Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Learning: The Key to Individual and Organizational Success

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

September is a perfect time for a fresh start and the Support Center is the perfect place to begin one.  Each year at this time, I remember buying a brand new notebook for school and thumbing through it in anticipation of all the notes and ideas that would fill those blank pages.  Those days are not gone!  You can feel the same excitement by registering  for one of our Certificate Programs.

Great leaders at all levels are those with a commitment to life-long learning in its many forms.  Research has shown that adults learn best when they can apply what they learn to real life situations.   By now, many of us know that years at college and the accumulation of degrees have not always prepared us for the challenges we face every day in our nonprofit workplaces.   Enrolling in a Support Center Certificate Program is one cost and time-effective method to continue learning and improve your ability to meet the demands of your job and the needs of your nonprofit.

This month we are proud to launch the Support Center’s enhanced Certificate Programs in Leadership and Supervision, Fundraising, and Executive Leadership. Today’s nonprofit climate requires much more targeted expertise to respond to constant change.  And our Certificate Programs are now more flexible to allow you to create a curriculum to suit your interests and at the same time, add a significant credential to your resume.  Because fees are based on a sliding scale, they are also affordable to most nonprofits and individuals.

We want to thank all of our funders who contribute to our professional development programs—some through scholarships and general support, others by supporting peer learning in cohorts, and still others by supporting customized training for their grantees.

In today’s E-News, Janet Waterston, facilitator of many of the Leadership and Supervision Certificate Program courses provides us with powerful tips on supervision, and Aimee Covo, Fundraising Certificate participant speaks out on her positive experiences with the program!

Take a step towards your own professional development.  It’s the perfect time of the year to get those feet out of the sand and onto the escalator!

Janice L. Shapiro

Director, Professional Development


Insight Into Our Fundraising Certificate Program with Aimee Covo

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

In a recent interview, one of our Fundraising Certificate Program participants, Aimee Covo of the Council for Living Music, told us how it has helped her professionally.

 1. Why did you decide to take our Fundraising Certificate Program?

After much research, I chose to attend the Fundraising Certificate program because it offers a diverse and well rounded series of studies/workshops in the field of fundraising, including exposure to active professionals in the field with tremendous insight and expertise, and provides a certification upon completion.

2. Can you tell us some insights or lessons you have learned from the program so far?

The lessons I have learned include specific tools and tips for success that are both comprehensive and applicable in terms of proposal writing, program presentation & development, managing funds, and developing relationships with grant givers.

3. How do you think the program will be useful to your career and your organization?

The Support Center provides credibility (certifiable) and excellence in training recognized by the philanthropic industry, as well as continuing support and services in development for a sustainable organization- this can only add to one’s position in this field of work and to the growing success of any organization.

Additionally, Aimee had this to say about our volunteer facilitators, “I have discovered the instructors are honest and direct in their approach to their workshops. There is a reasonable level of expectations set without deterring from the excitement of possibility, and that is important to me. Plus, the instructors make the learning fun and proactive, engaging the participants to apply what is learned in a safe, professional atmosphere. What could be better than that

Thank you Aimee!

5 Tips for Supervisors from Janet Waterston

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

We sat down with expert trainer, Janet Waterston, the facilitator behind many of our Leadership and Supervision Certificate Program workshops, to learn about what makes a great supervisor. She gave us some practical tips and resources that you can start using today to improve your relationships and effectiveness  in the workplace!

1. Read Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time. Sometimes, we   don’t say the things that need to be said. This book, by Susan Scott, “really pushes us to recognize that we can be honest and direct without hurting our relationships with others” says Janet. The book  provides specific suggestions for  leaders to help them build relationships through direct, if tough, conversations.

2. Know Your Priorities. Janet highly recommends Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. She likes this resource for its value-based approach to relationships and because it teaches people to “schedule their priorities, and not prioritize their schedule”. Supervisors and leaders should take the time to identify what is most important so they focus on an effective work environment.

3. Practice Makes Perfect. Adults generally retain 20% of what they hear, but retain 90% of what they say and do! So take a workshop, read a book, and  reinforce your learning by practicing new techniques and skills  on a regular basis. Taking  workshops that build on each other, as in the Leadership and Supervision Certificate Program, and reviewing reading materials are great ways to reinforce your learning and realize changes in your behavior.

4. Bite Your Tongue. Janet believes the most important quality in a strong supervisor or leader is the ability to listen, yet listening can be challenging.  Don’t do all the talking. Think before you speak to make sure you’ve really heard what the other person is saying; reflect back to make sure you’ve understood; and then respond.

5. Be Patient with Yourself. Janet’s biggest tip to supervisors is to not be hard on yourself. Changing your behavior and improving your leadership skills are no easy tasks, so if you feel yourself reverting to old behavior, just keep practicing!

For more ways to improve your supervisory skills, check our management classes, or our Leadership and Supervision Certificate. The program, which is specifically designed for adult learners, will give you insight into best practices and tips, and will help you reinforce your learning to see real results. For questions about the program, please contact Janice Shapiro at

Next Week at the Support Center

We took a workshop hiatus in August, but we are back with lots of exciting workshops starting next week! Spots are filling up, register today!

Tuesday, September 11: Managing Large Scale Change

Wednesday, September 12: Workplace Excellence: The Leader’s Role

Friday, September 14: Board 101: Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Custom Training for Your Staff, Board, or Grantees

Custom Training at the Support Center brings our expertise to you, the way you want it. We offer a diverse selection of workshops customized to meet the unique needs of your staff, board, grantees or member agencies.  Benefits include:

  • Team building. Training together can build consensus among teams or departments.  Participants who learn together can support one another in problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Increased job satisfaction.  Send a message to your staff that you are willing to invest in their success as nonprofit professionals and enhance the culture of your workplace.
  • Targeted outcomes.  You get to work with the consultant in shaping the content of the workshop(s) to ensure that the outcomes match your goals.
  • More for your money.  We can train up to 30 participants at a fraction of what it would cost to send them to public trainings.

All workshops are facilitated by experts in their fields, and are interactive and participatory in nature.  We use adult learning techniques such as interactive exercises, role-play, and case studies, to maximize the likelihood of significant skill transfer and to increase the benefit to the participants and your organization.  The sessions also tap into the experience and wisdom that is brought to the workshops by the participants, enabling significant peer learning within the workshop process.

For more information about the Support Center’s Custom Training program, contact Janice L. Shapiro, Director of Professional Development, at 917-522-8302 or

Next Week at the Support Center!

Start off June at the Support Center, and take a workshop to learn  about grant proposals budgets and creating a happier workplace!

Tuesday, June 5: Budgeting For Grant Proposals

Wednesday, June 6: Resolving Conflict and Differences in the Workplace

Next Week at the Support Center!

After the holiday weekend, take another break from the office and join us for a workshop next week!

Wednesday, May 30: The Board: What Can I Do About It?

Thursday, May 31: Funding Information Tour – NJ State Library

Friday, June 1: Train the Trainer SOLD OUT