Nonprofit Innovation Conference

Join nonprofit professionals from Northwestern Wisconsin to learn how to better meet your mission by exchanging ideas and listening to innovative strategies others in the industry are trying.

Key Program Information
Categories Nonprofit | Business
Program Type Non-Credit
Delivery Format Face-to-Face
Next Session Wednesday, June 19, 2019 in Eau Claire

Florian Gardens

2340 Lorch Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Schedule June 19, 2019 9:00am to 4:15pm

Who Should Attend

People who work professionally or personally in the nonprofit realm, supporters, and volunteers.

Two men talking at a conference at UW-Eau Claire

Program Description

Now Accepting Conference Proposals

We are currently accepting proposals for presenters at the 2019 Nonprofit Innovation Conference. Share your story and expertise with local nonprofit professionals!

Interested in presenting at the upcoming Nonprofit Innovation Conference?

Learn more

Don’t miss an opportunity to get your business or organization in front of nonprofit professionals during this conference. We are offering different sponsorship options so you can pick one that’s right for your needs.

Interested in sponsoring the conference? 

Sponsorship opportunities

A Conference Designed with Nonprofits in Mind

Everywhere you look in Northwestern Wisconsin, you’ll find driven, talented people working professionally or personally in the nonprofit realm. This conference was created with those driven humans in mind and if you’re one of them, you should check out what the day has to offer. Not only do we hope you learn some new things that might help your organization reach higher levels, but also that you can connect with others and strengthen your network. You never know what problems you can solve together!

Overview of day

You can attend whichever sessions you want during the day.

  • Registration | 8:30–9:00 a.m.
  • Welcome & Opening Session | 9:00 a.m.
  • Break | 10:00–10:15 a.m.
  • Morning Sessions | 10:15–11:45 a.m.
  • Networking Lunch | 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
  • Afternoon Sessions | 12:45–2:15 p.m.
  • Break | 2:15–2:30 p.m.
  • Last Sessions | 2:30–4:15 p.m. 

Morning Sessions | 10:15–11:45 a.m.

Beyond the Spreadsheet: Providing Relevant Data to Your Board
Dawne Brown White, Executive Directors – COMPAS & Jules Wilkins, Certified Fundraising Executive

Are your board members asking the same questions over and over – never seeming to read the materials you send them? Are you worried they don’t really “get” what you are sharing with them? In this fun and engaging session, Dawne and Jules will draw on their own experience working as board members and staff members to help you review the fundamentals of communicating with your board, avoid some common pitfalls, and come away with new tools for creating effective and engaging board reports, financial documents, board training, and other board communications.

You will learn how to:

  • identify the information your board needs, and techniques for putting together reports that share information without boring or overwhelming your board. 
  • hands-on tools and techniques you can use back at the office, and increased confidence in your ability to engage and motivate your board through effective reporting.

Finding the “Right Revenue for your Organization”
Shelly Schnupp, Professor at Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management – UW-Milwaukee

One of the most popular myths in the nonprofit sector is the notion of maximum income diversification. Yet, research continues to show that a “more the merrier” strategy does not work when it comes to income streams. Rather, the fundamental question is, “What is the right revenue strategy to pursue our intended impact in a financially viable manner that is aligned with our organizational values?” Answering this question requires leadership to understand the nuances of revenue streams, flexibility, and restrictions. This interactive session will explore the questions to ask to find the right revenue for your organization as opposed to simply pursuing all revenue streams available.

At the conclusion of this 90-minute session, participants will be able to:

  • differentiate among the different types of revenue streams and sources—their challenges and benefits.
  • think about mission in new ways that can prevent you from “leaving money on the table.”
  • begin devising a revenue strategy that works for your mission and organizational capacity.

How Can Interns Work for Your Organization?
Staci Heidtke, Associate Directors of Career Services – UW-Eau Claire

Has anyone ever suggested you hire an intern for your organization? Managing interns is easier than you might think. Interns offer short-term solutions with minimal investment. They bring current knowledge from coursework and new perspectives to the work environment. A well-planned internship can be a tremendous help to a busy non-profit organization. In addition, internships in the nonprofit sector help expose students to the wonders of working for the common good. The key to internship success is preparation and planning.

You will gain a better understanding of:

  • internship best practices.
  • developing clear expectations, focused on skills and qualifications, for the intern.
  • training and development ideas.
  • offering regular and constructive feedback to the intern.

Afternoon Sessions | 12:45–2:15 p.m.

Fearless Coaching: The Power of Inquiry to Develop People
Debbie Okerlund, Executive Coach, Trainer, and Principal – Lead With Agility, LLC.

Managing people takes time and unique skills. Coaching is the ability to use a simple, yet dynamic conversational approach, engaging others to take more initiative, problem-solve with confidence and feel energized to do their best work. In this interactive, skills-practice session, participants will learn strategies and practical tools for effectively developing people through the art of coaching. The workshop draws on the book, Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders by Judith Wilson and Michelle Gislason and on Conversational Intelligence® work by Judith E. Glaser.

