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Nonprofits earn fundraising certificates

Among the St. Croix County participants in the St. Croix Valley Foundation fundraising series were, from left, Jill Shannon, Anne Schmidt, Michele Hermansen and Lauren Koshere. Not pictured, Linda Lia. Submitted photo

Leaders of 32 nonprofits throughout the St. Croix Valley completed a nine-month course on nonprofit fundraising. The series was hosted by the Hudson-based St. Croix Valley Foundation (SCVF) and participants earned a fundraising certificate from the University of St. Thomas upon completion.

"I can think of no better time for nonprofits to strengthen and diversify their fundraising skills," said Jill Shannon, SCVF director of community partnerships. "For some time, our local nonprofits have seen a demand for services surge upward, first due to regional growth and more recently the economic downturn. But these organizations show their resilience, finding new and creative ways to communicate their impact and build resources for their organizations."

The fundraising certificate series began last February and each month participants focused on a different facet of fund development - annual campaigns, marketing, major gifts, capital campaigns and more.

Working with the University of St. Thomas' Center for Nonprofit Management, SCVF repackaged its certificate program to bring it to western Wisconsin. The series provided an in-depth, interactive and supportive learning experience.

"A certificate of fundraising gives an organization professional stature," said Ann Johnson, director. "And it gives participants tangible evidence of their knowledge and skills."

The nonprofits participating in the workshop came from Washington County in Minnesota and Pierce, St. Croix and Polk counties in Wisconsin. Participants from St. Croix County include Family Resource Center, St. Croix Valley; New Richmond Community Foundation; United Way St. Croix Valley and St. Bridget Catholic School.

The SCVF received financial support from several local foundations including the Sundance Family Foundation, the Tom & Patty Doar Foundation, the William H. Phipps Foundation, United Way St. Croix Valley and Associated Bank.

"With their assistance we were able to make the workshop series affordable, underwriting as much as 60 percent of the costs," said Shannon.

In its 14 year history, the St. Croix Valley Foundation has granted almost $10 million to nonprofit organizations serving the area. For more information contact the St. Croix Valley Foundation at (715) 386-9490 or go to