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If you are unable to attend a course, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received in writing five business days prior to the date of the program will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee. You may send a substitute, but we ask that you notify us in writing of this change at If you do not attend or send a substitute, you or your employer will be billed the full registration fee.


How to Form and Sustain Sucessful Partnerships and Collaborations

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. in #402 J.C. Penney Conference Center on the UMSL north campus. (Note, members of the Community Builders Network (CBN) will have an additional discussion/meeting from 4-5 p.m.)

The NPML Program is happy to partner with the Community Builders Network (CBN) for this presentation. Learn more about CBN at:

Is your organization currently participating in partnerships with other organizations and/or groups? Are you planning to do so? Do you want the existing partnerships to be even more successful, or want to optimize the chances that future partnerships and collaborations will be so? This workshop is for current and aspiring nonprofit executives, managers, and board members who want to learn the most promising principles and practices to form and sustain successful partnerships and collaborations. It will also provide an opportunity to learn and share obstacles to, and strategies for success. The workshop will mix plenary presentation and discussion, a panel of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders with ample Q&A, and small, break-out group discussions with peers. Takeaways include methods and tools to increase success at partnerships.

The objectives for participants include:

John McClusky will be the primary presenter. John is a consultant, educator, and author in the field of nonprofit leadership who has trained thousands of leaders and consulted with hundreds of nonprofit organizations. He was the founding director of  academic programs in nonprofit leadership and management at two universities, the most recent being NPML here at UM-St. Louis. John was a nonprofit organization executive for more than 20 years, including program executive at the Danforth Foundation, regional chief executive and national president of the Coro Foundation, vice chancellor for external relations at UM-St. Louis, and academic vice president of The Washington (D.C.) Center, a national higher education institution.

John has been a speaker and trainer on collaboration and partnerships nationally and regionally and a senior adviser to numerous partnerships, coalitions, and large scale collective initiatives (including CBN) here in our region. Finally, he has initiated or co-led at least 30 formal partnerships among nonprofit and other organizations, and co-led several larger collaborations.


Felicia Shaw – Executive Director, Regional Arts Commission (RAC)
Felicia joined the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis as its Executive Director in 2015. A native St. Louisan, Felicia brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and nonprofit arts and culture sector. Previously, Felicia served for eight years as Director of Arts and Culture Strategy and Analysis at the San Diego Foundation, where she directed a portfolio of community and civic engagement programs including a fellowship program for creative entrepreneurs, a grant program supporting neighborhood revitalization efforts, an arts-based placemaking and community building initiative, and a leadership training program for early career arts administrators.

Prior to joining the San Diego Foundation, Felicia was Program Manager at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, responsible for implementing the annual grants program and a number initiatives designed to promote San Diego as a leading cultural tourism destination. She currently serves on the board of the United States Urban Arts Federation as a member of the Executive Committee. She formerly served on the boards of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), the only national association of both public and private arts and culture funders in the United States and Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), a national artists’ service organization that seeks to safeguard and sustain the careers of artists working in craft disciplines and provide emergency resources that benefit all artists.

Locally, she serves on the boards of the Greater St Louis Community Foundation, Invest STL, and FOCUS St. Louis.  A graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in Communications, Felicia completed post-graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego in Art History, Theory, and Criticism.

Rikki Takeyama Menn – Vice President of Strategic Engagement, St. Louis Regional Health Commission
Rikki joined the Regional Health Commission in 2014 and serves as the Vice President of Strategic Engagement. In this role, Rikki manages the Commission’s Advisory Boards and engagement efforts with community members and stakeholders.

Prior to joining the Commission, Rikki worked as a residency coordinator for the Department of Neurosurgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Rikki earned her undergraduate degree in marketing and her master’s degree from Stephens College, where she worked in their alumnae relations and admissions departments, engaging critical stakeholders.

Rikki serves as a board member and coach for Girls on the Run St. Louis, as well as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. She also serves as the President-Elect of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives and was a member of the 2016-2017 FOCUS Leadership St. Louis class.

Dara Eskridge – Senior Project Manager, Urban Strategies
Dara is a Senior Project Manager for Urban Strategies, a not for profit corporation founded in 1978, that works with developers to re-build distressed urban core communities into vibrant, safe residential neighborhoods with new housing, good schools, strong institutions and a range of human service supports and amenities. She coordinates economic development and community engagement for the federal Near North Side Choice Neighborhood initiative in St. Louis. Prior to joining Urban Strategies in 2017, Dara served as a Senior Planner in the St. Louis County Executive's Office of Strategy + Innovation, preceded by roles in St. Louis County Planning, City of St. Louis Homeless Services and the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, CT.