You will:

  • find ways to balance your leadership style between instructive and facilitative approaches.
  • drill-down coaching questions that build awareness and ownership in others.
  • practice real-time coaching strategies to help others tackle challenges and achieve goals.

Low Cost/No Cost Process Improvement
Kelly Rietow & Rick Rietow – Roo Solutions

Every day we experience the frustration of unnecessary complexity, redundancy, and paperwork. And you can always find a reason not to improve a process. During this hands-on workshop, you will learn that exerting 10% effort now saves 100% frustration later. Learn simple, practical steps your organization can take today to improve volunteer utilization, staff productivity, and mission impact. Experience firsthand how process improvement can impact your organization to serve its mission.

You will:

  • apply "lean" practices to improve the quality and quantity of work.
  • identify opportunities for rapid improvement in your organization.
  • implement immediate process improvements in your organization.

Small Staff = Big Results. Successful Fundraising for the Smaller Nonprofits
Shelley Stewart Janke, Executive Director for the Memorial Medical Center Foundation

Are you a small nonprofit with a limited staff that struggles with fundraising? Are you interested in learning how to create a fundraising strategy that can work for you and your staff and not use all of your time? The objective of this session is to provide practical ways to create and operate a successful fundraising program — with a limited staff.

You will:

  • create a 12-month fundraising plan
  • discuss how to work with your board of directors on creating the best plan for your organization
  • explore new trends in the fundraising world and how to incorporate them
  • brainstorm solutions to everyday challenges and ways to increase revenue

Last Sessions | 2:30–4:15 p.m.

A Fundraiser’s Guide to New Tax Rules
Dana Holt, RICP, AEP, Founder – HOLT Consulting

It’s a new year and if you haven’t yet heard, we have some new tax laws to tangle with. Much has been written about how these new rules will affect everyone, including charities. It can seem scary because let’s face it — most people don’t like to talk about taxes and we tend to be afraid of what we don’t fully understand. This session is here to help you de-mystify it. There are just a few things that a charitable fundraiser needs to know about the new tax rules and we will cover them all.

Questions that will be answered:

  • What changed? 
  • What stayed the same? 
  • Where are the opportunities? 
  • What should we say to donors?

Convening and Leading Sustainable, Impactful Community Change Initiatives
Donald Gault, Founder – Building Peaceful Community

Community change partnerships can be a highly effective strategy for nonprofits and other interested organizations to collectively identify and address root causes of problems that contribute to the feeling of "having to do more with less." This session will review key learnings from The Initiative for Peaceful Communities in Ramsey County (Minnesota), including successful efforts to eliminate "adult entertainment" local newspapers and highly effective strategies to reduce and eliminate harsh treatment of children in public places including children's museums and human service agencies.

You will learn how to:

  • implement practices of Community Systems Organizing, including developing clear and attainable collective goals and objectives. 
  • avoid being driven and controlled by seeking money and grants.  
  • be more confident in your ability to develop and implement successful community change partnerships in their communities.

Giving Supporters Choice in Nonprofit Communications
Steve Boland, Managing Partner – Next in Nonprofits

Different supporters have different needs, and using the same megaphone for all of them is too much for some and not enough for others. Join us for a case study of a growing nonprofit, from zero Facebook followers and newsletter subscribers to gaining over 3,000 of each in three years.

You’ll cover:

  • how the East Side Freedom Library introduced segmented email newsletters.
  • how Superfan metrics are more engaged while not overwhelming general supporters.
  • real-world measurements from tools such as MailChimp to show how customized engagement returns real results.


Dawne Brown White is a respected and accomplished leader in the Twin Cities nonprofit community who has a passion for building relationships and growing programs to meet community needs, especially those that strengthen children and families. Since moving to the Twin Cities from Canada, she has held positions with the Girl Scouts, the University of Minnesota and the Ronald McDonald House and also founded her own nonprofit. Dawne currently serves as the Executive Director of COMPAS, a state-wide arts organization. She also serves on the board of the Roseville Community Foundation, and is a Saint Paul Lean In Circle facilitator.

Jules Wilkins works with organizations large and small to help create integrated and highly effective communications and development strategy, design, and copy. (In other words, she helps people like you create fundraising communications that raise more money while wowing your donors, and your boss). She consults at, and the Director of External Relations for COMPAS. Jules is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and serves on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Minnesota Chapter. Get in touch at

Shelly Schnupp's work in nonprofit planning and administration spans over twenty-five years and includes work with local, regional and national nonprofits. Schnupp specializes in nonprofit organizational and board capacity assessment; strategic and organizational planning and performance measurement; program analysis, development and outcomes measurement; and aspects of nonprofit governance and management. She has designed tools and delivered training on these topics and is affiliated with Spectrum Nonprofit Services where she contributes her expertise and benefits from the skills of colleagues. Schnupp has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois and has earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She works to bridge research and community practice, benefiting students and Milwaukee-area nonprofits that are seeking information and tools to improve their work. She currently teaches graduate-level courses at the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at UW-Milwaukee and serves as board president of the Wisconsin Nonprofits Association.

