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.

Aaron Eckhardt, Executive Director, BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization)

Aaron Eckhardt, Executive Director, BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization)

August 7 - Diversity & Inclusion: Why is this important to a strong board?                                               

presented by Aaron Eckhardt, MSW 

Is your board diverse? Is it inclusive? Does it reflect the community your organization serves? Come explore these issues and your personal relationship to diversity. Leave with new insights relevant to both you and your board to strengthen your organizational perspectives and skills. 

About Aaron                                                                                                                                     

On staff with BRAVO since 2011, Aaron administers programs and oversees daily operations. Aaron brings 20 years of social work practice and experience of working with multiple populations and communities and has spent years developing and delivering cultural competency/humility and anti-oppression trainings. In addition, over the past 12 years, Aaron has delivered these trainings as well as technical assistance throughout Ohio and the United States.

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 4 - 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.

Angela White, Senior Consultant and CEO, Johnson Grossnickle & Associates

Angela White, Senior Consultant and CEO, Johnson Grossnickle & Associates

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

Presented by Angela White, 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 Angela                                                                                                                                

Angela has been instrumental in JGA’s success since 1996, when she joined the JGA team. In 2011, she became CEO of JGA, responsible for providing day-to-day leadership to the firm and guiding the JGA staff, while continuing to provide tailored consulting services directly to clients. Angela has a high level of expertise in philanthropic consulting in healthcare, education, social services, arts, and faith-based organizations. She also has considerable depth in strategic planning and data analysis. She is a member of the faculty at The Fundraising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and often presents on behalf of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Before joining JGA, Angela worked in Institutional Advancement in higher education.

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, President, Giving Focus

Andrea Proulx Buinicki, President, Giving Focus


presented by Andrea Proulx Buinicki, CFRE and a Panel of Donors                                        

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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