Dara earned her graduate degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York and her Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University in Alabama. She lives in Downtown St. Louis with her husband and two toddlers while they diligently rehab their future home in North City's Hyde Park neighborhood.

In addition to the panelists, several practitioners who are experienced in partnerships will facilitate small breakout groups.

Registration fee: $35 (Members of CBN can enroll for this class at the discounted rate of $15. Contact a CBN representative to obtain the discount promo code).

Click here to register for How to Form and Sustain Successful Partnerships and Collaborations.



Successful Grant Writing

Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in #402 J.C. Penney Conference Center (on our UMSL north campus)

In the highly competitive world of grants, learn the art and science of creating excellent grant applications. Share perspectives and embrace practical examples that will give you an edge in writing proposals and obtaining funding. You will leave this interactive session with tools and techniques you can put to immediate use as you seek funds from the private sector. Hands-on activities will be more meaningful if you come to class with a project in mind - it can be for any project at any amount. From the initial research to thanking the donor, this comprehensive session is good for beginners and seasoned grantwriters alike. The class will also explore the growing area of Donor Advised Funds and their potential impact on foundation giving.

Instructor Wendy Dyer has enjoyed working with hundreds of nonprofits over the last 23 years as a consultant, from north to south and throughout the Midwest.  She has helped pump millions of dollars into the economy – expanding programs and building schools, health centers and cultural places - bringing opportunity to thousands of people. A frequent presenter and trainer, Wendy encourages agencies to find their “sizzle” and embrace her mantra that “People are giving money away, anyway, might as well be to you.” 

Registration fee: $99 (includes lunch in the form of a voucher for use in the Millennium Student Center food court)

Click here to register for Successful Grant Writing.



Creating Successful Group Dynamics: How to Build Better Teams, Committees, and Collaborations

Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. in #202 J.C. Penney Conference Center (on the UMSL north campus)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”   Margaret Mead

Groups, committees, teams and collaborations are essential parts of the work in a nonprofit organization.  What is the essence of “group process” and what is the role of the professional in creating successful ongoing decision making experiences?  How does a staff person know when to lead and when to step back to ensure that staff members and volunteer leaders are engaged, empowered and motivated? This seminar highlights the stages and elements of collective impact, including building trust, managing participants needs and expectations, responding to conflict and staying focused on the organization’s impact. 

Instructor Marci Mayer Eisen has worked in the St. Louis nonprofit community for 30+ years with an emphasis on community building.  She is the Director of the Millstone Institute, a leadership initiative of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. She previously coordinated interfaith social justice programs at the Jewish Community Relations Council and ran parenting programs and family events at the Jewish Community Center. Marci has a BS in Health & Human Development from Penn State, a MSW in Group Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work in New York and received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from University of Missouri, St. Louis in 2009.  She is a graduate of both CORO Women in Leadership and Leadership St. Louis.  Marci attended the College of Executive Coaching and became an ICF (International Coaching Federation) certified coach in April, 2017.  

Registration fee: $25

Click here to register for Creating Successful Group Dynamics: How to Build Better Teams, Committees, and Collaborations.



From Cost Savings to Improved Outcomes: Continuous Quality Improvement in Action

Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 1-4 p.m. in #202  J.C. Penney Conference Center (on the UMSL north campus)

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a philosophy of management that focuses on process improvement, to improve an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to common CQI models and processes that can be readily applied to social service work. We will identify the capacities and practice behaviors that characterize cultures of learning and improvement. Lastly, we will introduce, demonstrate, and practice several key quality improvement tools and exercises.

Instructor Sarah Buek is the Founder and CEO of Insight Partners Consulting and has worked for the past 13 years in the non-profit sector first as a clinical social worker and later in program management, evaluation, and quality improvement.  As a funder and consultant, she’s led dozens of non-profits in the development of Theories of Change and Logic Models, the design of data collection tools and processes, the creation of quality improvement systems, and the use of performance management to create cultures of learning and continuous improvement.  Her passion is equipping human service professionals and organizations with the thought processes and tools necessary to articulate, measure, and increase their effectiveness and efficiency.

Registration fee: $30

Click here to register for From Cost Savings to Improved Outcomes: Continuous Quality Improvement in Action


For more information about these workshops or to find out about upcoming workshops, or about the NPML Program, contact Dan Sise at, or at (314) 516-6378. 


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