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CRE Professional Development
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"I think CRE really knows what nonprofits need. We've used CRE for Board development, for financial development, and after we spun off, also legal referral - and consistently, through different services & needs, it's been the case that they've been right on target & very helpful. "

- Chris Norwood, ED, Health People

Our Services : Professional Development

Professional Development

Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. It encompasses a range of facilitated learning opportunities and approaches. At CRE, we use professional development to refer to a range of individual and group modalities including training workshops, peer learning, coaching, and leadership circles. Leadership development is one of the key areas of professional development and The Leadership Center at CRE is a key component of CRE’s work.

Peer Learning

Peer learning opportunities are a feature of CRE’s Leadership Caucus, “Action Learning,” Executive Director Circles and other modalities.  They engage participants more deeply in their own learning and have become a mainstay in our work with nonprofits.  We take care in assembling cohorts that involve similarly situated organizations or which bring together people in similar roles to enhance the ability of participants to learn from and influence one another.   Our Action Learning on Data Driven Management highlights the peer learning experience.

Action Learning

Action Learning sessions are designed to support nonprofit leaders in the midst of introducing important changes in their organizations.  These sessions enable leaders to work in real time with a team of peers, guided by an experienced consultant.  This format is rigorous, as it involves multiple sessions with “homework” assigned in between.  Action Learning works well when the groups are made up of people at similar levels of authority in their respective organizations.  CRE typically works with 8-15 leaders in each cohort.  Action Learning is an integral part of our Leadership Caucus and High Performing Managers Initiative.


CRE facilitates workshops on a variety of management topics as public offerings or customized for individual clients.  The overall aim for workshops is to transfer concepts and skills to participants, introduce them to tools and templates, and raise their awareness about the topic or related subjects. Because CRE believes one-to-one work and small group, peer-oriented learning are the best ways to effect change, CRE uses workshops as supplemental strategies to engage clients and introduce them to management topics as well as CRE services.  Workshops can be followed up with individualized coaching to deepen impact.   Read about our recent work with City Harvest in this area.

Public Training

Formerly known as the Start-Up Series, CRE's Fundamentals Series is designed to help individuals understand better the key knowledge and skills needed to start and run a nonprofit organization. It includes six workshops:

  • So You Want to Start a Nonprofit?
  • Legal Issues for New Nonprofits
  • Introduction to Theory of Change and Program Planning
  • Budget Basics
  • Fundraising 101, and
  • Maximizing Board Leadership

CRE periodically offers other public workshops.  In 2009, to help nonprofits cope with the impact of the economic downturn, we offered a three-workshop series to help Executive Directors lead during difficult times.  Workshops included:

  • Determining What Programs Are Core to Your Organization
  • Contingency Planning and Budget Scenarios and
  • Preserving the Talent:  Human Resource Issues

Visit CRE's calendar for more information on public trainings.

Customized Training

CRE offers many additional training programs that can be customized to meet your organization's needs.  For example, we offer a series of fundraising workshops called the focus on fundraising series, and a range of leadership, management and Human Resource offering. CRE also can create training programs specific to your organization.  For example, we recently created a series of management trainings for new and experienced managers at a foster care prevention agency.

City Harvest

CRE presented a series of workshops to help emergency food providers – soup kitchens and food pantries – to get through difficult economic times.  

City Harvest is a food rescue organization dedicated to feeding New York City’s hungry men, women, and children. In 2009, 600 emergency food providers comprised the organization’s network. To help its member agencies weather the economic crisis, City Harvest partnered with CRE to offer a series of management workshops covering topics like Fundraising, Budgeting, and Strategic Alliances.

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