Paul Clarke and Indiana United Ways Leadership Series



Indiana United Ways is pleased to be able to partner with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and the United Way of Allen County to continue to bring the Paul Clarke Leadership Series to the Greater Fort Wayne Area.  


Who should attend this series?  Anyone in nonprofit, but particularly board members and potential board members

How do I get the most out of this series?  Attend every session yourself because you will find that the learning builds on what came before and prepares you for what is to come.

What is the cost?  Sessions are $35 each. NEW this year: if you sign up for the Series Option, the cost is $275, a savings of $40. If you sign up for the Series Option, we ask that you appoint one contact person who will confirm attendance at least 5 days in advance of the session so that we can make proper arrangements for food and handouts. Major credit cards and Paypal are accepted through the online registration system (scroll to the registration buttons).

Where do the sessions take place?  All sessions take place at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne

What are the dates and times? All sessions begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., with doors opening at 8:30 a.m for networking.  We recommend you arrive at least 10 minutes early to check in, get coffee, and to get a good seat.  Sessions conclude at 11:30 a.m., an additional 30 minutes of content compared to last year.

Dates are as follows:

·       February 7: Board 101

·       March 7: Board Dynamics and Culture

·       April 4: Financial Obligations & Legal Responsibilities

·       May 2: Board vs. Staff: Whose Job Is It?

·       June 6: Implementing & Reviewing Your Strategic Plan

·       August 1: Data Security

·       September 5: Telling Your Story – Making the Case for Donor Support, In-Person and with Social Media

·       October 10: Board’s Role in Fundraising – How to Make the “Ask” & How to Bounce Back after Hearing “NO”

·       November 7: Donor Insights

How can I learn more about the topics and presenters?  Please see session descriptions and presenter information here.

I have registration questions or need help.  Whom do I contact?  Please contact IUW Training Associate Bea Northcott at or call 317-441-5295 (office direct) for registration questions.  For questions about The Community Foundation Greater Fort Wayne, please contact Christine Meek, Director of Community Impact, at or 260-426-4083.

See our FAQs page for more answers

How do I use this online registration system?   This system functions just like an online shopping cart for your favorite store: make your selection(s) and load your cart.  To "check out," you'll go to your cart (there will be a yellow square that says "cart" in the upper right hand corner of your screen) and follow the prompts to pay.  When you've completed the transaction, you'll get a confirmation email  Note that if you select the "Series Package Option" (meaning purchasing all the sessions in a series at one time), you will fill out your registration form as part of your check-out process.  If you want to purchase one or some of the sessions, you will complete and submit your registration form in order to get the link to load your shopping cart.  If you run into problems or just want someone to help walk you through the steps, give us a call at 317-441-5295!


Melanie Norton, Founder and Philanthropic Consultant, Norton Philanthropic Counsel

Melanie Norton, Founder and Philanthropic Consultant, Norton Philanthropic Counsel

February 7 - BOARD 101                                      

presented by mELANIE NORTON, CFRE, MBA   

Join us for an overview of the important roles, responsibilities, and legal obligations associated with being a board member! Come with questions and leave with more confidence to best serve your organization. 

About Melanie                                                                                                            

Melanie is passionate about philanthropy and the success of individuals and organizations that enhance the world in which we live. Her unique and broad-based background blends for-profit and not-for-profit experience in both business and fundraising. This specialized lens provides for a deep and comprehensive understanding of traditional business practice and allows her a creative, intentional and outcomes-focused perspective. Prior to starting NPC, Melanie worked in development and alumni engagement at DePauw University and Franklin College, as a consultant with Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates, and in the Retail and Trust & Investment Advisors divisions of Fifth Third Bank. 

Susan Decker, Senior Governance Consultant, BoardSource and Director of the Master of Leadership Development, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

Susan Decker, Senior Governance Consultant, BoardSource and Director of the Master of Leadership Development, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

March 7 - Board Dynamics and Culture                   

Presented by Susan Decker    

Learn how to create, maintain, and grow a dynamic board culture. A healthy and consistent culture allows organizations to operate smoothly and creatively, recruit effectively, and develop leadership from within in a sustainable way.  

