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. NICNE also compiles Additional Resources to help nonprofits address a variety of unique issues.

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. CFRE’s are also available for select programs. 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 technical assistance provided by university staff. Utilize NICNE’s expansive collection of resources including:

*Nonprofit best practices
*Policies and procedures
*Employee handbooks
*Board development
*Business plans
*Strategic planning
*501(c)3 development
*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.

*Foundation Directory—NICNE updates the Directory of Community, Corporate, and Private Foundations of Northern Illinois annually and provides a copy to all member organizations.
*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.
*Mailing List—Our database of over 700 nonprofit organizations in a 5-county region helps us link you to capacity-building resources. Sign up now to receive email updates about programs and events!
*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 page for details on current offerings.
*Business Interns–Undergraduate business students at Rockford University are now required to complete an internship. As a part of the Economics, Business, and Accounting (EBA) Department, NICNE can connect you with these students. To learn more, contact EBA Department Chair Robert Evans (, who coordinates the business internship program.

Additional Nonprofit Resources

Each of the following links connect you to highly informative websites from reputable organizations and sources.

*Rockford Regional Chamber of Commerce 
*United Way of Rock River Valley 
*CPAs for the Public Interest 
*Forefront (formerly Donors Forum)
*Association of Fundraising Professionals 
*National Council of Nonprofit Associations 
*Nonprofit Job Board and Search Services 
*Nonprofit Job 
*The Impact Foundry—Thinking of Starting a Nonprofit? 
*Rockford Public Library 
*Rockford Employment
*”Learn To Become” Volunteer & Nonprofit Careers
*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.

2016 United Way/NICNE Nonprofit Salary Survey Report‌

2014 United Way/NICNE Salary Survey Report
‌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)


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

Jennifer Smith, Program and Membership Coordinator