Nonprofit Microcredential

Non-Profit Microcredential

Develop nonprofit skills related to funding, program evaluation, planning, governance, equity and inclusion, and human resources through workshops, networking and real-world projects.

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Deadline: Monday, December 20th, 2o21 11:59 pm

Program Overview

The Nonprofit Microcredential program is a 4-week, intensive training program that will take place over J-term 2022 (Jan 3-28). Students will attend a rigorous slate of nonprofit trainings, including, (but not limited to) grant-writing, fundraising, nonprofit board governance, evaluation, policy and advocacy, and others. Program participants will be led by St. Olaf alumna and nonprofit expert Steph Jacobs, ’03, while applying newly developed skills to one or more real-world, non-profit projects. Technical workshops are facilitated by experts from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

  • The program will have a similar time commitment to a course and be supplemented with a variety of scholarly reading.
  • Students should plan to engage in the program 5 days/week with the following tentative schedule:
    • Mondays + Wednesdays: workshops and information sessions hosted by MNCN
    • Tuesdays + Thursdays: independent work time on assigned nonprofit projects
    • Fridays: alumni panels and 1:1 time with nonprofit project supervisor
    • Optional networking and social events throughout the month

Workshop Topics:

Introduction to Nonprofits Sector Research
Funding Advocacy and Public Policy
Financial Models Responsive Program Development
Storytelling Building a Social Media Campaign
Strategic Planning and Navigating Change Minnesota Budget Project 101
Governance and Leadership Finance 101
Racial Equity and Disability Inclusion Board Responsibilities
Nonprofit HR
Engagement Strategies and Building Coalitions
Program Evaluation Principles and Practices
Volunteers Rural Nonprofits

Program Expectations

Students should be prepared to focus full time during the month of January to earning this nonprofit microcredential. The experience combines technical skill development with an application to a real world nonprofit problem. Students will also have the opportunity to network with practitioners in the field, address issues surrounding equity and inclusion in the industry, and build their innovation mindset. This program is open to current sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Throughout the interim, students will attend ten 2.5-hour workshops led by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits experts. They will also have access to ten 1-hour information sessions on relevant topics.

The Piper Center for Vocation and Career will cover all training fees and expenses for this program. This will be a full time co-curricular experience, and no academic credit will be offered. In order to create a robust, cohort-based community, students will be expected to on campus for the experience (exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis may be considered).

Workshop Leaders

Steph Jacobs, '03
Steph Jacobs has worked for, with, and on behalf of nonprofit organizations for close to 20 years. She is the founder of Trailblazer Leadership, a professional coaching and consulting firm that works with people and organizations who are interested in a different way of being. Through Trailblazer Leadership, she coaches individual leaders making career transitions and works with organizations through engaged facilitation to develop strategy, build supportive cultures, and create meaningful change. She brings her knowledge and expertise in organizational development, emotional intelligence, change management, governance, and living systems to support the leaders she works with.
Prior to forming Trailblazer Leadership, Steph spent the majority of her career in nonprofit capacity building organizations. In these roles, Steph created and facilitated trainings and programs on financial leadership, equity and inclusion, systems change, and leadership development. She also taught courses at the University of Minnesota, including an undergraduate course on nonprofit management and governance, and graduate courses on grantwriting, leadership and change, and stakeholder analysis.
She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and has a master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She is a certified professional coach through iPEC and an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation. Steph also serves on the board of directors for the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and Metro Blooms.

Program Partners

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) was founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. Through MCN, nonprofits join together across interest areas to work on issues of common concern to all. Learn more about the resources and tools offered by the experts at Minnesota Council of Nonprofits: