Everyone loves best and worst lists, don’t they? It’s hard to resist clicking on a link to learn the best and worst cars of the year, dresses at the Oscars, or new ice cream flavors of 2019.

As the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NPLI) wrapped up its 2019-20 fiscal year, we created our own best and worst list.

BEST of 2019-20

1. Community Partnerships

NPLI is a program of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and we’re grateful for the infrastructure, camaraderie and leadership the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region provides.

We also partnered with Microsoft, NPlace and InterSector this past year. Read our full report to the community and learn more about our collaborations in our 2019-20 Community Report.

2. Committed Nonprofits

The incredible commitment nonprofits have made to serving their constituents, donors and staff while navigating a global pandemic.

3. Nonprofit Investment

We are especially honored that nonprofit leaders have invested in their organization’s staff and capacity by participating in NPLI programming. As of June 30, 2020, numbers include:

2019 20 graduating class

2019-20 graduating class: Pictured: (front row) Julie Filapek, Neighborhood Partners; Jonathan Pylypiv, VFW Post 2278; Nikki Hessel, Future Neenah; Christina Turner, Trout Museum of Art; (back row) Randy Tuma, Bubolz Nature Preserve; Erin Shulz, SOAR Fox Cities; Jen Parsons, Samaritan Counseling Center; Hope Schaefer, Girls on the Run; Jenny Anger, Thompson Center on Lourdes (while in the program); Elaine Krizenesky, Wild Ones (while in the program). Picture taken January 2019.

In May we welcomed 14 new students to the Leadership Institute, who will participate in the one-year program culminating in graduation in April 2021 when they’ll be awarded their Certificate of Nonprofit Management from NPLI and the Fox Valley Technical College.

An additional four nonprofits joined 14 other organizations by investing in the Network for Good program. NPLI offers an initial year of partial-funding to help nonprofits take advantage of this program which combines technology, fundraising coaching and a local users group to help nonprofit leaders become better fundraisers. We’re celebrating with Shelby Miller, executive director of Hope Care Clinic about her success with the program.

“Network for Good is a chance to raise your game as an organization. I would encourage any nonprofit to try the software and coaching. We’ve raised five times our prior year year-end campaign amount in our first year of using Network for Good.” 

4. Committed donors

NPLI’s founding donors, United Way Fox Cities, Thrivent, Community First Credit Union and the Bright Idea Fund of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and others continue to provide financial support.  We’re grateful to all of our supporters List of donors.

5. NPLI Staff Changes

As NPLI continues to increase program offerings, we knew it was time to expand our staff. Annette Look served as part-time program manager since January of 2019 and began full-time with NPLI on August 1.

With the addition of additional staff capacity, NPLI is preparing to roll-out a new board training program, Board Academy. The program will be virtually and start in January 2021. Dates and times coming soon.

A best list needs a corresponding worst list, right? We could only think of one thing – we miss seeing our nonprofit partners in person during COVID-19, but we’re so grateful to have a much longer Best list than Worst list.