Leadership Development Programs

The following is an alphabetical listing of active leadership development programs in Minnesota and nationwide. This guide includes leadership-building programs offered by university systems and nonprofit organizations to grow your leadership skills and strengthen your organization and Minnesota’s nonprofit sector.

MCN's Leadership Programs

Leadership Institutes
MCN's Nonprofit Leadership Institutes differ from MCN’s other educational programming by providing a longer-term exploration of leadership and management with a cohort of like-minded professionals. The Institutes often focus on a specific angle of nonprofit work such as advocacy or performance management.

Leadership Trainings
MCN offers a variety of services and trainings to expand the leadership of the  nonprofit sector, strengthening individual nonprofits and the communities they serve, including: Social Leader Roundtables, Emerging Leaders Networking Lunches, an annual leadership conference, board training sessions and additional leadership tools, trainings and conferences.


Minnesota-based Programs

Amherst Wilder Foundation
James P. Shannon Leadership Institute
St. Paul, MN
The James P. Shannon Leadership Institute is a structured, challenging and supportive opportunity for personal and professional renewal for experienced leaders of philanthropic, civic and community service organizations. Participants will clarify the purpose of their work and the core values they want that work to exemplify, identify strategies to increase their effectiveness, and articulate changes needed to enhance focus, commitment, energy and satisfaction.

Amherst Wilder Foundation
Neighborhood Leadership Program
St. Paul, MN
Neighborhood Leadership Programs develop the skills of existing and emerging community leaders. By participating in these programs, participants enhance their ability to act on important community issues. The annual six month Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP) is an in-depth program bringing together 30 diverse leaders from across the community in bi-monthly sessions to develop leadership skills and promote effective action.

Blandin Foundation
Leadership Programs
Grand Rapids, MN
The Foundation’s leadership programs are designed to serve the Foundation’s mission of strengthening rural Minnesota communities. The programs, which assist rural leaders in building on their community’s assets, include the Blandin Community Leadership Program and Partners-in-Leadership Program.

Bush Foundation
Leadership Fellows Program
St. Paul, MN
The Bush Leadership Fellows Program supports accomplished, motivated individuals who are eager to prepare themselves for greater leadership opportunities and to create positive change in their communities.

Hamline University
School of Business
St. Paul, MN
Hamline’s Master in Nonprofit Management degree is dedicated to preparing professionals to meet the complex fiscal and operational challenges that are unique to nonprofits. The curriculum combines the theories of nonprofit management with best practices. Students learn skills that help practitioners define goals, adhere to mission, and respond to demands of their multiple stakeholders.

MACC Alliance of Connected Communities
Leadership Development

Minneapolis, MN
MACC develops leadership opportunities in the context of people’s day to day work. They establish work groups and affinity groups of staff with similar jobs. These groups undertake projects at the request of MACC’s board or create their own agendas and projects. Note: Participants must be employed by a MACC member agency.

Metropolitan State University
Masters of Public and Nonprofit Administration
Minneapolis, MN
This program equips leaders and managers at all levels of government and nonprofits with the skills and understanding necessary to build and improve our communities. It is available in three formats: in regular classroom-based courses, in web-enhanced courses where students meet every other week and do online work in between classes, and online-only.

Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce
Leadership Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN
This nine-month program is designed for leaders who seek a deeper understanding of issues affecting the region; ways their organizations can directly impact community issues; and ways to expand their leadership abilities and use those skills in a volunteer capacity.

Minnesota Association of Volunteer Administration
Volunteer Resources Leadership
Maplewood, MN
Volunteer Resources Leadership is a three-year capacity building initiative to expand and strengthen volunteer leadership across the state through strategies that create widespread systemic change. With a special emphasis on targeting diverse and grassroots communities, the initiative will build infrastructure, tools, and capacity for successful volunteer leadership.

Minnesota State University
Mankato Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program
Mankato, MN
The Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program is an 18-credit undergraduate certificate that draws from the fields of sociology; urban studies; recreation, parks and leisure; and social work to provide an exciting program that will change the way you look at the community and enhance your professional opportunities in the nonprofit sector.

Propel Nonprofits
Leaders Circles Program
Minneapolis, MN

Leaders Circles® groups are based on an internationally known process called action-learning. Each circle is composed of five to seven nonprofit leaders. Groups are confidential, supportive, and focused on learning and action. A trained, experienced facilitator works with each group.

St. Paul College
Business Program

St. Paul, MN
Building on a rich history of offering unique business programs, the College recently launched a new specialty in business management. It awards Associate in Science degrees in business management, with separate focuses on entrepreneurship, human resources, and international business.

