Nonprofit Support Center

The Nonprofit Support Center was established by the Foundation in 1998 to promote a capable, forward thinking, and collaborative nonprofit sector in Worcester County. NSC offers trainings and resources that help board and staff members do their jobs well.

We focus on practical programs, believe in the power of peers learning together, and engage presenters of high quality. The results we seek are organizations that are well governed and managed and a strong network of nonprofits in our region.

Find out more by contacting Foundation Special Projects Officer Gail Randall. Reach Gail at or call her at (508) 755-0980, x 101.

Programs at a Glance

Please help us continue to offer programs at low cost. If your plans change after you register, and you cannot attend, notify us at least 48 hours in advance of the event. If you register and do not attend, we will bill you $20.

Unless otherwise noted, programs are held at Greater Worcester Community Foundation. In the event of inclement weather, call us at (508) 755-0980.

February - April 2015 Programs

Please select the + to see the full description of the program.

A printable version of the 2015 February-May schedule is available here. 


Thursday, February 12
Noon-1:30 PM

Audience: Executive Directors and staff or board members with responsibility for HR
Location: GWCF, 370 Main Street, 6th Floor
Fee: None. Lunch will be provided. No-shows will be charged $20 without 48 hours’ notice of a cancellation.
REGISTER HERE no later than January 29. You will receive a confirmation.

The Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office have significantly increased their enforcement activity regarding wage and hour issues. These issues include characterizing employees as exempt vs. non-exempt; designating someone as an independent contractor rather than an employee; and properly classifying individuals as interns or volunteers. At the same time, new leave laws have been enacted for employees in Massachusetts. The consequences of a mistake, even an unintentional error, can be expensive, including the payment of triple damages, attorneys’ fees and fines. Attend this program for a review of legal standards and obligations for nonprofit employers and receive practical advice that will help to assure that your organization’s compliance efforts match current requirements.

Presenter David M. Felper is a senior partner with Bowditch & Dewey, LLP and Chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment and Higher Education practice area. He represents management in matters including defense of discrimination and wrongful termination claims, wage and hour and OSHA complaints, non-competition agreements, contract negotiations, grievances, union organization and permissible conduct under all federal and state labor and employment laws. He is a frequent speaker in these areas and has taught courses in the field of labor and employment law.

His nonprofit board service includes: former President and past and current Board Chair of Horace Mann Educational Associates; Board Chair of TechACCESS; and Board Vice-President, Spectrum Health Systems. He also served as a former President of Valley Tech Educational Foundation; former President and Director of Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce; and former Chairman and member, Board of Directors, United Way of Tri-County. David has participated in the selection of Executive Directors, setting executive compensation and benefits, addressing personnel issues, assisting in the selection and administration of employee benefit programs, establishing strategic plans, fundraising, and setting budgets and addressing budget issues.



Thursday, March 12
9 am-12 pm

Audience: Executive directors, supervisors and board members
Location: GWCF, 370 Main Street, 6th Floor
Fee: $35
REGISTER HERE no later than February 27. You will receive a confirmation.

In the nonprofit sector, staff are an organization’s greatest asset. Staff come to do meaningful work and to make a difference. And often they accomplish incredible things. Maintaining a talented, productive and committed workforce contributes directly to organizational impact and success. Providing regular and meaningful performance evaluations is one way supervisors can support ongoing employee satisfaction and effectiveness. Annual reviews provide staff with an opportunity to explore the ways and the extent to which their work contributes to a group’s mission and goals. They create the space for supervisors to provide comprehensive feedback about an employee’s strengths and areas for growth. And they allow both to think carefully about, and plan for, future work and professional development.

In this three hour, highly interactive workshop participants will:

• Consider the role performance evaluations play in employee success;
• Identify critical areas for discussion;
• Talk about and practice the most effective ways to conduct reviews;
• Think about the nuts and bolts of getting them done in a meaningful way.

Lyn Freundlich is the Director of Administration and Human Resources for Third Sector New England. She oversees operational and personnel aspects of the organization, ensuring that internal customers receive the support and services they need in order to meet their mission-driven goals. In addition, she provides employee relations and other human resources-oriented consultation to TSNE clients. She has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including work with large, international organizations and tiny, member driven, local ones. She worked for nearly nine years with the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. She also served as the executive director for Countdown to Kindergarten, a Boston-based community collaborative. Lyn has a Masters Degree in Organization and Management from Antioch University of New England.


