Home > Don Crocker, Professional Development > “Sharpen the Saw”: Even My Cat is Learning New Tricks

“Sharpen the Saw”: Even My Cat is Learning New Tricks

My wife has now proven to me and my friends that even a pretty old cat can learn new tricks.  Mudpuddle (this is my cat’s name…don’t ask) has recently learned “Stay!”, “Jump!” and other assorted tricks.  I’m sure with this experience of success, my wife now has some “training” plans in store for me.

Actually, more than 20 years ago, as a newly appointed Executive Director of a local community development corporation, I came to the realization that, if I truly wanted to succeed, I needed a place to sharpen my skills and gather with others striving to serve their communities.  That was when I was first introduced to the Support Center.

According to Stephen Covey, in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “Sharpen the Saw” means “preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you.  It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.”

Now, more than 20 years later, I have the privilege to invite you to “sharpen the saw” here at the Support Center.  As a hub for nonprofit leaders and managers, the Support Center offers the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, refresh your confidence and motivation, and build your expertise through the more than 100 hands-on workshops and events each year designed with you in mind.  There is no other place like the Support Center where you can get away from the day-to-day grind to get some perspective on the important work you are doing and learn ways to succeed more effectively and efficiently.  The Support Center provides a unique opportunity to find and build a peer network that can help you create the energy you need to meet the challenges of the volatile environment within which we work.  Thousands gather here each year to network and learn with us and with each other.

Whether you are looking for in-depth instruction in a subject area such as fundraising, board governance, or nonprofit accounting – or you are hoping to hear about strategic changes from foundation or corporate grantmakers – we have the right experience for you. Choose from half or full day courses, certificate programs, customized training, or attend our forums and panels.  Each facilitator at the Support Center is chosen based on their experience in their field, commitment to creating an open learning environment, and dedication to sharing and passing along their knowledge.  Each forum or panel is created based on the suggestions and requests we receive from you!

Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to explore our course and service offerings, and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about what might be right for you or your staff:

  • Board Development
  • Financial Management – coming in April 
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Staff Development
  • Certificate Programs in Fundraising, Management & Supervision, and Executive Leadership
  • Meet the Grantmakers – New Strategies in Grantmaking  Series in New York and New Jersey
  • Personalized services – development of leadership skills through personalized services such as one-on-one executive coaching, or the short- or longer-term use of a consultant to develop a specific professional capacity
  • Custom Training  – designed to meet your organization’s individual needs taught at your site or ours

We look forward to working with you and your organization in 2012.  Please think of us as your hub, your resource for sharpening the saw.

Don Crocker

Don Crocker



P.S. Beyond our workshops and forums, we offer a full spectrum of nonprofit change-oriented consulting and executive search and transition services.  Visit us now to learn more!

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