Nonprofit Link and Learn Seminar Series

We are excited to offer a new opportunity for nonprofit education in our region! We will now be holding an ongoing Nonprofit Link and Learn Seminar Series, which will feature 1-hour, single-topic seminars on a host of topics to help nonprofit professionals, volunteers and more build capacity for their respective organizations. We are excited to take on this new endeavor as our ongoing mission to provide support and help build strong nonprofits in our community. 

Next Seminar Opportunity:

Board Governance: Building Better Boards

June 6, 2024 12 to 1 P.M.

This session will equip attendees with knowledge of how to better recruit board members, how to better define the role of the board and its responsibilities and how to better manage volunteer board members, all with the goal of building a stronger board. 

The session will also explore what a meaningful relationship between a board chair/president and a nonprofit's staff and CEO look like, as well as the tools an organization needs to provide a board chair for effective leadership. 

Leading this session will be former CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit and immediate CRCF past president Skip Wilday. 

Attendees must register by June 3.

Register at:

Watch Past Seminars

Cattaraugus Gives by the Numbers

The session will help nonprofit professionals and volunteers learn more about how to get the most out of their fundraising efforts during this year’s Cattaraugus Gives program through an analysis of fundraising data from the 2022 Cattaraugus Gives event. Attendees will learn how to make data-informed decisions to plan best marketing and fundraising practices for this year’s Cattaraugus Gives event, a day of giving for the Cattaraugus County region, presented by CRCF since 2017.88 participating nonprofits together raised over $275,000 last year.

Meet the speaker:

Kirk Windus

Windus has led Cattaraugus Gives since its infancy, increasing annual nonprofit participation by nearly triple since the program’s first year. Windus has spoken in a number of workshops and seminars on giving days, advising and encouraging other giving day leaders. He has also been featured on podcasts in order to share tips and guidance with aspiring giving day leaders.

Access the presentation

Watch a recording

Keep it Simple Social: An accessible approach to social media marketing for nonprofits

The session will help nonprofit professionals and volunteers learn more about the impact effective social media marketing can have on their organizations and will provide practical tips and advice to achieve desired outcomes through social media.

Attendees will learn how to identify the best social media platform for their nonprofit and how their work through that platform can drive awareness, engagement and action for their cause.

Friday, June 2, 2023

12 - 1 p.m.

Laine Place (Olean Business Development Building), 3rd floor Carney Training Room

301 North Union St.,

Olean, NY 14760

Meet the speakers:

Shelley Jack

Since its inception in 2014, the consultancy has offered marketing and branding audits, strategy, training and organizational development for a range of clients in higher education, manufacturing, healthcare, tourism and non-profit organizations.

In addition to the consultancy, Jack has held varying leadership roles for both organizations and marketing agencies in advertising, public relations, corporate communication, branding and marketing strategy.

As an educator, Jack has over 15 years of experience as a faculty member and in professional training. She has taught classes in marketing strategy, branding, content marketing, social media marketing and organizational communication. She has also lived abroad teaching English as a Foreign language and cross-cultural business communication.

Jack has an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication from St. Bonaventure University and a B.S. in Communication from Houghton College.

Tracy DeRose

A copywriter, editor, and graphic designer, Tracy DeRose has worked in news, as well as the public relations and marketing fields in the Olean area for more than 30 years.

Currently, she is a public relations and branding specialist with Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, working with local school districts to boost their communications with families and the greater community.

Through her work with Cutco Cutlery Corp. and Vector Marketing Corp. as well as Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, she has created content for everything from multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns and large-circulation sales catalogs to employee communications and school newsletters.

A serial volunteer, Tracy has worked with groups like CRCF, the Olean Food Pantry, Allegany Little League, Allegany-Limestone PTO, and the Allegany-Limestone Academic Boosters Club, to help them raise awareness for and educate their audiences about their mission.

Access the presentation

Grant Application Coaching Workshop

This session will help attendees to prepare grant applications that will stand out to funders. The session will cover pre-application research, writing tips and best practices, project budgets, post-approval actions such as grant acknowledgment and reporting and what to put in your “grant application toolbox.” The session will cover information specific to applying for grants from CRCF and the Renodin Foundation, but tips will be applicable to most any grant program. Should attendees have a project they are considering seeking grant funding for, there will be time for a Q&A about specific questions.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

8:30 a.m – 9:30 a.m.

