Trainings and Presentations

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts provides various learning opportunities for Pioneer Valley organizations to become more effective in fulfilling their missions.

Our workshops are usually free, although registration may specify requirements for participants. Questions? Contact Margaret Everett, Grants Administrator Associate at or by calling 413-732-2858.


-Current Training Opportunities-

Board Diversity and Inclusion

Please join us for a workshop on nonprofit Board Diversity and Inclusion. The presentation will focus on recruiting new board members that reflect the diversity of your area and/or constituency, creating a culture of inclusivity on the board, and best practices for onboarding new members. Lora Wondolowski from Leadership Pioneer Valley and Chris Duffy, an Independent Consultant, wil present information, tools and best practices on the following topics:

  • Recruitment – board matrix, skills assessment, organizational  needs assessment and resources.
  • Inclusion – creating an inclusive culture using, in part, the tolerance scale.
  • New Member Onboarding – includes best practices for board orientation and various tools.

This workshop is free of charge and open to organizations serving the Valley and which are interested in taking the next steps to creating a more inclusive board of directors. Limit of 3 individuals per organization.

September 11, 2019. 9:30-12:30 at EastWorks, Easthampton, MA

-Upcoming Training Opportunities-

Financial Management for Nonprofits

  • The Basics of Nonprofit Financial Management (Level 101) – Oct. 28, 2019 9:00-1:00. Registration not yet open
  • Intermediate Nonprofit Financial Management (Level 201) – Oct. 29, 2019. Full day beginning at 9:00 or 9:30. Registration not  yet open.


-Archived Training Sessions-

2019: Succession Planning Workshop

Research shows that in New England, senior leadership of nonprofits will be retiring in large numbers in the coming years. For the stability and sustainability of your organizations, the Community Foundation is offering a workshop to provide information and tools for managing these transitions well. Executive leadership transitions are pivotal moments in an organization’s life cycle. Thinking about and preparing for succession can enable an organization to weather the departure of key organizational leaders, maintain sustainability, and explore opportunities for growth and change. In this workshop, nonprofit executives and their board members will learn how to build an adaptable organization that transitions leadership well; implement successful transition practices that address the search and hire of new leaders; manage staff reactions to change; and identify the effective roles of the executive and board.

Handouts –  to be updated by early August 2019

2018: Communicating Your Impact

Presenter: Mitch Anthony, Consultant, Clarity
Nothing communicates impact like a clear brand. Your brand is not a logo. It is a promise you make to the people you serve. It is a clear statement of how you help. Your brand invites your audience to understand, know, remember, refer, and choose you, and then choose you again.
Videos and Handouts

2018: Making the Ask

Presenter: Jenn Hayslett, Jenn Hayslett Coaching & Consulting
Videos and Handouts

2018: Social Media

Presenter: John Haydon
If you are new to Valley Gives or looking for new ideas, this workshop is for you. Prepare to engage your donors leading up to and during Valley Gives. Explore strategies for reaching out to build new relationships and cultivate those with people who already care about your cause. Discuss strategic use of email, FaceBook, Instagram and FaceBook Live. Learn about ways to connect to Kimbia for Valley Gives and to your website/FaceBook page the rest of the year. Workshop will focus on the importance of storytelling and relationship building.
Videos and Handouts

2017: Social Media

Presenter: John Haydon

–Session 1: Telling Better Stories with Facebook and Instagram

–Session 2: Online Fundraising with email


2017: Guerrilla Video  

Presenter: Scott Hancock

 2017: Communicating Your Message


2016: Knowing Your Donors Through Data Segmentation

Presenter: Kevin Martone, Harold Grinspoon Foundation 


2016: Making the Ask: Writing a Brilliant Appeal

Presenter: Eric Phelps, Rainmaker Consulting


2016: Matterness: Making People Matter More in a Social World 

Debra AskanaseMatterness is a way to make your people feel known, acknowledged and invited to participate in efforts.


2016: Maximizing Volunteers (developed for Valley Gives)

Presenters: LaTonia Naylor, United Way of Pioneer Valley & Lindsay Bennett-Jacobs, RSVP
View handouts and Powerpoint slides

2014: Storytelling

Presenter: Debra Askanase
Powerpoint: Crafting Stories To Support Fundraising