Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute

The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute (NELI) at the University of Washington is a six-day residential program designed to enhance the strategic and visionary thinking of experienced nonprofit executives. Participants examine their leadership skills and effectiveness, learn new management techniques, develop a network of peers, build visionary leadership to implement strategic planning, and increase their ability to use financial management to enhance the decision-making process.

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Mid-Career Institute for Environmental Leaders

The Mid-Career Institute for Environmental Leaders (MIEL) at Seattle University is designed to enable mid-level nonprofit environmental leaders in the Northwest to assume larger leadership roles in their organizations. Its five-day residential program teaches strategy formation, adaptive leadership and organizational change, equity and environmental justice, fundraising and financial sustainability, and effective governance. Subsequently, participants receive a 360-degree leadership assessment and one-on-one coaching, and attend equity training and a virtual cohort gathering. The Brainerd Foundation recently invested in the development of this program and we’re pleased to partner with other foundations in sponsoring grantees to attend.

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Training Resources for the Environmental Community

TREC's focus is on leaders and their development, inspiration, and activation. Their programs, currently available only to Wilburforce Foundation grantees, include the Stepping Up to Leadership program, which is helping to elevate promising mid-level staff that are looking to increase their knowledge, skills, and confidence in leadership and management.

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Nonprofit Leadership Best Practices

At the Brainerd Foundation, we recognize that effective organizations practice leadership at all levels. Of course, leadership from the executive director and board are critical components to high functioning nonprofits, but senior management, junior staff, and volunteers should not be overlooked for their roles in strengthening overall organizational leadership now and in the future. Having supported capacity building since its inception, we offer here some of the best practices in the leadership of nonprofit organizations.

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BoardSource Learning Center and Store

BoardSource is the world's largest, most comprehensive publisher of material on nonprofit governance. They offer a large selection of booklets, books, videotapes, and audiotapes. They also provide a highly regarded Leadership Certificate for Nonprofit Chief Executives.

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Death by Meeting

This book is centered around a cure for the most painful yet underestimated problem of modern business: bad meetings. Lencioni provides a blueprint for leaders who want to eliminate waste and frustration among their teams, and create environments of engagement and passion.

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The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

This book by Ron Heifitz, Mary Linsky, and Alexander Grashow is a hands-on, practical guide containing stories, tools, diagrams, cases, and worksheets to help you develop your skills as an adaptive leader, able to take people outside their comfort zones and assess and address the toughest challenges.

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Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Written by Chip and Dan Heath, this book explores how leaders can affect transformative change in their organizations.

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Nonprofit with Balls - Cultural Competency

This blog explores what it's like to work in nonprofits, including tips for increasing cultural competency. Posts cover topics such as the equity of risk and failure, capacity building for communities of color, grant processes that perpetuate inequity, trickle-down community engagement, and inequitable hiring practices. Creator of Nonprofit with Balls, Vu Le, also convenes a monthly e.d. happy hour in Seattle and offers a toolkit for launching one in your community.

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Management Center

The Management Center offers hands-on coaching services for executive directors and their senior leadership teams, as well as a series of management training courses that cover topics such as how to delegate tasks effectively, use goals to hand off broad responsibilities, check in with your staff efficiently, hire great people, give feedback and develop your staff and ensure your team gets great results.

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501 Commons Financial, Management, and Technology Services

501 Commons provides services to nonprofits in the King and Snohomish County areas of Washington State, including consulting on financial management topics as well as ongoing financial services; coaching for most management topics; and Web, database, and technology strategy and planning services.

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Montana Nonprofit Association

The Montana Nonprofit Association is a membership organization that promotes a stronger nonprofit sector in Montana through public policy, affordable products and services, organizational development, research and information sharing, and network building. Its online research center offers a sample financial management plan, sample policies, and other guidance for organizational development.

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Impact Rising

ImpactRising aims to elevate the quality of consulting in the social sector by providing tools, articles, and a discussion board designed to support nonprofits and consultants undertaking capacity-building projects.

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Mid and Long Term Strategies for Diversity Hiring

Organizations which have avoided making thoughtful plans, including allocating resources to meet diversity goals, will probably not see consistent and measurable improvements in their hiring profiles. Collaborative planning, targeted channeling of monetary and other resources, combined with an unshakeable belief in the value of a diverse workforce, these factors will have positive effects on hiring and retention rates. In the end, those organizations willing to invest time, money, and thoughtful planning will emerge the winners.

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Mergers and Other Partnership Structures for Environmental Nonprofits

The Institute of Conservation Leadership created this monograph to help environmental and conservation leaders understand how strategic restructuring of an organization can offer more effective mission fulfillment, as well as financial stability.

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Managing in Hard Times

A joint publication of the Environmental Support Center and the Institute for Conservation Leadership. Examines best practices and tools for managers of environmental and conservation nonprofits, including how to track finances, recognize danger signals, assess options, and make tough decisions with the best interests of the organization in mind.

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How to Make Meetings Work

This book is dated, but remains an excellent resource for suggestions on running successful meetings that have actual outcomes. It even gives seven reasons for not holding a meeting!

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Benchmarking Your Organization's Development

This workbook, published by the Institute for Conservation Leadership, helps organizations assess their practices against 46 best practices benchmarks, identify the most important benchmarks to improve, and set next steps for becoming stronger and more effective.

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