Laine Place (Olean Business Development Building), 3rd floor Carney Training Room

301 North Union St.,

Olean, NY 14760

Meet the speakers:

Karen Niemic Buchheit has been the executive director of the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation since 2010. She has more than 35 years of experience in nonprofit management and grantmaking. In her career, Buchheit has worked closely with many nonprofits to improve the quality of their grant applications and requests.

Laura Whitford is the president of the Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation and the St. Elizabeth Mission Society, both of which are sponsored ministries of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY. In 2014, the Franciscan Sisters welcomed her as the first paid staff person to lead the Renodin Foundation. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded 500 small grants totaling $1.4 million to 84 worthy organizations.

Monica Emery is the grants and donor services manager at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation. In her role, Emery oversees all Foundation grant processes including competitive grant application processes. Emery assumed the position at CRCF in 2022 after a 25-year career in higher education.

“Cattaraugus Gives by the Numbers," with Kirk Windus, CRCF communications and fund development  manager and Cattaraugus Gives coordinator

In this session, review an in-depth analysis of the data from the 2021 installment of Cattaraugus Gives. The session will help you plan your campaign for this year's Cattaraugus Gives so you can raise more, gain new donors and raise awareness of your cause. The session will help you learn marketing tools and techniques that drive engagement and fundraising success.

Watch a recording of the session!

“Grant Applications Made Easy: Tips on making your application stand out in a crowd," with Laura  Whitford, Renodin Foundation, Ron Sutton, Manley Trust and Rich Longer, Twin Tiers Disc Golf Association

In this session, two leaders of area funders and a recent major grant recipient discuss tips and best practices for grant applications. The panelists help you identify ways to make your grant applications stand out in a crowd. Learn what makes funders excited about the best grant applications, so you can make the best possible ask to support your organization’s mission. A recent recipient of funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation also served on the panel to discuss his organization’s experience with the grant application process, from information sessions to MOIs, to the application itself. Learn how you can write the best possible applications to secure funding for your organization’s mission and work!

Watch a recording of the session's Q&A!

Access the session's slides!

“Preparing your board and new board members for satisfying and productive board service," with Barbara Paxton, chief program officer, BoardStrong

This session looks at the internal work and preparation needed to successfully prepare for, recruit, and onboard new board members. The session disccuses how to build a successful foundation for diversifying the board. Barb focuses on the importance of defining roles and expectations, developing the resources and tools to support board members, and the planning that goes into onboarding new members. The session also discusses at a variety of strategies organizations have used to support and engage new members including a board orientation, mentoring, and ongoing training.

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“Practices for Cattaraugus Gives Success: From your peers,"moderated by Kirk Windus, CRCF communications and fund development manger. Panelists from Empire Animal Rescue Society, YMCA of the Twin Tiers and Olean City School District Foundation

This session featured panelists from nonprofits who have found success through Cattaraugus Gives. Learn to maximize your giving day marketing efforts from your peers.

Watch a recording!

“Agency Endowments 101," led by Karen Buchheit, CRCF Executive Director with Skip Wilday, CRCF board president

Are you a board member or staff member at a nonprofit who cares about the future of your organization and its long-term stability? If so, you will want to learn how an endowment fund can help provide for your nonprofit’s future and leave a lasting legacy. This webinar will cover how to establish, manage and grow your endowment.

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“Maximize Your Catchafire Membership,” led by Katie Pieri, Western New York Nonprofit Support Group, and Tyler Manley, Catchafire

The Western New York Nonprofit Support Group, in collaboration with 8 additional funders, have joined together to bring over 600 nonprofits across the region access to skills-based volunteers as a way to off-set costs and navigate through the pandemic with support from Catchafire.

The Catchafire platform brings a level of flexibility, offering over 150 pre-scoped projects and ask an expert calls. During this session, Katie and Tyler will highlight the different ways to utilize your Catchafire membership and also provide you an opportunity to hear from your local colleagues about how they have interacted with the platform.

There will be opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussion to assist your organization in leveraging the Catchafire platform for maximum benefit.   

Watch a recording!