Valley Creates Organizational Effectiveness Training Series

ValleyCreates Organizational Effectiveness Training Series


The CFMW’s ValleyCreates organizational effectiveness training series offers training sessions for arts and creativity nonprofits. Interested organizations must apply to participate and CFWM will select up to 10 organizations based on factors including organizational readiness and the ability to use the trainings to propel their organization to a new level of ability.

Past trainings included the following topics:

  1. Arts and Creativity in Changing Times: Innovation, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  2. Branding and Marketing: For Articulating Public Value – 2 sessions
  3. Financial Management
  4. Fundraising, Grant-writing and Earned Revenue Strategies
  5. Board Development and Governance                                       

Other benefits to Participating:

  • Mentoring: All participating organizations will have four free hours of mentoring with either UMass Arts Extension staff or with one of the workshop leaders to further explore topics/issues raised in the training series.
  • Mini-Grant Opportunity: At the end of the training series, all participating organizations that have fulfilled the attendance requirement will be eligible to apply for a non-competitive mini-grant of up to $3,000. The mini-grant is intended to support activities identified during the training series that would help organizations advance the effectiveness of their organization. Mini-grants will be approved based on the merits of the application.
  • Attendance Stipend: All organizations, once they complete their successful participation, will be able to receive a $500 stipend to offset some of the costs of attending the workshops during the workday. CFWM recognizes this is particularly important for volunteer-led organizations and board members.

Expectations of Participating Organizations

Participating organizations will be expected to bring two individuals to each of the six training sessions; one staff and one board member. The staff person should be a person who is able to influence the direction of the organization and can support implementation of the mission, ideally an Executive Director (or equivalent staff leader). One or more (depending upon availability) board or advisory group members will represent the governing body of the organization. If the organization has an Artistic Director, that person is encouraged to participate as well.

Each organization will be expected to respond to a pre-training survey to help better understand each organization’s needs, and a post-training survey to assess the learning and benefit of the training series. Participants will be asked to take part in other evaluation activities set by CFWM.



The training program is open to nonprofit arts and creativity organizations that:

  • Have a primary focus of arts/culture and/or creativity;
  • Primarily serve residents of the Pioneer Valley (Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties);
  • Are either a 501(c)(3) public charity or have a fiscal sponsor relationship approved by CFWM (approval form available online);
  • Have an annual operating budget under $250,000.


Application Process

Organizations interested in participating in the ValleyCreates Organizational Effectiveness training series, must apply through an on-line competitive application process. Interested organizations must demonstrate readiness and convey a compelling reason and understanding for why this training series will help them become a stronger organization.


Application: check back in Spring 2020