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Organizational Leadership, M.A.
Minneapolis, MN
This online degree is designed to help students become adaptable, ethical, and tech-savvy leaders who can affect real and lasting change in an organization. Students will learn how to master organizational challenges, manage conflict, and develop those around them. They will also lay a future foundation for future leadership success in an ever-shifting business environment.

Twin Cities LISC
The Careership
St. Paul, MN
The Careership Program is a multi-year, collaborative effort designed to train new leaders, particularly people of color, for professional positions in the community development field. The program is funded by local funders, including the Otto Bremer Foundation and the Family Housing Fund, as part of the Changing the Face of Housing in Minnesota initiative.

University of Minnesota – Duluth
Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL)
Duluth, MN
The MAPL program is an applied degree, designed for persons with interest in having an impact on and changing public policy through positions as local community leaders, government relations specialists, advocates, inter-governmental relations, lobbyists, elected and appointed officials. Round-trip transportation from the Twin Cities is provided for each class weekend.

University of Minnesota
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Minneapolis, MN
Humphrey School offers graduate degrees in public policy; urban and regional planning; an MS in science, technology and environmental policy; and a mid-career MPA. Humphrey students have extracurricular learning opportunities, including with the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. In addition, Policy Fellows participate in monthly seminars and attend Policy Forum conferences, read briefing papers and journal articles, take a study trip, and complete a group project.

University of Minnesota
Humphrey School – Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center
Minneapolis, MN
The purpose of the Center is to enhance the leadership of nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public sector to work together to advance the common good. The Center brings together core strengths of the Humphrey School. It builds on the 20-year record of the former Reflective Leadership Center to support high-quality, well-trained, and experienced leaders who understand how to work collaboratively for change and for the public good.

University of St. Thomas
Center for Nonprofit Management
Minneapolis, MN
CNM develops affordable leadership services and programs to help nonprofits achieve higher impact. As a premier resource in education, the University and CNM have earned a national reputation for their Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship, Mini MBA for Nonprofit Organizations, Institute for Executive Director Leadership, and MBA with a nonprofit track.

YWCA Mankato 
Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Program
Mankato, MN
The Elizabeth Kearney Women's Leadership Program examines, defines, and redefines leadership both personally and professionally for women. This program works with women in the Greater Mankato area to build a strong and collaborative network of powerful leaders and increase the number of women in local corporate, business and other leadership roles. 


