Nonprofit Executive Education

nonprofit business excellence landing

NONprofit Business Excellence: Leadership Through Learning

In Partnership with Cicero Youth Task Force


Nonprofit leaders in Cicero, Ill., a west suburban Chicago community, found success with their passion for the social dimension of their work, but they lacked strategic and managerial business skills.

Program Goal:

To formalize the management education of community nonprofit leaders and provide each with a “toolbox” to accomplish change within their organizations and develop high-vision leadership.

Program Design and Format:

The Cicero Youth Task Force and Notre Dame nonprofit executive programs staff designed an annual, two-week certification program to be held within the community. Program topics have included:

  • Creating a mission statement and strategic plan for your organization.
  • Dealing with common human resources challenges in the nonprofit sector, such as hiring, corrective actions, professional development, federal guidelines, recruiting and preserving institutional knowledge in a high turnover environment.
  • Effectively marketing your organization by protecting your brand, controlling your message and gaining consumer input.
  • Crafting organizational messages for the media and communicating potentially damaging situations.
  • Advocating for the organization and influencing governmental policies and processes
  • Writing the successful grant proposal; fundraising strategies
  • Assuring quality through program design and evaluation and adhering to continuous quality assurance and improvement principles.


After a successful first year of Leadership Through Learning with 38 participants from the Cicero community, the Cicero Youth Task Force and Notre Dame Nonprofit Professional Development partnered for a second session the next year.