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Upskilling Fundraising, Grant & Partnership Development For Extension Professionals: An Interactive Workshop Series

Monthly sessions April 2024 - September 2024 
Third Thursday of every month (bonus session 4th Thursday in August) 2:00 - 3:15 PM ET

Embark on a comprehensive professional development journey with "Upskilling Fundraising, Grant & Partnership Development For Extension Professionals: An Interactive Workshop Series." Led by Nate Birt of Silver Maple Strategies, this dynamic series is tailored to equip Extension professionals with essential tools and knowledge for success in today's evolving landscape. Join us for an interactive and engaging series designed to enhance your Extension projects and programs with practical skills and personalized support. Open to all Cooperative Extension professionals, this series offers valuable insights for those seeking to advance their work.

Each month, we will explore themes for success in today's dynamic Extension landscape, register through the form to attend and receive the recording of the sessions! 


April 18th 2024 - Unlocking Your Potential
In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to assess and categorize your experiences, talents, and impact to optimize your chances of success in fundraising and, later, during project implementation. Together, we’ll examine how to develop a repeatable process for doing this type of analysis regularly
to optimize your success. We’ll also consider low- and no-cost tools for making your analysis more effective – and for archiving those insights for future reference.

May 16th 2024 - Navigating Ag Innovation Trends
Gain insights into the top trends driving agricultural innovation in 2024 and discover opportunities for teams delivering innovative solutions. Nate Birt, a former editor and regenerative agriculture leader
at Farm Journal, will lead you through trends shaping ag innovation in 2024. We’ll consider how your Extension work, now or in the future, might benefit from using information, insights, or opportunities associated with those trends. You will also walk away with time-saving strategies for staying on top
of new and emerging ag innovation trends.

June 20th 2024 - Ethical AI Utilization
Explore ethical approaches to leveraging generative AI in fundraising brainstorming, strategy development, and administrative systems. We’ll identify potential use cases for ethical AI in Extension professionals’ toolkits. We’ll survey legacy and emerging AI tools for Extension professionals and consider some pros and cons of using these tools. You’ll walk away prepared to start using AI for the
first time or hone your use.

July 18th 2024 - Diversifying Funding Sources
Delve into strategies for securing funding and building partnerships with corporations, foundations,
and nonprofits beyond government investment. We’ll consider novel sources of financing making
waves in the nonprofit/academia funding world. Walk away with a handful of relevant action steps
you can take to seriously vet potential non-government funding opportunities.

August 15th 2024- Crafting Compelling Proposals
Learn how to optimize the readability and excitement of funding proposals to stack the deck in your
favor. Unlock the power of brainstorming, mind mapping, and collaborative problem-solving. Learn processes for roughing out the first draft of any proposal without losing your mind and gain insights
on using echolocation to edit proposals with finesse while meeting reviewers’ needs.

August 29th 2024 - Navigating Grant Challenges
Discover strategies for navigating the ups and downs of complex grant-funded projects to ensure resilience and positive outcomes. We will cover five hard truths and strategies for turning challenges
into opportunities and staying true to the letter and the spirit of any grant project. Dive into leadership principles that help you work toward the outcomes and vision you’ve committed to reaching with kindness, grace, and well-being.

September 19th 2024- Resources and Reading Recommendations
Most of us are awash in information, and Extension professionals are no exception as they seek to
share the most relevant and actionable insights with their clients.  Nate will provide resources that
can help Extension professionals grow their knowledge, impact, and influence—without taking up valuable time. Nate will share some favorite hacks tools for distilling big chunks of information into
a manageable format you can actually apply quickly. 










This special series is presented by:

Nate Birt is the founder of Silver Maple Strategies, a communications and fundraising consulting firm that serves nonprofit executives advancing climate-change solutions. His latest book, “7 Secrets of Highly Effective Social Impact Communicators,” debuted as a No. 1 new release in business ethics on Amazon. Nate is the former vice president of Farm Journal’s climate-change division, Trust In Food, where he spearheaded the strategy, coalition-building and authorship of a Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant proposal selected in fall 2022 by USDA for a $40 million award. Nate holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. He and his wife, Dr. Julie Birt, homeschool their four children on a small farm near St. Louis.