Local Leaders Earn Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Development

May 12, 2023

By La Crosse Community Foundation

La Crosse Community Foundation and Viterbo University partner to provide Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Development

Balancing the demands of community needs and limited resources can leave nonprofits unsure how to take their organizations to the next level. But 16 local nonprofit leaders are now equipped more than ever to manage healthy operations and impactful programs, and they have the Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Development to prove it.

The CNLD program, supported by the La Crosse Community Foundation and Viterbo University, is designed to equip nonprofit professionals with the tools and know-how to manage healthy operations and impactful programs so they can accomplish their missions and serve the community in the most effective ways possible.

Viterbo University previously offered nonprofit training but discontinued it in 2014. As La Crosse’s nonprofit sector continues to grow in complexity and significance, the La Crosse Community Foundation partnered with Viterbo to revamp and resurrect the program for 2022-2023.

Certificate program helps local nonprofit maintain healthy operations and fulfill missions

“The program offers a comprehensive curriculum curated specifically to meet core competency areas identified by local nonprofit representatives,” said Jamie Schloegel, chief executive officer of La Crosse Community Foundation. “It encompasses fundraising, strategic planning, board governance, and volunteer management.”

certificate in nonprofit leadership development poster presentations

Participants in the Nonprofit Leadership Development Certificate program display their capstone projects in poster presentations.

At a celebration marking their certificate of completion, the cohort of nonprofit leaders displayed their capstone projects developed with help from a mentor. Each capstone represents a customized plan, tool or event for use in their current nonprofit roles with projects ranging from sustainability and succession to fundraising and programming.

“The program helped me develop leadership skills through a combination of coursework and practical experience,” said Christiana Martin, executive director of Capella Performing Arts Center and general manager of La Crosse Chamber Chorale. “I have a more comprehensive understanding of nonprofit management, including fundraising and revenue development, board governance, financial management, and so much more. Already, the knowledge I gained is helping me make more informed decisions and manage resources more strategically to achieve my organizations’ missions.”

Cohort creates valuable network of like-minded professionals

“This first cohort in the renewed program has not only expanded their knowledge and expertise in the nonprofit sector but has also cultivated a valuable network of like-minded professionals, paving the way for future collaborations and community-driven initiatives,” said Van Ert. “As the program grows, so too will the community of skilled and passionate leaders dedicated to enriching lives and fostering positive change in our region.”

The CNLD program was created for nonprofit staff and administrators with one to three years of service and people interested in or currently serving on nonprofit boards. The full certificate program includes nine monthly workshops, September through May, at the Viterbo University campus.

Participants in this year’s program represented a range of nonprofits, including:

  • Adult & Teen Challenge of Western Wisconsin
  • B.L.A.C.K.
  • Children’s Museum of La Crosse
  • Coulee Region RSVP
  • Franciscan Spirituality Center
  • Great Rivers United Way
  • Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area
  • Holmen Community Center
  • Hope Restores
  • Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Coulee Area
  • La Crosse Area Builders Association
  • La Crosse Chamber Chorale
  • La Crosse Community Theatre
  • Marine Credit Union Foundation
  • New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers
  • theExchange
  • The Salvation Army

Registration for the 2023-2024 program is now live. To learn more or register, visit