About Susan                                                                                                        

Susan has extensive experience in nonprofit governance and management and conducts training and consulting on nonprofit board governance, fundraising, strategic planning, board development, and leadership for a wide range of nonprofit organizations. She has served as a consultant, facilitator, and trainer for nearly twenty years. For more than ten years, Susan served in senior leadership positions at two of the most recognized public charities: St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  


Phil Purcell,       Senior Counsel for Philanthropy, Fellowship of Catholic University Students

Phil Purcell, Senior Counsel for Philanthropy, Fellowship of Catholic University Students

April 4— Financial Obligations & Legal Responsibilities                                             

Presented by Phil Purcell, J.D., M.P.A., CFRE    

What does “fiduciary responsibility” actually mean? As a board member or key staff not in charge of finances, what questions should you be asking to minimize risk and maximize efficiency? Learn these answers and more by participating in this session. Leave with more confidence in this important role.

About Phil                                                                                                          

Phil has spoken on topics related to law, nonprofit governance and philanthropy before national, regional and local conferences and teaches courses on law and philanthropy, nonprofit organization law and planned giving as adjunct faculty for the Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington) and Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy and Fundraising School (Indianapolis). He is Senior of Counsel to Fleming Stage, a private law firm in Indianapolis, and Senior Consultant and the lead planning attorney for the Heaton Smith Group, a national charitable and estate planning consulting firm. Prior to joining the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, he served in developing and planned giving positions with the Ball State University Foundation, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, St. Vincent Hospital Foundation and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Melissa Brown, Melissa L. Brown Associates, LLC

Melissa Brown, Melissa L. Brown Associates, LLC

May 2 - Board vs. Staff Roles: WhosE job is it?                     

presented by Melissa brown   

Board and Staff each have a distinct set of roles and responsibilities. And some roles overlap! Is your organization working within clear roles? Learn how to end the “not my job” mentality and maximize capacity by establishing clear organizational structure and role clarity.

About Melissa 

Melissa helps charities turn knowledge into action through literature reviews, survey design, and analysis. Melissa is also a highly rated speaker and facilitates courses for The Fund Raising School at Indiana University. Among her projects, Melissa manages the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a twice-annual survey to assess what works in fundraising and is a consultant with Indiana Youth Institute for program evaluation. Prior to moving to research, she worked in fundraising for various nonprofit organizations and worked as a financial analyst for a municipal bond firm in Philadelphia and in multiple roles in a law firm in Portland, Oregon. 


Mike Stone, Impact Strategies

Mike Stone, Impact Strategies

June 6 - Implementing & Reviewing your Strategic Plan    

presented by Mike Stone, Ph.D. 

Strategic planning is paramount to the success and vitality of nonprofit organizations, but what happens once it’s created? Your strategic plan should be a living, breathing document, reviewed frequently and updated accordingly. Don’t let it become just a doorstop! Learn how to integrate implementation and review into your regular routine.

About Mike

Mike launched his nonprofit consulting practice in 2005, after spending the early part of his career in higher education and later as executive director of a community foundation. As a consultant, Mike has served more than 150 clients including private foundations, community foundations, United Ways, social service agencies, school systems, arts organizations, and community development organizations. He has written and taught numerous undergraduate courses in nonprofit management for Huntington University’s EXCEL program and has published numerous articles for CausePlanet, a web-based resource for nonprofits. In 2017, he self-published a book titled, From the Inside Out: A Nonprofit’s Guide to Meaningful Strategy.

Lucia Downton, VP Technology and Operations, United Way of Central Indiana

Lucia Downton, VP Technology and Operations, United Way of Central Indiana

August 1 - Data Security                                               

presented by Lucia “lucy” downton & panelists

How protected is your data? Do you have the right systems and processes in place to minimize your risk when it comes to phishing scams and ransomware? Who has access to what data? Find out tips to prevent data breaches and minimize your risk as an organization no matter the size of your IT budget.

