board members who want to understand the fundamentals of board service, seasoned board members looking to increase their board’s effectiveness, and staff and volunteers who support the board.

Nonprofit Leader as Coach: How to Build and Support Strong Teams

Began April 9, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

This five-session interactive series will provide you with coaching tools and frameworks, while allowing you practice these with your peers, using real-life challenges that you are facing, working with an experienced executive and leadership coach. Each session will tap into some of the brain-science behind creating supportive working environments. Participants will receive tools and templates that they can use themselves as well as share with their teams.  The sessions are designed to be applicable within the remote working environment as well as translate to a return to the workplace context.

Creating a Strong Volunteer Program for Small, Rural Nonprofits

Began April 12, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

Are you a small, rural nonprofit that utilizes volunteers but doesn’t have a robust system for recruitment and retention? Are you struggling to adapt your volunteer program to meet the challenges of the virtual world we’re living in? Join a group of your peers for this five-session interactive series that will help you create a strong volunteer program that provides a framework for organizational success and benchmarks for volunteer engagement and satisfaction.

Building a Robust Financial Strategy: Cohort Group for Nonprofit Executive Directors

Began April 29, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

Are you an executive director wrestling with the financial implications of a year of great uncertainty? Then this discussion-oriented cohort group is for you. Join a group of your peers for this five-session interactive series that will help you determine how to formulate a financial strategy that works for your organization. The cohort leader will guide participants through discussions on major financial challenges using a framework presented in an NAO-hosted webinar. We’ll look at how to define and gauge financial performance, address business model challenges, right-size your staff and programs, invest in the people who drive your organization’s success and enhance your financial leadership role. Participants will be encouraged to share evolving ideas and experience and can expect to further their peer networks with nonprofit leaders from around the state. 

Grantwriting Fundamentals

Began May 5, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

Join a group of your peers for this five-session interactive series and embark on a unique  journey and learning experience into the world of grantwriting. Explore the big picture of writing grants in current times and discuss the detailed nuances of the proposal writing process. Discover resources for finding grant opportunities. Develop strategies for gaining visibility and building relationships with grantmakers. And finally, discover what makes the difference between a good proposal and a great one. This webinar series is targeted to both beginning grantwriters and those who seek to advance their success, as each session begins with a basic framework and builds in complexity through discussion and discovery. The learning cohort is interactive and learner-centric with hands-on activities and resources for ongoing learning.  

Effective Board Management for Small Nonprofits (Intensive)

Began September 22, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

Join a cohort of nonprofit leaders to learn about board management best practices while gaining insight from each other’s challenges and solutions, and problem solving together. This cohort is for new and potential board members who want to understand the fundamentals of board service, seasoned board members looking to increase their board’s effectiveness, and staff and volunteers who support the board. Each session will include a facilitated training component as well as discussion-based peer learning opportunities. Additionally, each session will have accompanying practical tools and resources to strengthen your work.  

Grantwriting for Results (Intensive)

Began September 22, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

This expanded series is an advanced learning cohort in grantwriting and grants management through a combination of online study and weekly zoom meetings for problem-based and case-based discussion. The online portion of the course is interactive and on-demand, providing reading, research, quizzes, videos, and writing assignments to help you write a grant proposal step-by-step. By the end of the course, you will have completed a grant proposal with your instructor’s individualized, guided assistance and peer review. The course will also teach you where to find grants, how to write grant reports, ethics, and how to build relationships with grantmakers so that you have all the information you need to write and manage grants successfully. Participants who complete the grant proposal will receive a digital badge and electronic Certificate in Grantwriting from Spark the Fire Grantwriting Classes. Participants should expect to dedicate 3 hours per week of study, discussion, and writing. 

Growing Future Leaders: Creating a Path and Thinking Ahead (Regular)

Began October 1, 2021 ⁠– Registration is closed

Join this cohort of peers to learn about nonprofit best practices while gaining insight from each other’s challenges and solutions, and problem solving together. This five-part series is geared for nonprofit staff and board members who are strategizing creative ways to strengthen succession and leadership planning among the changing landscape we find ourselves in. We know that our organizations are changing and adapting at a fast clip and these sessions will help to build understanding of ourselves, and how we work, and develop skills and tools that will respond to the need for more effective succession planning. 

Stay Connected

Want to be the first to be notified on upcoming training events? Join our mailing list! For a complete listing of upcoming nonprofit trainings visit our event calendar.

Questions? E-mail training@nonprofitoregon.org or call 503-239-4001, ext. 123