The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Workshops offered to help nonprofit professionals in Eau Claire

UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education is offering a nonprofit leadership certificate series, starting January of 2010. The series is meant to help nonprofit professionals in the Eau Claire area increase their competency and “take (their) nonprofit from surviving to thriving,” according to the series brochure. The series will include workshops once a month from January until June, and participants can sign up for as many of the workshops as they wish.

“We’ve got some incredible, incredible instructors that are signed up to work with us,” said outreach specialist Nikki Andrews. “. It’s going to give (participants) the opportunity to learn even more about the job that they’re doing.”

Andrews said nonprofit organizations are an important sector of the community that is often overlooked.

“I think as funding for government-type programs and other sort of state programs is diminishing, nonprofits are often picking up where those have left off,” she said. “. They are often filling the gaps that we need right now, especially.”

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The idea for the leadership certificate series came about in response to focus groups held with people around the community, Andrews said. People were asked what they needed from Eau Claire in terms of continuing education.

“One of the themes that came out,” she said, “was nonprofits were saying, ‘We need professional development because we’re tired of going either to Minneapolis (and) St. Paul or east to . Madison and Milwaukee.'”

There will be six workshops offered, each taking place on a Tuesday, according to the Continuing Education Web site. The sessions will last six hours, with an hour lunch break in the middle.

Half of the instructors who will be teaching the workshops are from the Eau Claire area, and the other half are from elsewhere, Andrews said.

“One of the things that the nonprofit professionals told us they wanted,” she said, “was they . wanted to make resources we had here, but they also wanted to broaden a little bit and reach out into the greater nonprofit community.”

Continuing Education was awarded a grant for this project through the Otto Bremer Foundation, a foundation Andrews had worked with in the past.

“They’ve always been really easy to work with,” she said, “and they’ve always seen sort of the bigger picture, in terms of giving organizations something to kind of make a really big impact on the community – so not just funding individual projects, but funding bigger than that.”

The grant has also provided the opportunity to offer partial scholarships to about half the people who will attend the series, Andrews said, and she’s searching for ways to provide more.

Without a scholarship, one workshop will cost $99, or it will be $570 for the entire series, according to the Web site. Scholarship applications are due Dec. 1.

The leadership certificate series will help nonprofit professionals take their organizations to the next level, Andrews said.

“My intention is that they will . grow in many different ways.”

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Workshops offered to help nonprofit professionals in Eau Claire