Welcome to Nonprofit Utopia

The ideal community for emerging nonprofit leaders.

Nonprofit Utopia

Strengthen your leadership skills while you build your nonprofit.

Nonprofit Utopia is the ideal community for emerging nonprofit leaders who want to take their organizations to the next level. We have created a safe environment in which our members can innovate, speak candidly about the issues and concerns they face on a daily basis, and share ideas and resources.

In preparation for the inevitable transfer of leadership from Baby Boomers to Millennials , we are being intentional about creating an environment within which more experienced leaders and emerging leaders can share knowledge and lessons learned that will elevate the discourse in the nonprofit sector in general, while helping you to strengthen your organization in particular.

Every month, we focus on a specific topic of interest with learning objectives and content that will help our members meet the learning objectives. We have developed a content calendar with specific activities and assignments, assessment tools, videos, discussions and other resources. Members who are able to document the fact that they have completed all assignments and participated in the activities will receive a certificate of completion from Nonprofit Utopia.

Get what you need to make an impact.

The Nonprofit Utopia community uses a combination of networking, peer learning, interactive courses, training and development and live events to maximize the value of your membership. You will

  • Engage in real talk with people who have "been there", "done that" so that you can avoid common mistakes
  • Get access to the tools you need to advance your career while building a sustainable organization
  • Be able to assess your organization's strengths and weaknesses and come up with a viable plan of action
  • Have an opportunity to assess your own leadership style and gain insights from nonprofit thought leaders
  • Get assistance researching upcoming grant opportunities that you won't find doing a simple internet search
  • Better understand what funders look for in making investment decisions
  • Have the opportunity to apply for product donations and discounts through member organizations
  • Learn how to develop effective online and peer-to-peer fundraising strategies
  • Understand how to leverage the IRS and state regulating bodies to maintain compliance, strengthen operations and improve marketing and fundraising
  • Organize your own group within the community to brainstorm ideas, new programs, policy and advocacy campaigns, etc.
  • Take advantage of the Nonprofit Utopia Ambassador Program, and be recognized by your peers and earn financial rewards.

Join us if you are...

  • An emerging nonprofit leader who wants to take your organization to the next level.
  • An experienced nonprofit leader who is looking to share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of ethical leaders
  • A career changer or entry level professional who would like to gain insider information to make your transition to the nonprofit arena easier
  • A board member of an organization who wants greater insights into what it takes to successfully govern a nonprofit
  • Interested in starting a new organization, program or initiatives, and  want to better understand best practices
  • One who has a vested interest in ensuring that nonprofit organizations are growing in a manner that yields the maximum benefit to the community

About Our Host

Valerie F. Leonard is the Founder and host of Nonprofit Utopia. In this capacity, she facilitates an online community and provides consulting and training services for nonprofits, foundations and government agencies. She is the host and producer of the Nonprofit Utopia podcast, which provides opportunities for nonprofit thought leaders to exchange information and share lessons learned along their journeys.

Valerie is actively engaged in Chicago communities, and is an expert in community and organizational development. With a mission of strengthening the capacity of organizations to make a positive impact on the communities they serve, Valerie has helped over 750 professionals meet professional goals and objectives through consulting, coaching, teaching, proposal writing, technical assistance and specialized workshops. She has written proposals and provided technical assistance resulting in over $100 million in federal and foundation funding.

Valerie teaches courses in nonprofit operations management and program design and evaluation for the UIC Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She also teaches courses in new ventures with Roosevelt University's Heller College of Business, with a goal of helping students launch new businesses.

Valerie has a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Spelman College and a master of management degree in finance and marketing from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

...And, yes, loitering IS permitted.

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