New series offers tools for nonprofit practitioners

A new initiative in Ontario is offering an opportunity for nonprofit and charity organizations to increase their scope and efficiency using out-of-the-box thinking with a local focus. Capacity Building for Community Builders is an eight-part master craft series for nonprofit professionals, board members, and volunteers.

The course is built on a series of modules to help nonprofit leadership and fundraisers learn best practices, develop their donor base, and learn how to tell their story.

“The communication and media landscape is changing, as is the way people give, while volunteer and donor bases are aging. Capacity building really refers to being nimble enough to keep up with all that change,” said the program’s creator, Nicole Beatty. “This series is targeted both for those just developing new skills and for people who are looking to build on their own experiences in the field.”

Beatty’s experience as a development professional has taken her around the world — from Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and back to her hometown in Cobourg — and has lead her to raise $25 million dollars over the past 13 years. She is co-founder of Northumberland’s 100+ Women with Heart and Port Hope’s Cultivate festival, and is the executive director of Local Food for Local Good.

“I’ve been a volunteer, writer, researcher, fundraiser, adviser, executive director, and chief community animator,” she said. “I understand the challenges these organizations encounter at almost every level, and I’ve come to know that there are solutions that can be applied at every level as well.”

The course content was developed with a focus on small to medium size shops, and has been tailored to the specific needs of nonprofit organizations in rural communities.

“The donor base in smaller communities, and the ways to connect with that base, is going to be much different from what a nonprofit might encounter in larger centres,” Beatty said. “We want people who are creating vital change in their community to have the best possible tools for doing that good work where they are.”

Capacity Building for Community Builders is an eight-part series held over four dates between March and June. The first session will be held Thursday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 600 William St. in Cobourg. Those who register for all eight modules will also receive two hours of free consultation. Space is limited.

For more information, and to register,  email or visit


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