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The NonProfit Connection
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Capacity-Building Program Overview
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HandsOn NWNC provides a variety of services, training, programs, and referrals to increase the capacity of local nonprofit organizations as they work hard to fulfill their challenging missions. Our comprehensive capacity-building programming addresses the wide variety of needs and issues that are crucial to the development of vibrant and effective nonprofits. (Learn more about capacity-building in general here.) Nonprofit staff can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter of news and information, The Nonprofit Connection, which is the primary way we communicate with our nonprofit partners and other interested individuals. Our staff is available for individual consultation and trouble-shooting, and we're also available to provide training to your board and staff. No matter what the issue, chances are we’ll be able to get you started on the right path towards a solution. Because so many of our services benefit nonprofits, we encourage them to become Supporting Partners.

Training, Education, and Other Signature Programs
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HandsOn NWNC works with a wide-range of partners to offer compelling learning opportunities for nonprofit staff, volunteers, and board leaders. We offer organizational assessments and other signature programs geared to strengthening organizations as a whole. We also facilitate mentoring and peer-to-peer opportunities through convening of local nonprofit leaders. A generous grant from The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust allows us to offer the current slate of programs below at significantly reduced rates.

Building Capacity for Measurement

The nonprofit sector is increasingly under pressure to show meaningful results, but organization often don't have the right tools to adequately measure their results or are intimidated by the evaluation process. Building Capacity for Measurement provides nonprofits with a consultant who will use group training, individual coaching, and technical assistance to help the organization design a simple, effective measurement system for a particular program or activity, as well as a process that can be used to embed the measurement system into the organization's on-going operations. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

HandsOn Board Workshops

We offer two HandsOn Board classes: a Board Basics class and a Leadership Development class. Offered a few times each year, each class is designed to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit boards by enhancing the skills and knowledge of individual members. The Basics class is perfect for those members who are new to board service, for those who have never had formal board training, and/ or for members serving on new and emerging boards. It includes a review of 501(c)(3) laws and regulations, the purpose and content of by-laws, board governance, board roles and responsibilities, board/staff relationships, board policies, executive committee structure and responsibilities, attributes of quality boards, and key benchmarks for effective boards. The Board Leadership Development class is geared towards current and emerging officers and committee chairs of nonprofit boards, those who are interested in these positions, or leaders who are working to address a dysfunctional board environment.  This workshop provides information and tools board officers need to increase personal leadership skills and effectiveness in the governance and operation of their respective boards and include: a review of board officer roles and responsibilities, committee chair accountabilities, attributes of effective boards and committee leaders, tips for conducting effective meetings, group communications, appraising board and committee effectiveness, self-assessment leadership instruments, and benchmarks for healthy boards and committees. The schedule of classes is always announced in our Nonprofit Connection newsletter,

Helping Hands and Chuck Kraft Scholarship Programs

Our Helping Hands program offers partial scholarships to nonprofit staff and board members who wish to attend the Nonprofit Essentials classes as a way to increase their competency in areas critical to the daily operation of their organization. Scholarships are first-come, first-served and new funds for applications will be available beginning in July.  The Chuck Kraft Scholarship was established as part of HandsOn 5th Anniversary celebration, and honors our founding board chair. This competitive scholarship allows a staff or board member from a children or youth-serving nonprofit to attain the Nonprofit Essentials certificate free of charge. The award reflects Chuck's career-long service to children and youth organizations, as well as his commitment to professional development and his dedication to HandsOn NWNC's mission. The Chuck Kraft Scholarship application can be found here.

Hospitality + Service

Many nonprofit and social sector organizations operate in an environment where clients may feel a heightened sense of vulnerability or distress. Ensuring client dignity, while delivering much needed services, may be among nonprofits' greatest challenges. By equipping staff and volunteers to improve the culture of hospitality in their organizations and enhance client service, organizations can address this potential obstacle. Hospitality + Service is a tailored training program that leverages Hilton Worldwide's internal Team Member trainings to infuse hospitality into the daily practices of nonprofit and social sector organizations with the goal of developing a strong culture of hospitality over time. The curriculum is consists of seven modules that are based on the S.E.R.V.E. principles of hospitality: Sincere, Empathetic, Respectful, Visible and Engaging everyone every time. The curriculum also incorporates communication skills activities designed to improve communication and connections with clients, creating warm and welcoming environments and effectively managing challenging situations. This class has been endorsed by NCAVA.

Nonprofit Essentials Certificate Program

 We are pleased to partner with Wake Forest University’s Pro Humanitate Instituteto offer Nonprofit Essentials, a series of ten skill building courses designed to strengthen the capacity of students and professionals pursuing careers in the nonprofit sector or those interested in updating their knowledge and skills. Classes are open to the community and taught by faculty, staff, and aulmni of Wake Forest University. Nonprofit board members, staff, and volunteers are encouraged to attend. Topics include: Nonprofit Governance, Budgeting and Finance, Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Fund Development, Collaboration, Evaluation, Advocacy and Communication, Grant Writing, plus one Emerging Issue that changes each year. The half-day classes are offered monthly and can be taken individually or you can register for the entire series. (Missed classes can be made-up in preceding years.)  Instructors will be primarily Wake Forest University faculty and staff.  All classes include a networking lunch.  Participants who complete all 10 classes will recieve a Certificate of Completion from Wake Forest University.

