Nonprofit Executive Leadership Academy

A one year leadership experience for female nonprofit leaders

Take Your Leadership to the Next Level

Leading a nonprofit is a challenging experience, especially with limited budgets, high staff turnover, a changing political climate, and reduced support for social progress. Executives need additional training in managing change, embracing innovation, and strategic thinking to help their organization reach its missions. The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Academy is a year long leadership program for female nonprofit executives that includes networking with other nonprofit professionals, access to training and professional development on executive skills in social change leadership, and a chance to receive strategic support and coaching.

Learn more at an upcoming online Information Session


12 pm PST/ 3pm ET


9am PST/ 12 pm ET


4 pm PST/ 7pm ET


6am PST/ 9am ET

Why leadership development is crucial for female nonprofit leaders

Though women make up the majority of the nonprofit workforce they are often working with less training, resources, and compensation than their male counterparts. 

The majority of nonprofits with smaller budgets are led by Female CEOs

According to research by Guidestar, the majority of nonprofits with budgets less than $1 million are led by female CEOs while the majority (83%) over $50 million are led by men, leaving female leaders with the least amount of resources for their operations. This also means that these leaders need to be creative and innovative in how to stretch limited resources and meet mission based outcomes.  

90% believe management training would help them lead but less than 30% receive it

Nine out of ten nonprofit managers indicated interest in leadership or managerial training, and believe that it will make them more effective in their roles. However, according to to research by Opportunity Knocks, only 30% of them have received such training since assuming a role managing direct reports.

Only 18% of nonprofit executives have confidence in their management skills

According to a survey conducted by Mckinsey & Company, the majority of CEOs and executives in nonprofits are not confident of their ability to manage outcomes or innovate and implement the programming their organizaton leads.

We are building a strong network of nonprofit professionals who are dedicated to creating lasting change that transforms organizations, local communities, and the greater society.

Ready to take the next step in your career?

Program Description

The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Academy (NELA) is the ideal course for women executive leaders who are looking to enhance the impact of their work in the social sector. This year long leadership program connects you with a strong network of nonprofit professionals who are passionate about making lasting change in their communities. Participants will have access to extraordinary training and professional development focused on executive skills in social change leadership, and a chance to receive strategic support and coaching. Fellows are selected through an open application process and a small group of finalists are chosen to participate in each cohort.

Your Investment Includes:

  • A year long program full of interactive learning, peer discussions, and real-time coaching 
  • The opportunity to connect with and learn alongside a cohort of other nonprofit Executive Directors
  • A chance to think about yourself as an individual leader, an organizational leader, and a system leader, who is equipped and empowered to create real and lasting change

Tuition $575*

Tuition covers program costs and includes access to all courses, coaching, and program materials. Participants that successfully complete the program receive a program certificate, digital qualification badges and membership to an exclusive networking community. 

*Does not include travel expenses for participants to the Leadership Institute. Participants are responsible for booking their own lodging and travel expenses for the event. A discounted room block at the host property will be provided for attendees. 

Leadership Institute

Participants will gather at the start of the program to attend a learning and networking event to kick off their year long leadership experience.

Quarterly Meeting

Participants will join interactive discussions with program leaders and cohort members focused on solutions, and strategies to overcome challenges. 

Strategic Coaching 

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in two strategy sessions to discuss specific leadership challenges in their organization and role.

Training and Support 

Over the course of the year, participants will engage with other fellows through online forums and have access to online courses specifically for nonprofit executives. 

Application Process

Eligibilty Requirements

The training and resources provided are designed for women serving in an Executive Director or management level role in a nonprofit or social venture. 

Applicants should receive a professional recommendation by a board member, funder or program stakeholder. 

Education requirements include a Bachelor's degree or Life experience of 10+ years leading in the sector. 

We are looking for women who have a personal and professional interest in one of the following focus areas:

  • Human Rights, Equality & Social Justice
  • Poverty Alleviation and Society Change
  • Youth Development and Education
  • Environment and Conservation
  • Health and Wellness 

Application Deadlines

Application Release: March 1, 2018

Scholarship Applications: March 16, 2018

Scholarships Awarded: March 19, 2018

Application Deadline: March 30, 2018

Early Bird Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018

Payment Deadline: May 4, 2018

You will be required to submit a resume, purpose statement and references as part of your application. 


Limited scholarships are available for each cohort. Applications for scholarships must be received by March 16, 2018. 

Leadership Institute Dates and Location



  •  More Details Coming Soon 

Summer 2018 - Los Angeles

The NELA program starts with an in person Leadership Institute where participants will engage and connect with their cohort as they begin their leadership journey. The event starts with a networking reception and Models of Impact workshop to expose participants to innovative ideas in business design and social change strategy. The following day is an executive leadership training program with workshops to increase their capacity, knowledge and success leading social change efforts.

Providing strategic resources for mission driven work

About the SISGI Group

We provide strategic resources to increase the effectiveness, knowledge and capacity of those leading mission driven work and entrepreneurial ventures.

We empower individuals to change global social problems and lead strong organizations. We equip groups and organizations with the tools they need to not only make a difference but to make a lasting and sustainable impact through their efforts.

Learn more about our consulting and training work at