About Lucy                                                                                                                                     

After receiving a Chemical Engineering degree from Purdue University, Lucy began her career working in the utility industry, starting in Quality Assurance at a nuclear power plant and then moved into regulation and operations for natural gas. After 14 years she decided to transition to “something more meaningful” and began her United Way career as a loaned executive in 1997. After working in fundraising at UWCI for 15 years and working closely with Finance and leading the internal technology advisory team for many years, she was asked to move to a leadership role in Operations and oversee Technology for the organization. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Indiana United Ways, a statewide association. She is particularly astute at recognizing network and technology vulnerabilities and addressing them using efficient, practical, and cost-effective methods.

Jeri Pat Gabbert,Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs, Indiana University Northwest

Jeri Pat Gabbert,Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs, Indiana University Northwest

September 5 - Telling your Story: Making the Case for Donor Support, In-Person and with Social Media               

presented by Jeri Pat Gabbert, CFRE

Do your current and prospective donors know exactly what your organization does? Could you tell them exactly why your role in the community is necessary and important? Does that message change when talking face-to-face or using social media? Find out why it should! Discuss adapting your story to different audiences, public or virtual. Join us to explore these questions together. 

About Jeri Pat 

In addition to serving as the chief development, communications and marketing officer and strategist for IU Northwest, Jeri Pat is a member of the faculty for The Fund Raising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. In her role at IU Northwest, Jeri Pat is responsible for providing leadership and initiative in the planning, implementation and administration of the campus’s fundraising, alumni relations, special events, and communication and marketing programs. She also has extensive political campaign experience as a fundraiser for state, city and county candidates, and has served as a faculty member at Indiana University/Purdue University - Indianapolis, Hanover College, Ball State University and Valparaiso University. She is an active volunteer leader in the community where she participates as a board member for Valparaiso Events, and was honored by The Northwest Indiana Times as a member of the ‘20 Under 40’ Class of 2015.

Tim Ardillo, Consultant, Johnson Grossnickle & Associates

Tim Ardillo, Consultant, Johnson Grossnickle & Associates

October 10 — The Board’s Role in Fundraising / How to Make the “Ask” and Bounce Back after Hearing “NO” 

Presented by Tim ardillo, CFRE

Learn how every board member should be involved in fundraising. But not everyone has to “ask.” If hearing “NO” is one of your fears, pick up some tips to bounce back and get the “YES” next time. Ensure the right resources are available to meet your mission.  

About Tim                                                                                                                              

Tim provides a breadth of fundraising experience across a variety of nonprofit sectors, focused on annual fund development, individual and planned giving, and major gifts and campaigns. Prior to joining JGA in 2014, Tim served as Director of Institutional Advancement for the Indianapolis Zoo, where he directed a successful $34 million capital campaign and launched a $10 million endowment campaign. Tim previously served in fundraising roles at Arc of Indiana, the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana, and Delta Sigma Phi National Headquarters. An active member of Indiana’s philanthropic community, Tim volunteers his time with the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter, serving in various leadership roles.  

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, President, Giving Focus

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, President, Giving Focus


presented by Andrea Proulx Buinicki, CFRE & Panelists                                        

Join us for a panel discussion with local donors and experts addressing topics like donor fatigue, stewardship, communication, and trust. Come with questions; leave with donor’s insights! 

About Andrea                                                                                                                                       

Andrea is a seasoned nonprofit development consultant offering 20 years of fundraising, marketing, strategic planning, and volunteer management experience. She guides volunteer board leaders to envision the common good and to discover their roles in enacting that vision. Andrea equips nonprofit leaders with tools to develop financial resources to achieve mission and ministry goals. She helps leaders facilitate fundraising relationships that bear fruit for both operational needs and capital projects. She earned a master’s degree in Communication Studies from The University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of New Hampshire. 

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