The INS Group provides the following capacity building workshops:

Grant Writing (One-day or half-day workshop)

Grant writing workshops focus on the important elements of a grant proposal including:

      • cover letter
      • executive summary
      • need statement
      • goals and objectives methodology
      • evaluation
      • budget
      • future funding

Emphasis is placed on the process of planning and research as well as the cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors. Learn about the typical questions funders ask when considering a proposal, the criteria used, and the steps taken after a proposal is submitted. You will have an opportunity to critique sample proposals and review winning proposals.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • implement effective processes and practices that lead to successful grant writing including how to build relationships with funders
      • conduct grant research via the Internet, publications and other sources and prioritize prospects
      • write the essential components of a grant proposal package including: cover letter, introduction, problem or need statement, goals and objectives, methodology, evaluation, the budget, future funding and executive summary
      • determine the most effective writing strategies and styles for various grant applications
      • evaluate and assess grant proposals after having an opportunity to review and critique a well-written proposal during this workshop
      • ensure compliance and report on a grant’s progress and impact

Advanced Grant Writing (One-day or half-day workshop)

Expanding on the material presented in the Grant Writing course, this workshop is designed for those who seek to increase their effectiveness in the field of grant writing and grant management. The session will include:

      • requests for proposal analysis
      • hands-on writing
      • use of statistics
      • collaboration
      • identification of support documentation
      • sharpening your grant writing skills

You will be asked to begin the workshop with a well-developed idea for a grant proposal and encouraged to have identified a specific grant request from a private, corporate foundation or federal or state grant opportunity. This session features small group work and one-on-one technical assistance. The INS Group’s “Grant Writing” workshop is a recommended prerequisite to this workshop.

Fundraising 101(One-day workshop or half-day workshop)

Effective Resource Development Strategies—Planning and Implementation

What are the most effective and successful methods of raising money? Discover the nuts and bolts, ideas and activities to help fundraise. This workshop features: new trends in giving, establishing an annual campaign, effective strategies for cultivating life-long individual and corporate donors, special events planning, the board’s role in fundraising, and an outline of a fund development plan. Other important topics include creating a case statement, prospect research, fundraising materials and administrative systems and procedures.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • identify new trends in giving/philanthropy
      • outline the components of strategic fund development plan
      • define the board’s role in fundraising and help to increase board involvement
      • describe the infrastructure needed for fundraising (staffing, fundraising software, materials)
      • identify innovative fundraising strategies (i.e. social enterprise, online campaigns, etc.)

An Effective Nonprofit Board: Roles, Responsibilities, Recruitment and Orientation (Half-day workshop)

What are the roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors? How should a board operate to ensure maximum effectiveness? This interactive workshop will introduce nonprofit staff and board members to the principles of effective governance by defining the basic roles and responsibilities of the board and examining strategies for building effective board structures. Topics explored include strategic recruitment and orientation of board members, trends in board membership and board development.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • identify the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors
      • identify specific recruitment and orientation strategies for building an effective board
      • identify specific ways to increase board participation in fundraising

Fundraising and the Board of Directors (One day or half-day workshop)

Changes in the economic environment require that organizations and leaders approach their work differently in order to build capacity and ensure sustainability. This workshop focuses on the roles that board members play in fundraising including donor cultivation, the case for support, making “the ask” and stewardship. Participants will learn the practical steps used by board members to fundraise and to get over fundraising fears. This interactive workshop includes case studies and role play exercises. New trends in philanthropy and resource development will be shared.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • identify the most effective “best practices” that ensure greater fundraising success
      • identify specific strategies to increase board participation in fundraising
      • identify ongoing techniques to overcome fundraising fears
      • understand the critical steps in making “an ask”
      • apply fundraising strategies based on new resource development trends relevant to their own organization

    The Fundamentals of Effective Strategic Planning (Half-day workshop)

    A well-designed strategic plan provides organizational direction, helps to set priorities, assists with budgeting and resource allocation, and improves overall organizational effectiveness, accountability and decision-making. This interactive workshop provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step strategic planning process that can be used by any nonprofit. Executive directors and board members will learn the key steps and methodology for building a successful strategic plan.

    Participants will learn how to evaluate the external and internal environment of an organization as well as the fundamentals of developing mission statements, setting goals and measurable objectives and identifying activities to be implemented. The workshop provides the basic tools necessary to implement a useful evaluation process that assesses organizational capacity and creates procedures for evaluating strategic outcomes, and sets the groundwork for continued in-depth study of these processes in the Advanced Strategic Planning workshop.

    Learning Objectives
    At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • list the benefits of strategic planning
      • identify the key elements of a well-written strategic plan
      • effectively revisit and revise the organization’s mission and vision if applicable
      • analyze the internal and external environment while recognizing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to their organization
      • identify the best practices for evaluation and implementation of the plan
      • create an action plan for moving forward with the strategic planning process (a workshop activity)

    Creating and Implementing Your Strategic Plan
    (Advanced Strategic Planning)

    (Half-day workshop)

    Strategic planning remains one of the most effective tools for shaping an organization. This is accomplished through the clarification of fundamental decisions and actions and the alignment of these decisions with the vision of its leaders. This comprehensive workshop builds on the fundamentals of developing a strategic plan that were presented in Strategic Planning I, and expands into the critical areas of plan execution and analysis. Equipped with the knowledge of strategic plan formulation, nonprofit executive directors and board members will learn how to execute and monitor their plans based on proven analytical techniques and models, and how best to engage staff in the process. This practice-driven workshop will use interactive exercises and case studies for learning how to write organizational goals supported by S.M.A.R.T. objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound) and action plans. Participants will be introduced to different process options such as Appreciative Inquiry and Scenario Planning.

    Learning Objectives
    At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • formulate goals and measurable objectives specific to their organization
      • establish 1-2 strategies for accomplishing determined objectives
      • establish strategic planning, monitoring and controlling mechanisms that ensure positive results
      • identify the best methods for engaging board and staff in the strategic planning process
      • determine how to integrate different process options into an overall planning methodology

    Succession Planning Best Practices (Half-day Session)

    Planning for executive director transition or “succession planning” is an ongoing part of organizational development and sustainability in nonprofit organizations, but it is often not a top priority for nonprofit leaders. Succession planning is used to build strong leadership, assess current operations, prescribe activities for improving operations and sets the stage for a strong transition. To ensure effective succession planning, the partnership between the executive director and the board must be built on trust. In addition, nonprofit executives must be willing to share authority and assign leadership roles to various staff otherwise the executive director’s departure could cause the organization to breakdown. Participants learn the importance of succession planning, key elements and how succession planning aligns with their organization’s current strategic issues. Participants will review a succession readiness checklist and determine the proper steps for developing a succession policy for their own organization.

    Learning Objectives
    At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

      • identify the key elements of succession planning and the importance of succession planning
      • cite best strategies to improve internal structure and staffing and best practices/strategies for increasing board engagement and ownership will be determined
      • identify the key elements of a succession policy