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Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Ann T. Lisi, President and CEO, and Chris O’Keefe, Vice President of Program, as well as occasional guest bloggers about what’s happening at Greater Worcester Community Foundation.


Get By With a Little Help From GWCF
By Sarah Shugrue / September 10, 2019

Hi, I’m Sarah, a GWCF Program Officer. Welcome to the NSC!

If you’ve attended a Nonprofit Support Center workshop at Greater Worcester Community Foundation in the past few years, you’ve probably heard this greeting and my introductory bit about the program. Whether there are new faces in the audience or not (there always are), I introduce each workshop the same way to give attendees some context around what they’ve signed up for.

“The NSC is a program of the Foundation aimed at building the capacity of our nonprofit sector through workshops, networking, and skill-building opportunities.”

As I talk, I see each of you settling in to what is about to be a 90 minute or 3 hour session, knowing that back at your desk there are pressing things waiting for your return. Still, you’re here.

For many nonprofit sector employees, time translates into greater community impact. This makes time an extra-precious commodity, especially for those of us who care deeply about our mission and gain a true sense of satisfaction from the meaningful work we do. The nature of this work is that there is always more of it.

That’s why the NSC is here. While we haven’t yet developed technology to freeze time so you can do more, better, we have built an educational program for you that strives to be as relevant and responsive to your needs as possible.  

Since 1998, the NSC has developed into a hub for nonprofit growth. It is a space where peers can come together to learn from leading experts in the field and from each other. You never know who you’re going to run into at a workshop (Ok, within reason. To my knowledge Michelle Obama has never come to one). The opportunity to engage with colleagues around the interconnected work you do can be just as valuable as the scheduled discussion.

Offered for free or at low cost, NSC workshops are typically available seasonally and are designed to reflect important trends we see in the sector. High-quality, innovative presenters lead sessions on emerging issues and classic topics—because budgets and strategic plans will never go away, but how you approach this work should evolve.

Coming up this fall are five workshops that we hope will empower you with tools and take-aways that can be put into action at your organization.

Here’s a brief overview of what we have planned:

  • The NSCfc (Nonprofit Support Center for Creatives, our workshop series specifically designed for organizations in the creative sector) will feature Jun-Li Wang, Community Development Program Director for Springboard for the Arts, to returning to NSCfc to talk more about race, DEIA, and organizational risk-taking.
  • Lawyers Clearinghouse will be leading a workshop on some legal nuts and bolts all nonprofits should be aware of.
  • Valerie Zolezzi-Wyndham, President of Promoting Good, LLC, will be doing coaching on equity, offering tools and practical advice about how to be an ally and influencer in your organization to build a culture of enduring inclusion.
  • Samantha McDonald, Partner with Bowditch, also a Leadership Worcester Alum and experienced community volunteer, will be sharing insights about building connectedness within the nonprofit sector.
  • Carole Ann Penney, Founder & CEO of Penney Leadership, LLC, will be guiding attendees on developing your authentic leadership style, a great professional development opportunity for current and aspiring leaders.

More details, links to sign up for workshops, and many more resources, can be found here.

At the end of every NSC workshop we ask attendees to complete a feedback survey. Now, I’m not asking you to rate this blog post. (Though pretty awesome, right?)  What I am asking is that you share with me your ideas and suggestions. Give us your feedback about what you’d like to see the NSC offer. Tell me what new experiences would benefit your organization and your team.

I’ve been in the field for about half as long as the NSC has been around, and while I doubt I can get Michelle Obama to a workshop, through the NSC I can connect you to the resources you need to grow as an organization and as a nonprofit professional.

I’m Sarah, and I’m here to help!

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