Staci Heidtke is in her eleventh year working for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as the Associate Director of Career Services. She frequently works with employers to develop internships, and offers creative ideas to meet the needs of organizations while appealing to potential interns. She is in the final stages of the administration of the Career Ready Internship Program, a three-year grant that has created over 200 internships in the Chippewa Valley, providing $300,000 for paid internships for UW-Eau Claire students. Staci has a Bachelor’s of Social Work from UW-Eau Claire and a Master’s of Science in Counseling and Guidance-School Concentration.

Debbie Okerlund is Executive Coach, Trainer, and Principal of Lead With Agility, LLC. She coaches leaders, designs and facilitates peer-coaching groups and conducts interactive trainings on coaching skills, transformational communication, and team building. Debbie has partnered with nonprofit executives, managers, and educators from over 200 organizations and higher ed institutions to navigate challenges and grow their leadership.

Kelly Rietow specializes in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Training, and Facilitation. She has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and possesses both PMP and HR certifications. Kelly works at Roo Solutions ( which provides “HR When You Need It” to nonprofits and small businesses experiencing business pains. Service areas include HR Infrastructure, Organizational Development, Process Improvement, Training and Facilitation, Compliance / Audit and outsourced HR. Roo’s goal is to provide simple, effective and self-sustaining systems for every client.

Rick Rietow specializes in Project Management, Lean, Six Sigma and Change Management. Rick is a certified Lean / Six Sigma black belt, possesses PMP certification and earned his MBA from the University of St Thomas. Rick works at Roo Solutions ( which provides “HR When You Need It” to nonprofits and small businesses experiencing business pains. Service areas include HR Infrastructure, Organizational Development, Process Improvement, Training and Facilitation, Compliance / Audit and outsourced HR. Roo’s goal is to provide simple, effective and self-sustaining systems for every client. 

Shelley (Stewart) Janke has been working in the nonprofit/fundraising world for over 18 years. She served as the Development Director for the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts during their 4.6 million dollar capital campaign and went onto be the Executive Director for Main Street of Menomonie in 2011. For 7 years, she has served as the Executive Director for the Memorial Medical Center Foundation in Neillsville, an organization she helped form from the ground up. She was recently hired to lead the Eau Claire County Humane Association, and will start a new journey as Executive Director in June of 2018. She is an expert in fundraising principles and board development and has led many nonprofits through board retreats and trainings. Shelley currently resides in Alma Center with her husband and three children. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time boating in the summer, and be with her family.

Dana J. Holt, RICP, AEP, is the founder of HOLT Consulting, where she guides charities, families, and financial advisers through complex charitable giving strategies. She also trains development staff to better identify and facilitate major and planned gifts. 

Dana spent four years as an Advanced Planning Consultant at a Fortune 500 financial services company. There she guided and educated financial advisers from coast to coast through complex client matters such as tax planning, charitable giving, estate planning, real estate, social security, and beyond. Dana honed her charitable planning experience during her nine years as a Charitable Gift Planner at InFaith Community Foundation (formerly Lutheran Community Foundation). There she helped to facilitate hundreds of planned gifts using everything from cash to crops to cows, real estate, royalties, and more. Dana began her professional career as an estate planning attorney in the Twin Cities. She graduated from Mitchell Hamline School of Law and Southern Illinois University. She lives in Lauderdale, Minnesota, with her two retired racing greyhounds.

Donald Gault is the founder of Building Peaceful Community, a consulting practice dedicated to reconnecting humanity with humane which provides training, consultation, and planning facilitation in the Twin Cities and nationwide ( He worked at Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health from 1987-2016, managing the department's Healthy Communities Section and co-founding The Initiative for Peaceful Families and Communities in Ramsey County. Primary areas of focus with Building Peaceful Community include promoting healthy, productive workplaces,  peaceful and healthy lives for men and boys, and building respectful, nurturing communities for children and youth to grow and thrive. Donald has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northeastern Illinois University and a Master of Arts degree from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  

Steve Boland is a nonprofit veteran with over 25 years of experience helping charities grow with new ideas in fundraising and communications. Steve has presented over 100 learning sessions on topics such as crowdfunding, engaging corporate philanthropy, and social communications strategy for nonprofits.A graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Steve holds a Master of Nonprofit Management from Hamline University, is an alumnus of the Shannon Leadership Institute and serves on the Board of Directors for Outfront Minnesota. Steve is the Managing Partner of Next in Nonprofits, a consulting firm based in Saint Paul, is an adjunct instructor of Development and Fundraising for Hamline University, and is the host of the Next in Nonprofits podcast. Learn more at


*Listing of sponsors does not represent endorsement by UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education/Extension.

Final Registration Deadline


Standard Fee $99.00

GROUP DISCOUNT — Register with two or more and pay $75 each.

Fee includes materials, handouts, instruction, refreshments, and lunch.


Discount will automatically be applied when registering 2 or more people.


Phone: 715-836-3636
Toll Free: 866-893-2423

103 Garfield Avenue
Old Library 1108
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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