Nonprofits First
Rising Leaders
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Step Up.  Take Your Place.

 You chose your nonprofit career for a reason: changing things for the better. 

The path to higher leadership is hard work, but worth the journey. As you step up to your next level of personal and professional growth, it’s good to know you’re not alone. The Nonprofits First Rising Leaders program fully prepares you to take your place as a leader for your organization and the cause you serve. 

The Best Training You Can Get

Leading a cause and solving complex issues takes determination, discipline, and know-how. Nonprofits First, Palm Beach County’s expert resource for nonprofit performance, created the Rising Leaders program in 2005 to launch aspiring leaders toward their highest level of impact and success. 

Rising Leaders is the only local training of its kind, transforming emerging talent into the sector’s new generation of top leaders. The comprehensive six-month experience takes you from leadership 101 to high-level management in a supportive peer environment

Rising Leaders participants learn effective strategies to handle significant leadership and organizational challenges. The multi-session format includes an engaging variety of training techniques, including panel discussions with community leaders, small and large group exercises, and stimulating activities. The Rising Leaders experience fosters interaction, discovery, dialogue, and servant leadership as participants increase skills to lead the nonprofit field.



The ideal candidate demonstrates high leadership potential in the nonprofit or public sector. The program is most valuable to those who are eager to learn, passionate to serve, excel when challenged, and desire to:

·      Create change within their agency and field

·      Demonstrate new models of leadership

·      Cultivate better ways to work together within organizations

·      Explore and implement new methods to drive social action

·      Inspire others to embrace new forms of leadership, structure, and organization

Program Format

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

·      December 12-13, 2019

·      January 16-17, 2020

·      February 14, 2020

·      March 13, 2020

·      April 10, 2020

·      May 7, 2020

·      May 20-22, 2020 (Overnight retreat **2 nights**)

·      June 12, 2020 Graduation ceremony and celebration


Rising Leaders are expected to attend all program activities. Complete participation is necessary to engage fully with other students and Rising Leaders faculty. Class members 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 occur the following year.  

Additionally, Rising Leaders are required to contribute to a service-learning project. Class members challenged by the time and attendance commitment are encouraged to communicate with their Nonprofits First liaison or mentor immediately.  


Critical-Skills Training and Curriculum

·      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

·      Negotiation

·      Project Management

·      Leading Change

·      Leadership and Conflict

Service Learning

Rising Leaders will conduct an extracurricular team project designed to assist a local charitable or civic organization. Participants work within a team of up to seven classmates and may contribute 10 to 15 additional project hours over the six-month course period. Class members may not choose a project submitted by their organization, and members of the same organization may not serve on a team together. Examples of projects include: developing a Policies and Procedures Manual; conducting a community needs assessment; preparing a marketing plan; designing a special event. In addition to providing a valuable service, class members will enjoy opportunities to learn and practice new leadership skills. Each service-learning team presents a Pecha Kucha-style (image-driven) PowerPoint presentation for their project agency host at the Rising Leaders completion ceremony.


Course Tuition

Individual tuition is $1,550 for Nonprofits First Members and $1,750 for Nonmembers. The application requires a non-refundable $50 fee which applies toward the total tuition cost of selected applicants. 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 12, 2019.  Agencies who qualify for the GROW Capacity Building Funds program may use GROW funds to pay tuition costs.

Step Up.  Sign Up. Apply Now!


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