CNL… Did You Know: Professional Development is at our Heart

June 19, 2017

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership provides workshops, info sessions, consulting, facilitation and peer networking events to help build personal and team capacity in our nonprofit community.

Our organization provides varied local and inexpensive options for our nonprofit partners to invest in their professional development. Most organizations are familiar with our workshops that provide periodic opportunities for board and staff teams to explore and learn about a specific topic. Offering half and whole day options, as well as shorter information sessions, CNL varies its annual programming based on membership feedback and surveys.

Peer networking events offer another opportunity for Executive Directors and Board Members to gather throughout the year to share ideas, resources, and ask questions that benefit everyone.

The Coaching and Consulting Network (C&C Network) of CNL is yet another opportunity for professional development. When you are ready to delve into the deeper questions, muse about the future, or tackle a strategic issue head on, a coach or consultant may be just what you need! Member pricing is affordable at just $75/hour (compared to the going rate of $125-$150/hour in other California communities). Organizations may seek a one-time consultation or coaching experience (i.e., half or full day with a facilitator) or the work may be more in depth over time. If you are facing a challenge and you aren’t sure what you need, we can help. Give us a call, let us know what you are looking for or what challenges you are facing and we will connect you with one of several community coaches and consultants. They will listen and develop a plan to serve your needs and your budget.

Just listen to what one happy client had to say about their experience with the C&C Network; “Sammie’s Friends utilized Janet Cohen, referred to us by the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, to facilitate a meeting for our board to discuss and come to some conclusions about some important issues. We found Janet to be a quick study in understanding our organization and hence she was a highly effective facilitator. I would recommend Janet as an excellent facilitator and the C & C Network for help in identifying your needs and recommending the best fit for your organization” Cheryl Wicks, Executive Director, Sammie’s Friends.

An example of using the C&C Network to develop your team—whether it’s the staff team, board team, volunteer team or all of them—is to identify individual strengths and how to best utilize them to maximize organizational impact.  CNL has seen that being a “Strengths-Based” organization forms more compatible, efficient, and engaged teams, which will positively impact of the organization’s mission and services.  So what does it mean to be a Strengths-Based organization and how do you begin? Did you know that only 31% of American workers are engaged at work? (Gallup, 2017). The Gallup organization has studied workplace engagement for over 30 years and their Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is an incredible and useful tool in building workplace engagement and productivity! This is the first step in creating a strength-based organization, one in which team members are encouraged to build upon their talents that are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.

The StrengthsFinder assessment identifies a person’s top five talents and together with a coach, you and your team can learn how to invest in those talents, eventually developing them into strengths over time. People who work in their “strengthzone” are over 6 times happier and more engaged and over 8 times more productive at work. Did you know that some of the habits of great managers include investing in strengths, surrounding themselves with the right people and maximizing their team, and understanding what their team members need to be successful and productive (Gallup, 2017)? How well do you know your staff team and your board team? Do you know what motivates them and gets them excited and working for your mission? Is everyone working at their potential? StrengthsFinder and the accompanying coaching is a tool for self-awareness, team building and professional development. If you are interested in learning how you can use StrengthsFinder at your organization, please give us a call or send an email to our C&C Network  Coordinators (

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