Nonprofits First
Rising Leaders
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The Rising Leaders program was launched in 2005 as a leadership development program for emerging and aspiring leaders to move to the next level of personal and professional growth. Participants will learn effective strategies to handle major leadership and organizational challenges. The multi-session format includes a variety of training techniques, including panel discussions with community leaders, small and large group exercises and activities. The Rising Leaders experience encourages participants to interact, discover, communicate, and serve as they build their skills to become leaders in the nonprofit sector. 

The ideal candidate has demonstrated high leadership potential in the nonprofit or public sectors. The program will be most valuable to those who are eager to learn, have a passion to serve and excel, and who are committed to:

·       Creating change within their organizations and field

·       Demonstrating new models of leadership through their own work

·       Cultivating new and better ways of working together within their organizations

·       Exploring and implementing new methods of social action

·       Inspiring others to embrace new forms of leadership and organization

The Rising Leaders program includes one to two day sessions, a ropes course, an overnight intensive, and a service-learning project. The course begins in December and runs through May with graduation in June. The schedule below, and topics covered, may be subject to change.   

December 13-14, 2018

January 17-18, 2019

February 15, 2019

March 15, 2019

April 19, 2019

May 10, 2019

May 22-24, 2019 (Overnight retreat **2 nights**)

June 14, 2019 Graduation ceremony and celebration

Rising Leaders participants are expected to attend all program activities. Complete participation is necessary to engage fully with other students and Rising Leaders faculty. Participants with more than one absence may complete the program but will not be considered a graduate of that class year. The opportunity to make up a class may be presented the following year. Additionally, Rising Leaders are required to participate in a service-learning project. Rising Leaders who have trouble with the time and/or attendance commitment are encouraged to communicate with their Nonprofits First liaison or mentor immediately. 



Introduction to Leadership

Emotional Intelligence

Leadership and Communication

Managing and Motivating Teams

Influence and Persuasion

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Public Speaking

Ethics and Leadership


Critical Thinking and Decision Making


Project Management

Leading Change

Leadership and Conflict

Ropes Challenge Course

Situational Leadership


Rising Leaders members will participate in an extracurricular service-learning team project designed to assist a local community organization. Participants can expect to spend between 10-15 additional hours over six months working on a service-learning project with a team of five to seven other Rising Leaders.  Individuals from the same organization may not serve on a team together. In addition, participants may not choose a project submitted by their sponsoring agency. Examples of projects include: developing a Policies and Procedures Manual; conducting a community needs assessment; preparing a marketing plan; and designing a special event. In addition to providing a valuable service, members will have opportunities to learn and practice new leadership skills. Each service-learning team will present a pecha kucha style PowerPoint presentation for their service-learning agency host at the Rising Leaders completion ceremony.


The program tuition for each participant is $1,550 for Nonprofits First Members and $1,750 for Nonmembers. A non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged at the time of application. For applicants selected to participate in the Rising Leaders program, the $50 application fee will be applied to the tuition. An agency may send up to three participants, but supervisors and subordinates may not attend together.

Program tuition must be paid in full by the start of the first session on December 13, 2018.  Agencies who qualify for the GROW Capacity Building Funds program may use GROW funds to pay the tuition.


Participation in Rising Leaders requires:

1.     Completed application - Click here to complete application

2.     Application Fee - Click here to purchase

3.     Current resume

4.     Letter of recommendation from a supervisor

5.     Executed Commitment to Full Participation (Click here for form)


Interested in the Rising Leaders program? Complete the form below to receive updates.


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