A STRONGER WORKFORCE: Leveraging State Resources to Invest in Your Staff

Massachusetts has millions of dollars available for workforce training and professional development - but very few nonprofits take advantage of this opportunity.

Wednesday, March 25

Greater Worcester Community Foundation
370 Main St, Worcester

Join the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network to learn about ways that your organization can support and develop its employees through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund: a statewide program that provides employers in the Commonwealth with funding to train and develop their employees. At the meeting, you will also participate in a facilitated conversation to identify and address professional development needs across the nonprofit sector to ensure we have a strong pipeline of nonprofit leaders.

 These interactive and informative meetings will:

  • Provide an overview of the features and benefits of each of the Workforce Training Fund Grant programs
  • Highlight the amount of funding available
  • Help you determine if your organization is eligible for grants and next steps to applying
  • Gather nonprofit leaders to identify key training needs in the sector

The regional meetings will be most beneficial for senior leaders and human resource professionals in the nonprofit sector whose organizations are eligible for the Workforce Training Fund. Click here to find out if you are eligible. However, representatives from all organizations are welcome to attend as there will also be a broader discussion on training needs and opportunities across the entire sector.

This training is co-sponsored by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the Worcester Community Action Council

To learn more and register visit this link.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015
8:30 am: Continental Breakfast
9 am-12 noon: Workshop

Audience: Executive directors, development officers, board members and others responsible for fundraising
Location: GWCF, 370 Main Street, 6th Floor
Fee: $35
REGISTER HERE no later than March 17. You will receive a confirmation. 

Whether you are a new or seasoned fundraiser, paid staff or board member, comfortable or nervous about asking for money, this session will give you a fresh, invigorating perspective and additional tools in the quest to strengthen your organization’s fundraising. Presenter Marjorie Fine believes that community organizing skills naturally lend themselves to the goal of raising money from individuals. This is your opportunity to find out why, and to learn how to incorporate them for long-term success. In an interactive workshop that includes presentation and small group work, you will explore skills and beliefs community organizers and fundraisers have in common; confront and adjust your attitudes about money; discover where to find donors; get over the fear of asking, and learn how to ask for (big) money. You’ll discover a valuable and compelling framework for fundraising success and practice making “the ask.” When you leave the session you can expect to have new ideas and strategies, enhanced confidence, and increased energy for meeting your organization’s fundraising goals.

Presenter Marjorie Fine is a fundraising and philanthropic consultant who helps nonprofits move from surviving to thriving. She led The Linchpin Campaign, a project of the Center for Community Change, and is former executive director of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. Margie conceived of the guide, “Untapped: How Community Organizers Can Develop and Deepen Relationships with Major Donors and Raise Big Money” as a way to share observations and insights from her own research, formal donor surveys, and the frequent presentations and trainings she conducts throughout the United States.



Corporate Sponsor


Thursday, April 2, 4:30-6:30 pm

Those new to board service or those seeking to enhance their knowledge of board responsibilities.
Location: Bowditch & Dewey, 311 Main Street, Worcester
Fee: $35
REGISTER HERE no later than March 19. You will receive a confirmation. 

Attend this high energy, interactive workshop and you’ll walk away with a personal vision for your board service, a baseline for your performance, and an action plan to move from good enough to great. Along the way, you’ll brush up on what every board member should ask before joining a board, basic responsibilities once you’ve joined, relations with the Executive Director and staff and  how to find other resources to support your own growth as a board member. 

Presenter Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, has almost two decades of experience as a consultant to nonprofits in capacity building and board development. Gayle is the author of two books and many articles on nonprofit management, including How to make your board dramatically more effective, starting today, and a contributor to You and Your Nonprofit Board. She has worked in senior management, development, and marketing and communications positions in nonprofits; has served as adjunct professor at Brown University and Simmons College; and provides workshops on various topics important to the successful operation of nonprofit organizations. She is a board member herself, currently serving as president of Blackstone Academy Charter School and as secretary at WaterFire Providence. She is an advisory council member for Latino Dollars for Scholars Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art. Gayle serves on the Governance Affinity Group of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and its team conducting research on board chairs.