National Programs

Arizona State University
Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation
Phoenix, AZ
The ASU Lodestar Center exists to advance nonprofit leadership practice so that organizations can better achieve their mission. The B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management prepare students with a degree that connects directly to the extensive body of knowledge in nonprofit studies in response to increasing numbers of career positions in the field.
Case Western Reserve University
Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations
Cleveland, OH
The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, offers one of the nation's most fully developed programs in nonprofit management. The Center's unique graduate program focuses on developing nonprofit managers into career community leaders.
City University of New York
Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
New York, NY
The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (CPCS) is committed to strengthening civil society through education, research, and leadership training. CPCS focuses on giving, volunteerism and nonprofit entrepreneurship by individual donors, foundations and corporations in the United States and around the world. Since its inception, CPCS has worked to highlight the philanthropic activities of different institutions and groups, with a particular emphasis on multiculturalism.
Cleveland State University
Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice
Cleveland, OH
The Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practicewas founded to support and foster the health of the nonprofit sector through training and technical assistance that support the role of nonprofits in civil society, scholarly and applied research, and undergraduate and graduate education in the leadership and management of nonprofit organizations.
DePaul University
School of Public Service
Chicago, IL
The School of Public Service offers seven graduate degree programs, short-term study abroad courses in 10 countries, and several academic and professional education certificate programs. The mission of SPS is to educate people to be effective public service leaders in the global community.
Duke University
Center for the Study of Philanthropy and Voluntarism
Durham, NC
The Center was created in 1986 to conduct scholarly research and expand the dialogue about these pursuits. The Institute offers a professional Master’s degree in public policy analysis and management as well as an undergraduate major in public policy.
George Mason University
Nonprofit Management Studies
Fairfax, VA
Undergraduate and graduate students receive unparalleled educational opportunities via George Mason's close proximity to the nation's capital. The University is home to nationally-recognized political science and public administration programs and world-renowned faculty, some of whom are experts working in Washington, D.C.
Georgetown University
Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership
Washington, DC
The Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership provides advanced education in public policy, public and nonprofit management, advocacy and philanthropy, with domestic and international applications. Their multi-sectoral approach, public policy orientation and research focus on effective practices ensure the breadth and relevance of the educational experiences offered.
Georgia State University
Nonprofit Studies Program
Atlanta, GA
The Young School is known for its education of nonprofit leaders in the region, preparing those who aspire to be future leaders in the sector, and enhancing the skills of those already working in positions of leadership. It offers a joint PhD in public policy, an MPA with a career track in nonprofit management and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management.
Grand Valley State University
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership
Grand Rapids, MI
Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership is an academic center that enhances the impact of foundations and nonprofit organizations, improves the quality of community decision-making, and develops the habit of civic engagement among students and faculty at Grand Valley State University.
Harvard University
Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
Cambridge, MA
The Hauser Center seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers and the general public by encouraging scholarship, developing curriculum, fostering mutual learning between academics and practitioners, and shaping policies that enhance the sector and its role in society.
Indiana University
The Center on Philanthropy
Indianapolis, IN
The Center addresses the issues that are at the center of philanthropy. Through groundbreaking studies, pioneering academic programs like the first-of-its-kind PhD in Philanthropic Studies; and by training and convening nonprofit leaders through The Fund Raising School and the Philanthropy Summit, the Center ensures that life-changing philanthropy succeeds in our communities and around the globe.
Johns Hopkins University
Center for Civil Society Studies
Baltimore, MD
The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies seeks to improve understanding and the effective functioning of nonprofit, philanthropic, or “civil society” organizations in the United States and throughout the world in order to enhance the contribution these organizations can make to democracy and the quality of human life.
Louisiana State University
Institute for Human Services and Public Policy – College of Liberal Arts
Shreveport, LA
The Institute for Human Services and Public Policy is an academic unit of Louisiana State University. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research and disseminate knowledge about nonprofit organizations. The Institute offers both credit and non-credit courses and programs.
The New School Nonprofit Management Program
The New School for Public Engagement
New York, NY
The New School offers leadership training through Milano, the New School for Public Engagement. Milano trains leaders for the nonprofit, public, and private sectors by blending theory with hands-on practice and progressive thinking with social commitment.
New York University
School of Law National Center on Philanthropy and the Law
New York, NY
The National Center on Philanthropy and the Law was established at New York University School of Law to explore a broad range of legal issues affecting the nation’s nonprofit sector and to provide an integrated examination of the legal doctrines related to the activities of charitable organizations.
New York University
Wagner Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy Program
New York, NY
The Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers advanced programs that educate future leaders of public, nonprofit and health institutions as well as private organizations serving the public sector. Trained in management, policy and finance, NYU Wagner students graduate with the skills they need to confront society's most pressing problems.
Northwestern University
Center for Nonprofit Management – Kellogg School of Management
Evanston, IL
The Center provides thought leadership to nonprofit organizations, enabling them to manage more efficiently and meet their missions more effectively. Uniting Kellogg School faculty and students with seasoned practitioners, the Center offers executive education, research and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations worldwide.
Portland State University
Institute for Nonprofit Management – Mark O. Hatfield School of Government
Portland, OR
The Institute works to meet the needs of nonprofits through educational and training programs. INPM supports the development of a strong, informed and effective nonprofit sector. INPM’s educational and training programs teach what leaders need to know to build community through management and leadership in nonprofit organizations.
Seattle University
Center for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Management

