NICNE is the region’s primary resource for nonprofit management and leadership development. NICNE strengthens nonprofits by providing Education & Training, Agency Assessments & Technical Assistance, and Alliances & Linkages.

Education and Training

Stronger management translates into stronger mission performance. NICNE offers extensive programming in many key areas of nonprofit management and capacity building. Please see our Programs for details about these offerings.

CEUs available for licensed social workers. Each NICNE course hour is equal to one CEU. For more information, please contact Jennifer Smith at or 815-394-4384.

Agency Assessments and Technical Assistance 
Sustainable, high-performing organizations are those that commit to building organizational capacity. Embark on a thorough assessment of organizational capacity. NICNE provides processes, tools, and support to conduct formal agency assessments that benchmark performance according to preferred standards and best practices. 
The center is trained in two areas:
  • The Unity Foundation CQ (Capacity Quotient) is the only nonprofit assessment that benchmarks nonprofit capacity according to 60 standards of "preferred practice” in nonprofit management. Visit for more information. 

  • The Wilder Nonprofit Life Stage assessment determines what life stage an organization is in and the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The tool can be used to help nonprofit organizations plan for the future, make decisions proactively, anticipate challenges, and determine necessary adjustments.

Take advantage of the technical assistance provided by university staff. Utilize the vast collection of resources including:

  1. Nonprofit best practices
  2. Policies and procedures
  3. Employee handbooks
  4. Board development
  5. Business plans
  6. Strategic planning
  7. 501(c)3 development
  8. AND many more

Alliances and Linkages 

Connect with peers to develop and share solutions. Linking organizations to one another not only provides nonprofits access to potential collaboration and partnerships, it builds a sense of community and support which makes our entire community stronger.

  1. Foundation Directory—The center regularly updates the Directory of Community, Corporate, and Private Foundations of Illinois. The directory is available to all Member organizations.
  2. Membership Directory—We rely on membership to sustain our work of delivering quality service to you, your board, and your staff. Visit our Membership page for details and to view a list of our current Member organizations.
  3. Mailing List—Our database of over 700 nonprofit organizations in a 5-county region helps us link you to capacity-building resources. Visit our Contact Us page to sign up for our nonprofit mailing list.
  4. Collaborative Programming—All of our programs are highly collaborative, allowing you to connect with peers, identify changing sector needs, and network with key nonprofit leaders. View our Programs and Special Events pages for details on current offerings.

Nonprofit Resources 

Each of the following links connect you to highly informative websites from reputable organizations and sources. Click each name to visit the resource website: 

Rockford Regional Chamber of Commerce 
United Way of Rock River Valley 
CPAs for the Public Interest 
Donors Forum 
Association of Fundraising Professionals 
National Council of Nonprofit Associations 
Nonprofit Job Board and Search Services 
Nonprofit Job 
Nonprofit Resource Center—Thinking of Starting a Nonprofit? 
Rockford Public Library 
Rockford Employment


Independent Sector 
Suby Von Haden 
Illinois Facilities Fund 
AAIM Employers’ Association 
Unity Foundation 
Careers in Nonprofits, Inc. 
Boardnet USA 
Illinois General Not-For-Profit Act 

Each of the following resource documents are free to download, use, copy, and distribute. 

Business Model Template
A Practical Guide to Integrated Communications (A Workbook for Nonprofits) 
A Consumer's Guide to Donor Management Systems 
A Consumer's Guide to Grant Management Systems
Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook 
A Consumer's Guide to Content Management Systems (CMS) for Nonprofits 
Should Your Organization Consider the Cloud? (A Workbook for Nonprofits)
Implementing a Cloud Solution (A Workbook for Nonprofits)


Department Information

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

Jennifer Smith, Program and Membership Coordinator