Organizational Assessment Program  

Evaluating an organization's strengths and challenges is criticial to planning strategically for the future.  An organizational assessment provides a "snapshot" of an organization's health so that boards, staff, and stakeholders can make strategiv decisions to help the organization effectively deliver programs and services.  Organizational assessments:

-Highlight organizational strengths and challenges in key governance and management areas

-Recommend actions to strengthen these areas

-Identify resources that can help with implementing the recommended actions

HandsOn NWNC uses the Impact Capacity Assessment Tool (iCAT) to help facilitate this process.  The iCAT is an anonymous online survey that collects information from invited stakeholders, leadership, key staff, and Board members on six, research-based organizational capacities: Leading, Learning, Resource Generating, Planning, Managing, and Overseeing. The iCAT automatically converts the survey information into an online report that summarizes the organization’s strengths and challenges, and makes recommendations for improvement.  The iCAT takes approximately 30 minutes per person to complete.  After completing the iCAT, the nonprofit will be paired with a consultant who will facilitate a 3-4 hour session to help the organization interpret the iCAT results, identify top priorities, and devise a plan for next steps.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Project Blueprint

In partnership with the United Way of Forsyth County, HandsOn NWNC is pleased to offer Project Blueprint, a board leadership development program designed to increase the number of individuals from under-represented groups and communities who serve on local nonprofit boards and committees.  The program includes a series of intensive training sessions on various aspects of board service that enables participants to develop the skills to help them become successful board members.  Topics include: an overview of nonprofit boards, diversity, effective meetings, strategic planning, board development, fiscal responsibility, and a session with Executive Directors that highlights practical experience and observations regarding boards and board dynamics. Participants are also required to attend a Board Bank Speed Dating event to talk with various nonprofits about board and board committee opportunities to help facilitate board placement.  See the program description for further details, including how to apply to the program and dates for upcoming classes.

Serivce Enterprise

Service Enterprise is a national certification model that helps nonprofits integrate volunteers throughout their organizations and create or improve processes that provide for effective recruitment, management, funding, support, and retention of volunteers. Through assessment, training, peer learining, and coaching, the Service Enterprise model helps nonprofits focus on volunteers to help them successfully meet their missions, reduce costs, and increase efficiency/effectiveness. National research by the TCC group has shown that Certified Service Enterprises achieve the same programmatic outcomes as their peers with 60% less of their budgets to do so.

Volunteer Management Training Series (VMTS)

Developed by the Points of Light Foundation, VMTS is a series of six half day courses that provides a comprehensive understanding of the components of a volunteer program.  Volunteer administrators and anyone who has responsibility for recruiting, coordinating or managing volunteers will benefit from the interactive curriculum, which is based on the latest research and best practices in the industry.  The courses will be offered every other year.  Participants can choose to register for the full series or just the classes that interest them (there is a discount for signing up for the entire series!) The entire series has been endorsed by NCAVA. 

Women's Emerging Leaders Program
Designed to increase leadership development for mid-level female staff currently serving in nonprofits, this program combines an intensive two day Leadership Essentials for Women workshop with the Nonprofit Essentials Program. Leadership Essentials for Women (2 1/2 day program) is based on curriculum developed by the Center for Creative Leadership and is delivered by a CCL adjunct faculty member (typical cost of this portion of the program if taken directly through CCL is approximately $8,000 per person.) The program kicks off with Leadership Essentials for women in the fall, and the Nonprofit Essentials classes are offered September through June.  In total, WEL not only provides leadership development and practical skills in a variety of areas essential to the operation and management of nonprofits, but builds a strong network of peer support among class participants.  The Women's Emerging Leaders Program is limited to 15 participants to ensure a quality learning and networking environment.  Applications are due in June.

Verified Volunteers

HandsOn NWNC is proud to be a strategic partner of Verified Volunteers, which is the only background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the nonprofit and service sector. Verified Volunteers is designed to make background screening of volunteers faster, easier, and less costly for nonprofits and volunteers themselves. Verified Volunteers has been rolled out in partnership with HandsOn affiliates across the country, and we were happy to launch this service in our market in the Spring of 2014.

Benefits for Nonprofit Organizations: 

      • Verified Volunteers saves money by allowing volunteers to share their status with multiple organizations at no additional cost to the nonprofit or the volunteer.
      • Verified Volunteers provides a consistent standard for volunteer background screening that can be recognized and accepted by volunteer managers everywhere.
      • Verified Volunteers offers paperless administration and secure storage to eliminate paperwork and reduce administrative time.
      • Verified Volunteers updates background checks automatically for a year, giving nonprofits the added security of monitoring their volunteer corps for new criminal records and empowering the volunteer to share an up-to-date background check report with other organizations.
      • Verified Volunteers is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state laws.

