Nonprofit Executive Education


Our Approach

When it comes to nonprofit executive programs, one size does NOT fit all. Human services and health care organizations have different problems than those in the arts or education sectors; large, medium and small nonprofits each have unique management and funding challenges; and even within sectors, client demands can be vastly different, requiring new and innovative solutions. Our approach to your educational needs is to partner with you and your organization to develop executive education that is suited to address your current pressing issues and visionary future plans.

For example, in 2007 Notre Dame was asked by the Volunteers of America (VOA) to develop a program for a future generation of quality executives. This Executive Development Program targeted the best and brightest emerging leaders from human service programs in over 400 communities. The VOA candidly praised the certificate program "the most outstanding part of the EDP experience." The partnership continued in October 2009 with a second cycle of executive development for another cohort of future VOA leaders.

In 2008 we partnered with the National Human Services Assembly to develop the nine-day "Civic Sector Leadership Fellows" certificate program designed for the rising stars in organizations such as Girl Scouts USA, United Way, and Boy and Girls Clubs. The result was a faculty mix of academic experts, who brought new ideas from business and other sectors, and experienced practitioners in the human services field. Most importantly, the participants received the best of both worlds.

We also sat down with the Cicero Youth Task Force a few years ago and asked them what they felt their organization leaders needed to help better serve Hispanics in the Chicago area. In 2009, we developed a new program that is designed for mostly program directors and other middle managers of the same organizations.

In 2008 we collaborated with the St. Joseph County Community Foundation to invent a new model of executive education based on four 2 ½ day sessions for a total of ten days. This schedule was used because nonprofit leaders could not afford to be gone from their organizations for an entire week. This model is now being used for other organizations as well.

To put it simply, we want participants to graduate from these certificate programs feeling that they have achieved significant growth in their understanding of themselves, their organizations and the nonprofit sector as a whole. As our mission statement professes, we will partner with you to "develop exemplary leaders serving nonprofit organizations."