Jennifer Skolaski MS’08, PhD’12 helps supercharge nonprofit groups, expanding their capabilities and helping them to help more people.
Since Skolaski was a child, volunteerism has been her passion, and a graduate education at UW-Madison provided the skills to put that passion to work in the community.
“It was all about experiential learning,” says Skolaski, who earned master’s and doctoral degrees in nonprofit management. “At UW-Madison, you get to practice what you are taught. That’s invaluable.”
Skolaski is the owner of the Oshkosh-based Community & Nonprofit Leadership Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in helping nonprofit groups with fund development, program management, and operating more effectively.
UW-Madison gave me an education like no other, and you don’t realize it until you’re out in the world.
“Often, clients hire me for fundraising, but if you look at the whole organization, they can’t focus on fundraising because of the culture of the organization, or they don’t have strong community relations, or people don’t have proper training,” she says. “You have to address those needs first.”
Skolaski has worked with organizations and collaborations ranging from the Boys and Girls Brigade, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, hub, the Henry Vilas Zoo, and Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities, among many others.
“I love being the person working behind the scenes to help these organizations be the best they can be,” says Skolaski, who has also taught nonprofit courses at UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh.
Skolaski’s UW-Madison education, which heavily emphasized hands-on experience with nonprofits, has helped her business and the nonprofits it serves to succeed.
“UW-Madison gave me an education like no other, and you don’t realize it until you’re out in the world,” she says. “It’s helped me to learn from all of the groups I’ve worked with and apply that knowledge to other groups. It’s helped me to give back and help the organizations that make a difference in people’s lives.”