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Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Inspiration & Strategies for Nonprofit Leaders

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The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute (NELI) is a six-day residential program designed to enhance the strategic and visionary thinking of experienced nonprofit executives.

Participants will engage in an examination of their own leadership and management effectiveness and the deeper meaning of their work. Participants will build and sustain relationships with peers and instructors that will support them and their work in the years to come. Attention will be paid to renewing excitement and passion for work in the nonprofit sector.

A combination of academic faculty and seasoned practitioners will lead the program sessions to facilitate intellectually provocative sessions that expose participants to new insights and tools. The use of case studies, peer consulting teams, 360-degree evaluations, group exercises, journaling, and participant presentations will create a highly participatory and multidimensional learning experience.

Learning Objectives

NELI is designed to encourage participants to engage in deeper and higher-level thinking on the purpose and practice of their roles as organizational and community leaders. This high-level perspective will help build skills, confidence, and a commitment to strategic leadership.

Leadership will be taught in the context of the following key competencies:

  • Thinking strategically
  • Inspiring others to perform
  • Understanding adaptive challenges
  • Engaging stakeholders
  • Creating a culture of accountability
  • Enabling and securing support for change
  • Building a viable financial model
  • Enabling the work of the board of directors
  • Enhancing self-knowledge

Participants who complete the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute will receive a Certificate of Completion.

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Harvard Business School

Governing for Nonprofit Excellence

Next dates

Sep 4—7
4 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 5000
USD 1250 per day


To fulfill their mission, nonprofit organizations depend on their board for strong, innovative leadership. Governing for Nonprofit Excellence prepares you to excel in your role as a board member and to contribute at a higher level. As you gain insight into four essential competencies of nonprofit governance—board leadership, strategic stewardship, performance measurement, and financial oversight—you will learn how to drive the strategic and organizational transformation that enables your nonprofit organization to thrive.

Key Benefits

This nonprofit governance program delves into the critical issues facing nonprofit board leaders. You will examine the latest governance frameworks, performance and measurement systems, oversight models for ensuring accountability and compliance, and the dynamics between boards and CEOs. With a deeper understanding of board roles and responsibilities, you will emerge a stronger leader and a more strategic steward for your organization.


Solidify your organization's leadership

  • Create value-adding board leadership processes
  • Clarify your organization's mission and who will lead it
  • Foster productive board and CEO relationships

Execute your organization's mission more effectively

  • Assess your organization's objectives and plan for the future
  • Structure and manage important alliances
  • Establish systems for gauging organizational performance
  • Place your organization on a solid and sustainable financial foundation

Expand your personal and professional network

  • Extend your network by living and working with accomplished executives from various backgrounds, industries, and countries across the globe
  • Build relationships with a diverse group of peers who can provide wide-ranging insights into your business challenges and career decisions

Who should attend

  • Chairs and other members of nonprofit boards who have significant leadership responsibilities—but are not full-time employees—for organizations with operating budgets in excess of $1 million in any nonprofit sector
  • Not appropriate for: Industry or trade associations, management support organizations, or consulting firms

Attendance by two or three board leaders from the same organization will foster teamwork and amplify the program's impact.

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