Strong Management Tranlates into Stronger Mission Performance 

Our core programs are designed to increase the management capacity of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit capacity building refers to activities that improve and enhance a nonprofit organization’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time.

  • One of the many benefits of Membership with NICNE is a discount on our capacity-building programs. By taking advantage of these discounts, your Membership may pay for itself! 

Certificate in Fund Development

This Certificate program will provide a solid foundation of fundraising fundamentals and an overview of fund development as a career. If you have considered a career in the field of fund development, this program is for you! After completing the courses in the Fund Development Certificate Program, you will have gained a solid foundation in the nuts and bolts of nonprofit organizations, as well as an overview of what to expect if you choose to pursue a career in or expand your knowledge of fund development.

This program is presented in partnership with the local chapter of AFP – Association of Fundraising Professionals. As a result, CFRE International has granted continuing education points for all of the courses in this program.


2015-2016 Certificate in Fund Development Brochure 

Certificate in Nonprofit Management

This program is designed to support the changing demands on nonprofit leaders to enhance their management skills and operate more effectively. The five courses (two offered in the Fall, three in the Spring) will strengthen participants’ abilities in Leadership and Governance, Marketing, Human Resources, Financial Management, and Fund Development, and would be valuable to a wide range of nonprofit participants: employees, managers, board members, new leaders, as well as those seeking to transfer from the for-profit to nonprofit world.

2014-2015 Certificate in Nonprofit Management Brochure 


Board Training

Each Fall NICNE offers a board training opportunity. This Fall we welcome nationally-recognized governance expert Susan Whealler Johnston for a day-long workshop titled, "True Partners in Leadership: Developing Engaged & Purposeful Boards." This  workshop is designed for current board members, potential board members, and nonprofit executive staff members interested in current information for changing times and effective governance.

2014 True Partners in Leadership Nonprofit Board Training Brochure 

Customized Board Training

NICNE offers two and four hour sessions at your site that are customized to your organization's particular needs. These trainings (offered at the time and location that is convenient for your board) help keep your board of directors current, cohesive, and on target with your mission.

2014 Customized Board Training Brochure 


Leadership Café 

Presented in Partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

These monthly discussions on critical and cutting-edge issues in nonprofit leadership and governance are designed to provide a menu of IDEAS, INFORMATION, OPINIONS, and RESOURCES for nonprofit management staff, board members, and community participants. Join us the last Wednesday of every month (except July and December) from noon to 1 p.m. in Burpee Center at Rockford University. This program is FREE for current NICNE Members. See our Program Calendar or the brochure for upcoming monthly topics and presenters. 

2014-2015 Leadership Cafe Series Brochure 

Proposal Writing Workshop

This program, offered biennially in the Spring, will provide the tools, training, and hands-on experience needed to write a successful foundation grant proposal ranging from $6,000 to $15,000. Each participant will develop a complete grant proposal over the course of six sessions. Each session will consist of classroom training and hands-on computer lab time.

2014 Proposal Writing Workshop Brochure 

Nonprofit Dialogue

Annually in the Fall, NICNE invites nonprofit organizations to discuss current issues and trends in the various nonprofit sectors and identify changing needs. The Dialogue solicits ideas to address issues and emphasize the value of the nonprofit sector in the community. Results of the Dialogue are used in developing and enhancing programs offered by NICNE.

2014 Nonprofit Dialogue Brochure 

Leadership Exchange on Volunteerism

Join us for cutting-edge discussion and an open exchange of information and best practices related to volunteerism. All are welcome to join this free, self-facilitated group on the first Wednesday of every month from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Room 122 of the 5100 Building (first building immediately off State Street) at Rockford University. 

Please contact Jennifer Smith at for more information.


Withdrawal and Cancellation for Courses and Programs

Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy: A full refund less a one percent (1%) cancellation fee will be granted to a registrant who notifies us about his or her cancellation at least five business days prior to the start of the course/program. After this date, no refund will be given unless the Northern Illinois Center for Nonprofit Excellence cancels the course/program. Registrants may apply the tuition to another course/program offered by the Center, if contact is made at least five days prior to the start of the course/program. Failure to attend a course/program does not entitle a registrant to a refund. Cancellations must be confirmed in writing by registrants.

Weather-related Class Cancellation: All courses/programs will be held during inclement weather unless Rockford University closes its campus. If the Center cancels a program due to weather, the program will be made up during the same semester or an opportunity will be offered for registrants to make up a program the next time it is offered by the Center. Failure to attend due to inclement weather does not entitle a registrant to a refund or make-up session.


Department Information

Center For Nonprofit Excellence
PURI Business School
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108

Jennifer Smith, Program and Membership Coordinator