Nonprofit CEOs connect, collaborate, and learn from each other at the Quad Cities Community Foundation.

At each session, exclusively for nonprofit CEOs and Executive Directors, CEOLink participants focus on a self-selected topic facing their organizations, providing opportunities for best practice sharing and collaborative partnerships among CEOs. Past discussions have included working with a Board of Directors, strategic planning, volunteer management, and grant seeking. 

Announcements about CEOLink are sent via an email distribution list. If you are a nonprofit CEO interested in joining CEOLink, please email the Community Foundation.

Upcoming CEOLink Dates

  • December 5, 2019

All CEOLink events are on Thursdays from 7:30-9:00 am at the Community Foundation office. RSVP is requested, as continental breakfast is served.

Previous CEOLink Discussions

Organizational Capacity
Nonprofit organizations invest in their capacity in varying ways, from hiring internal staff, contracting out, or sharing resources. What’s right for the organization depends on the organization. CEOLink members discussed how they decide how to meet their various operational needs, what vendors they use when they do contract out, and how they share the message of the importance of funding to meet those core business capacities.

2019 Mississippi River Flooding
Trish Burnett, executive director of the local American Red Cross, led a discussion on the 2019 flood response in the Quad Cities and our region. CEOLink members discussed the impact of flooding on the Quad Cities, the nonprofit sector, and the people we serve.

Strategic Planning
Strategic planning puts our organizations on the right course—but it can be too easy to let that plan become just another binder on the shelf. CEOLink members discussed what approaches they’ve taken to creating and living out strategic plans, and what processes or facilitators have been helpful for them.

CEO Transitions
Nonprofit CEOs have many similar and many difference experiences. The one experience each of us is guaranteed to go through—twice—is a CEO transition. CEOLink members discussed how they have navigated this experience, on the way in to their positions or on the way out, the practices and relationships that helped them succeed as a new CEO, and the planning that made them confident that their organization was in a good place as they prepared to leave.

Nonprofit Mergers
Mary Macumber Schmidt of Family Resources discussed nonprofit mergers, acquisitions, and other formal partnerships.

Issues Impacting Nonprofits Today
Members served as peer consultants for each other on issues affecting their organizations right now.

The Core Functions of Being an Employer
Kristi Crafton from Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities discussed how nonprofits can best handle the core functions of being an employer—human resources, payroll, employee benefits, and more—without compromising missions.

Q2030 Followup
Whether or not you attended the Q2030 Nonprofit Session, come to continue the conversation about how you and others align with our community's efforts to be even more cool, creative, connected, and prosperous. What are the early wins we can achieve together? What are the challenges this effort faces? What must we do to ensure Q2030 succeeds?

The Illinois Budget Crisis: Making the Best out of the Worst Thing that Could Have Happened 
Many Illinois nonprofit organizations face dire circumstances due to the ongoing lack of an Illinois budget. Mark Mathews of the Child Abuse Council will discuss how he and nonprofit partners use creative thinking and dedication to face this ongoing challenge, and how their approach actually led to the evolution and expansion of some critical programs. This discussion will be relevant to organizations in both states, as we will all at some time face financial problems out of our control - how do we lay the groundwork to prepare, and how do we respond when they occur?

Reaching Across Sectors to Meet Multiple Needs 
None of us can meet all the needs of our clients or constituents. With growing demands and limited budgets, we must be even more resourceful. Mike Miller will share how the River Bend Foodbank approaches the opportunity to meet needs beyond hunger while avoiding mission creep, and will lead us in discussion about how we can creatively bring together diverse resources to meet diverse needs.

Creating and Building Endowment for Permanent Support of Your Mission
Janelle Swanberg, Executive Director, HELP Regional Office of Iowa Legal Aid, discussed creating and building endowments.

Working With a Board of Directors
Ben Loeb, executive director at Quad City Symphony Orchestra, led a discussion about working with board members.

March 19, 2015 - Working Together to Demonstrate the Value of the Nonprofit Sector
Carmen Darland, Executive Director, Quad City Arts

Changing Relationships With Funders
Funders - whether federal, state, local, or private - want different things out of their relationships with nonprofits than in the past. Government sources continue to increase their accountability requirements, while private funders or individual donors often want to see their impact in an up-close, personal way. How has your organization been able to update its relationship status with funders?

Leading Organizations through (Extremely) Uncertain Times
The economy, regulations, government funding... you name it, it seems to be changing continually. How does this impact your clients, your employees, your services? What kind of leadership do nonprofit organizations need in an uncertain environment? 

The Joy of Partnerships
We all know that partnerships and collaboration are important, but they come with their own challenges. Building trust, defining roles, finding funding, using technology. How do you do partnerships well? What do you struggle with?


Learn More

To learn more about joining CEOLink please contact Kelly Thompson.

Kelly Thompson / email
(563) 326-2840