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Not-For-Profit Leadership Institute

The not-for-profit sector faces unique challenges in achieving success in today’s competitive market.

Not-For-Profit Leadership Institute

The not-for-profit sector faces unique challenges in achieving success in today’s competitive market.

Not-For-Profit Leadership Development Program

The not-for-profit sector faces unique challenges in achieving success in today’s competitive market. The YMCA Not-For-Profit Leadership Development Program, in partnership with Lakehead University, has been designed to address these challenges by focusing on best practices and core elements of a successful not-for-profit organization.

The Not-For-Profit Leadership Development Program is a unique, multi-leveled leadership experience that will help you grow personally and professionally, while connecting you with other not-for-profit leaders within the community. Drawing on leading-edge research and experienced panel and keynote speakers, this program integrates conceptual knowledge, individual experiences and hands-on-support to guide participants in their impact on the nonprofit sector. More specifically:

  • Level One, is ideal for newer leaders and as a means to refresh and fill in any missing gaps current leaders may have around foundational leadership theories and their application. Modules consists of a self-assessment to better understand your personal strengths, the importance of presence techniques, communication styles and various other topics learnt in a hands-on and experiential learning environment. You will learn valuable insights into the fundamentals of leading through change for impact.
  • Level Two, is an advanced course and meant for experienced leaders. Participants in Level Two will build on the fundamentals covered in Level One and explore topics such as emotional intelligence, leadership resiliency, change management, the art of persuasion, strengths dynamics and other topics that will inspire participants to make an impact within their organization. Entry directly into Level Two will be considered for experienced leaders. However, those permitted through an application process will need to be enrolled for level two and complete the Level One fast track option of which there is a fee of $225 + HST.
  • Level Three, the final and most advanced level of this certificate program, is meant to expand on leadership concepts including ethics, cultural competency, board governance, philanthropy and collaboration. This level will encourage and provide you with the necessary tools, enabling you to be an intentional and innovative visionary as your organization evolves.

This Program Is Right For You If You Are:

  • Currently working or volunteering in the not-for-profit sector
  • Currently (or have recently been placed) in a managerial role within the not-for-profit sector
  • Working to improve organizational or team performance
  • Working to achieve a dynamic approach to leadership

What To Expect:

  • Learn how to determine what makes non-profit organizations effective and sustainable
  • Understand emerging trends, increased competitiveness in the sector and how to lead in this environment
  • Set realistic, practical marketing objectives and goals
  • Prepare tactical plans that convert strategies into action
  • Gain an increased confidence in your ability to lead and scale your organization
  • Develop a strong network of relationships with a diverse group of nonprofit leaders

Strengthsquest - self assessment

• Identify your top 5 talents
• Learn the power behind your talents and how to intentionally apply them daily
• The benefits and power of a strengths based approach
• The tools to begin your StrengthsQuest journey and establish a strengths based culture

Leadership Communication

• Identify your communication style
• Gain awareness about the impact you have on others based on how you communicate
• Learn techniques and the awareness needed to be a truly great communicator

Transformational Leadership

• Defining leadership throughout the ages
• Learn to differentiate between trending concepts on leadership to those that are proven, relevant and applicable today
• Learn to identify what leadership styles have influenced you and what leadership style and the characteristics you would most like to exemplify. What form of leadership is your team or organization led by? Which style would have the most impact?

Strategic Planning

• Why is it important?
• How does one get started?
• What makes a good strategic plan? – learn the essentials

Team Effectiveness - Stages of Development

• Be provided with the tools needed to assess at what level of performance your team is working at
• Learn to kick start and transition your team to one that is highly performing

Mindfulness - Group Approach

• Strategies, techniques & its importance towards attaining a work/life balance

Strengthsquest - Motivation and Engagement

• Learn to manage your talents and those of your team as an interactive process
• You will be able to assess if you are in the right role and determine if managing people is the right fit for you? Are you developing or damaging your teams?

Managing Performance

• Tried and true tools perfect for staff evaluations
• You will be able to differentiate between critical behaviour needing intervention versus behaviour that can be coached
• You will be provided with the tools on how to address staff behaviour & coach your teams


• Learn the science, physiological & psychological responses that impact decision making and personal interaction
• You will be able to look at the work environment through a different lens noting its impact on potential employee performance and learning the means to intervene and influence for better results

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Resiliency

• Provides additional insights on how you are perceived and how that awareness can lead to greater impact as a leader

Change Management

• Examines the impact change has throughout an organization and provides you with the tools and understanding of how to navigate through change with the least collateral & cultural damage

Conflict Resolution

• Learn the tools needed to be able to find the common ground needed to move beyond an impasse

The Art of Persuasion

• Realize the weight of your words and actions and how to put that knowledge to the best use
• Where do you fit within the political milieu?

Strengthsquest - followership and leadership

• Move beyond what your individual talents contribute to a team and start to learn to intentionally aim & maximize the talents of others
• With this understanding you will be able to address and provide what your team members need from you as their leader

Principled-Centre Leadership

• You will learn to appreciate and consider the weight of responsibility that comes as you evolve as a leader
• You will examine ethical dilemmas and the means to address them, as well as the consequences those decisions may have

Philanthropic Leadership

• Learn a strategic approach to philanthropic visioning for your organization. As the funding landscape changes so too must our approach to philanthropy
• You will examine your readiness to adapt to these changes and how to instill a framework and culture of philanthropy that can be sustained for the long term

Board Governance

• Learn the importance of Governance and the essential role it plays as part of any organization
• Learn to assess at what stage of Governance your board operates at and how to move their level of engagement should your organization be ready for the shift
• You will be given the tools to fully understand & implement best practices of governance into your organization

Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

• You will be provided with the tools in order to assess the readiness of your organization and your board to collaborate or partner with another organization
• We will discuss and examine what governing practices need to be in place in order for collaboration to not only occur but also succeed

Unconscious Bias

• Everyone is biased. With that understanding and acceptance you will learn how to make decisions that acknowledges the role bias can often play within that process
• You will discuss best practices and be provided with the tools needed to implement them

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