Seattle, WA
Seattle University offers a Masters of Nonprofit Leadership oriented toward working professionals in the nonprofit field. Some core competencies include creating vision, maintaining a client focus, developing resources and building a diverse, empowered workforce. The program includes networking with established professionals, leaders in philanthropy and faculty with real-world experience.
Seton Hall University
Center for Public Service
South Orange, NJ
The University offers graduate degrees, graduate certificates and continuing education in nonprofit management, financial management of nonprofits, arts administration, etc. The University provides a blend of academic theory and hands-on experience with local organizations. Scholarships are available for the graduate program that has been listed for almost 10 years by U.S. News and World Report as among the top ten MPA programs in the country for its nonprofit concentration.
Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
Southeast Asian American National Leadership Training
Washington, DC
SEARAC is a national organization advancing the interests of Southeast Asian Americans through leadership development, capacity building and community empowerment. Through their training, emerging leaders learn necessary tools for advocacy and spend a day on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional staff on policy issues that affect Southeast Asian Americans.
University of Albany – SUNY
Center for Woman in Government and Civil Society
Albany, NY
The Center provides opportunities for certification in nonprofit management, collaborative learning and a Fellowship for Women and Public Policy. Dedicated to publishing research relevant to the public life of New York and the nonprofit sector, the Center is part of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.
University of California Berkeley
Nonprofit and Public Leadership Program – Haas School of Business
Berkeley, CA
The Haas School of Business provides coursework in nonprofit strategic management, marketing and fundraising, nonprofit consulting, finance and board governance. Hands-on experience on local boards of directors, internships and career development are all part of this degree aimed at preparing students for positions of leadership in public and nonprofit organizations.
University of California
Los Angeles Center for Civil Society
Los Angeles, CA
The Center focuses on nonprofit leadership and management, grassroots advocacy and philanthropy. The program has both a local and international component that blends with the diverse atmosphere of Los Angeles. Objectives of the program include improving understanding of nonprofits, informing policy, educating practitioners and monitoring major developments effecting civil society.
University of Delaware
Center for Community Research and Service
Wilmington, DE
The Center for Community Research and Service provides technical assistance to local organizations, offers many certificates in nonprofit management, works on issues of racism and family leadership and is a leader in redevelopment and environmental justice.
University of Maryland
University College Nonprofit and Association Management – The Graduate School of Management and Technology
Adelphi, MD
The University College offers graduate certification in Nonprofit Financial Management and is part of the Center for Creative Leadership’s network. Leadership programming features individualized executive education.
University of Michigan
Nonprofit and Public Management Center – School of Social Work
Ann Arbor, MI
The Center's mission is to equip future leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors with interdisciplinary insight that can help them operate more effectively when working for or collaborating with nonprofit and public institutions.
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Bloch School of Business and Public Administration
Kansas City, MO
The Bloch School and Midwest Center are dedicated to building nonprofit capacity in the Midwest. The school’s MPA program offers graduate education to prepare sector leaders and, Center programs help nonprofit leaders and organizations effectively serve their communities.
University of Missouri – St. Louis
Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program
St. Louis, MO
The program offers comprehensive education and training for individuals pursuing careers in the nonprofit sector, for professional staff, board members and other leaders of nonprofit and voluntary organizations, and for public sector professionals. Managers and leaders in a wide variety of nonprofit fields benefit from the program, which also features fellowships awarded to students.
University of Notre Dame
Masters of Science in Nonprofit Administration
Notre Dame, IN
Rooted in the Notre Dame tradition, the Mendoza College of Business MNA degree's mission is to  develop exemplary leaders serving nonprofit organizations. The program develops the administrative leadership skills of people in nonprofit organizations. It offers a flexible structure with on-site courses held in the summer and electives offered via e-learning during the fall and spring.
University of Pennsylvania
Center for Community Partnerships – Penn Program for Public Service
Philadelphia, PA
The Center brings to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that society benefits.
University of San Francisco
Master of Nonprofit Administration
San Francisco, CA
Investigate the political, economic, legal, and social environments of nonprofit organizations in USF's master's degree in nonprofit administration. Develop a deeper understanding of nonprofit management and emerge stronger and more capable of leading initiatives for positive change.

The program is designed for working professionals and provides small class sizes to enrich the learning environment.

University of Southern California
Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy

Los Angeles, CA

The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy promotes more effective philanthropy and strengthens the nonprofit sector through research that informs philanthropic decision-making and public policy to advance public problem solving.

University of Texas Austin
RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service
Austin, TX
The mission of the RGK Center is to build knowledge about nonprofit organizations, philanthropy and volunteerism and to prepare students and practitioners to make effective contributions to their communities and countries. RGK Center initiatives emphasize collaborative approaches and international perspectives in order to foster research and dialogue across fields and across borders.
University of Washington
Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Seattle, WA
The Center conducts and supports theoretical and applied research, serves as an incubator of nonprofit and philanthropic education for University of Washington students and Pacific Northwest executives, and convenes and connects members of the academic, nonprofit and philanthropic communities to stimulate thinking, share research and best practices, and promote increased collaboration.
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Helen Bader Institute of Nonprofit Management
Milwaukee, WI
The Helen Bader Institute is a comprehensive nonprofit academic center offering a 39 credit-hour MS in nonprofit management and leadership and a 15 credit-hour graduate certificate in nonprofit management. In addition, the Institute offers a non-credit professional certificate in nonprofit management consisting of seventeen one-day workshops.
University of Wisconsin, Superior
Nonprofit Administration Certificate Program
Superior, WI

The Nonprofit Administration Certificate Program provides a well-rounded foundation in administration that helps to develop skills in working with trustees, human resources, evaluation, funding and marketing. Skills and knowledge gained are immediately relevant and applicable to the changing nonprofit workplace.
Virginia Tech
Nonprofit and Civil Society Program
Blackberg, VA
The Nonprofit and Civil Society Program includes two PhD programs and three Masters programs: master of public and international affairs, master of urban and regional planning and master of public administration. Students may earn graduate certificates in nonprofit organizations and management and administration and leadership and integrate these into their degree plans of study.
York University
Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program – Schulich School of Business
Toronto, ON
Schulich offers Canada's only MBA in nonprofit management and leadership. In Canada, almost one in five paid jobs is in a nonprofit organization - more than in manufacturing or retail, and almost three times as many as in the financial services industry. Schulich offers a range of specialization opportunities with increasing degrees of focus.


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