Benefits for Volunteers:


      • Verified Volunteers saves time and money by eliminating the need for multiple background checks. Once you complete an online background check with Verified Volunteers, your screening status is current and you have the option of reusing it with any other Verified Volunteer member organization.
      • Verified Volunteers allows you to own, control, maintain and share your background check through Verified Volunteers self-service online platform.
Looking for Board Members? Interested in Serving?
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We're excited to launch our NEW HandsOn Board Bank! The Board Bank is a program that recruits and trains volunteers interested in serving as board members and matches them with hundreds of nonprofitsin our service area.  By connecting qualified volunteers to nonprofits, the board bank builds nonprofit board leadership while providing individuals the opportunity to share their expertise and interests with organizations that address critical community needs.   

How the Board Bank works:

  • Nonprofits and candidates submit their applications to participate in the program.
  • Candidates attend a training session to learn more about the expectations and responsibilities of serving on a board, typically our HandsOn Board Basics workshop.
  • Candidates are “matched” with nonprofits seeking board members with their interests/skills.
  • Nonprofits contact interested candidates to schedule interviews to further discuss board membership.  HandsOn NWNC will facilitate this process or notify nonprofits if the candidate is not interested and will continue to search for an appropriate match.

Benefits to Nonprofits:

  • Access to enthusiastic, skilled, diverse and trained candidates who want to make a difference in the community.
  • Reduced time and resources spent on recruiting qualified board members, resulting in improved organizational efficiency in filling leadership needs.
  • Exposure to candidates outside of the “usual” recruiting circles.

 Benefits to Candidates:

• Create a positive impact by contributing enthusiasm and expertise to an organization that needs help   addressing community needs

• Engage with like-minded individuals toward a common goal

• Broaden professional and leadership skills while learning about nonprofit governance

• Expand personal and professional networks in the communit

Nonprofit Board Speed Dating:

Nonprofits and candidates in the Board Bank are eligible to participate in our Nonprofit Board Speed Dating. Held twice a year, this event is designed to connect people in the community who are interested in serving on nonprofit boards with nonprofits seeking qualified board members or board committee members.


The Board Bank is only open to Supporting Partners at this time free of charge. 

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HandsOn NWNC works together with local nonprofits and other regional, statewide, and national networks to leverage and concentrate resources, advocate for the nonprofit sector, and build relationships with other sectors of the community for the greater benefit of nonprofits and those they serve. We maintain a close partnership with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits to provide a seamless continuum of services to the sector. Our goal is to strengthen nonprofits so that they can meet the challenge of their missions in the most effective and efficient way possible. You can learn more about some of key collaborations here.

Linking Nonprofits with Consultants
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Click to view information about Consultants or to register as a Consultant.

Resource Links
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Key Partners

 Other Local Resources

 Online Resources

Have you come across an online resource for nonprofit capacity-building that you'd like to share? Just let us know and we'll be happy to consider adding it to this list.

Nonprofit Express
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As a collaborative effort with HandsOn NWNC and N.C. Center for Nonprofits, NonProfit Express provides a basic information checklist for the following categories of nonprofit interest, as well as additional resources.

Career and Job Placement Information
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Interested in a career in the nonprofit sector, or is your organization looking for your next, best staff person? We can help! Our staff is available for brief, one-on-one appointments to help guide candidates as hey explore their options within the sector. In addition, we currently include all timely job openings from any nonprofit in our network in The Nonprofit Connection. We can also provide salary comparison data as required by the IRS. Supporting Partners have the opportunity to submit their openings for inclusion on this part of our website until the position is filled. To submit an open position, ask questions, or to set an appointment, please contact Amy Lytle.

Peer Networking Groups
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In 2012, we were pleased to work with the Winston-Salem Foundation and Capital Development to jump start a new Peer Philanthropy Network. This peer-led networking group is designed to bring together development professionals from a wide range of nonprofits. The group meets three times per year in the Burress Family Center for Philanthropy; each meeting features a peer-faciliated conversation around an announced topic. Meeting dates and topics are usually set a year in advance and will be posted on our website under "training and education." If you'd like to be part of the leadership for this group, or have any other questions, please contact Kathy Davis.

In 2015, we launched the first meeting of the similiar-designed Peer Financial Network, which is designed to bring together those professional serving as CFOs or in similar positions within their nonprofits. This emerging group has just begun the process of setting their topics and dates for the year, although they, too, plan to meet three times a year in the Burress Center. If you would lke to become part of this group, please contact Kathy Davis.

We also work closely with the peer-led, all-volunteer Piedmont Regional Association for Volunteer Administration (PRAVA.) This local professional development group meets monthly and works to provide support and networking opportunities for volunteer administrators, while promoting and fostering volunteer relationships within the community. Read more about our relationship with PRAVA, or download their brochure.

Community Calendar
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Don't forget to add your Events to the Community Calendar!