nonprofit learning program



The Nonprofit Learning Program (NPLP) provides nonprofit managers and board members with intensive training in best practices in governance and fund development. The program will increase your organization's productivity, strengthen its sustainability and help you better accomplish your mission.

The Northwest Corner Fund (CT), Central Berkshire Fund (MA), South County Fund (MA), Barrett Fund (MA) and Northeast Dutchess Fund (NY) and anonymous donors will fully underwrite the participation of nonprofits in northwest Connecticut (2), Berkshire County (4), northeast Dutchess County (1) and Columbia County (1), NY. Since NPLP was created in 2005, the program has trained over 200 board and staff leaders of 60 organizations.The value for one group to participate in the program is over $8,000.

Program Highlights

  • Five training sessions with Simone Joyaux, an internationally recognized consultant in nonprofit management and governance.
  • $2,000 grant at the program's conclusion to help you implement lessons learned.
  • Comprehensive resource manual with handouts, worksheets, sample policies, job descriptions, analysis tools and more.
  • Opportunities to share experiences with and learn from peers.
  • Telephone and e-mail access to Simone throughout the program.
  • 12 hours of private consultation with Simone for your board after the group training is complete.

You Will Learn To:

  • Define the roles of board members, executive directors and staff.
  • Engage board members in fundraising and governance. 
  • Build lasting relationships with donors and constituents.
  • Launch successful fund development and donor communications initiatives.

Dates for 2017 Program
All classes from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. including light supper

Class One (Litchfield County/northeast Dutchess County/south Berkshire County)

  • Thursday, April 6
  • Thursday, May 4
  • Thursday, May 11
  • Thursday, May 18
  • Thursday, May 25

Location: Berkshire South Regional Community Center (15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA)

Class Two (central and north Berkshire County/Columbia County)

  • Monday, April 3
  • Wednesday, May 3
  • Wednesday, May 10
  • Wednesday, May 17
  • Wednesday, May 24

Location: 1Berkshire (66 Allen Street, Pittsfield, MA)

Please note: full attendance by the entire 4-person team is required for ALL training sessions.



  • Your organization must be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organizations or operate under the auspices of a 501(c)(3) organization.
  • Organizations must have operated with active programming for at least three years.
  • The organization must provide services to residents of the following areas: (in Connecticut) Cornwall, Falls Village, Goshen, Kent, Lakeville, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and Warren; (in New York) Columbia County;  (in New York/Northeast Dutchess) Amenia, Clinton, Dover Plains, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford, Washington, Wassaic and Wingdale, and their hamlets; (in Massachusetts) Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hindsale, Peru, Washington and Windsor; Adams, Cheshire, Savoy; or south Berkshire County 
  • Not be a public school, town or municipality
  • Not include in its constitution, by-laws or practice, discrimination against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief. 

What You Need to Know to Apply
Effective long-term change is only possible if your entire organization is committed to learning the necessary skills and tools. As a participant of the Nonprofit Learning Program, you must:

  • Create a 4-person team to participate in all components of the program. The team must include your executive director, two key board members and your development officer, if you have one. If you don't have a development officer, the fourth participant may be a staff person, board member or active volunteer. For non-staffed organizations, four board members in leadership positions must participate.
    Please note:
    participants in the training should remain with their organizations for at least two years after the program to implement the change process.
  • Attend all five (5) 3.5-hours training sessions throughout April and May (See training sessions above). Only organizations whose teams fully participate in all sessions will be considered for the $2,000 post-training grant.
  • Convene at least one full board meeting for one of the consultations with Simone Joyaux. All board members must attend so that the board can discuss learnings and adopt changes.
  • Read the assigned handouts between sessions to assess your progress.
  • Actively share ideas during the training sessions.
  • Regularly transmit "lessons learned" to your full board and staff.
  • Sign a confidentiality agreement and hold in confidence specific information shared by other participants.
  • Send a final report of how the grant money was used and describe the program's impact on  your organization. 


Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Potential impact of the program on the organization. 
  • Willingness of the organization's board and executive director to be flexible, change and grow. 
  • Commitment to participate actively in each component of the program. 
  • Organization's impact on communities you serve.


To apply, please email a letter of intent by December 1, 2016 to that outlines:

  • What your organization expects to achieve by participating in this program
  • What you see as the major barriers to change within your organization
  • The organization's top three goals related to serving the community

The letter must be co-signed by the organization's executive director and board chair. If the organization does not have an executive director, the letter must be signed by the board chair.

For questions, email Maeve O'Dea or call 413.229.0370.