Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi
At American Express, we appreciate the impact that talented leaders can
have on business and society as a whole and we dedicate significant
resources to attract, develop and retain talented employees.
We are seeking the best methods, programs and partners that provide current and future nonprofit leaders with practical opportunities to learn and build leadership skills. We are especially interested in proposals that cultivate leadership opportunities for diverse communities within the nonprofit sector or that focus on innovative leadership development programs for emerging leaders of world-class institutions. Our focus is on training professionals with demonstrated commitment to the nonprofit sector in programs specifically targeted to the arts, environment, higher education and social service arenas. We will accept a limited number of requests for programs impacting emerging leaders in the public sector and requests for programs that support entrepreneurs.
Supported programs encourage leadership development for emerging leaders through one or more of the following:
- Addressing the leadership deficit in the nonprofit sector, whether by enabling new executive directors or supporting the training and development of emerging leaders.
- Diversifying the current landscape of nonprofit leaders.
- Transforming organizations through best-in-class management and leadership practices, whether through board leadership, implementing management principles or expanding an organization's capacity to attract, develop and retain leadership talent.
Projects we are interested in supporting include:
- Supporting leadership training by an organization to a wider group of organizations within the same discipline or field.
- Supporting leadership development of an organization's local members or affiliates.
- Supporting leadership development of an organization located in key
geographic areas (see
list of geographic areas here).
Applications for youth leadership programs are discouraged. We do not support scholarships for an individual's personal leadership training.
Arizona State University Lodestar Center, Phoenix, AZ
The Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy, presented by ASU's Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, delivers a competitive program to a select group of emerging leaders, providing knowledge and tools for leadership development. The program includes best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits from the university's professors and practitioners, as well as established leaders from the nonprofit community. The curriculum is covered in nine full days, with ongoing feedback, interaction, and workshops as hallmarks of the program. The Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy is designed to build the capacity of the social sector by enhancing the effectiveness of those who manage, and will ultimately lead, nonprofit organizations.
Aspen Institute, Washington, DC
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives. In collaboration with the Institute, support underwrote the American Express - Aspen Institute Emerging Nonprofit Leaders - a leadership program for next-generation nonprofit leaders that combined exploration of core values with best practices and opportunities for cross-sector learning, mentorship and collaboration. The Fellowship's primary goal is to support emerging nonprofit leaders and enhance the effectiveness of the sector by giving them the opportunity to revisit core values and to refresh and renew their commitment to serving the public good.
Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership, Washington, DC
In 2011 over 200 sector leaders met for a cross-sector conference focused on elevating issues of leadership and human capital in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. The event was organized by the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and featured keynote addresses from American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth I. Chenault, Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, Presedential Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Dr. William Spriggs, and remarks from Echoing Green CEO Cheryl Dorsey. The objective was to create a blueprint of goals and strategies that would strengthen nonprofit leadership across the sector. Since then, a set of collaborative partners representing the private, public, social and philanthropic sectors have been working together to further refine the blueprint goals and strategies. Together we have formed the Initiative for Talent and Leadership to move this vital agenda forward. For more information on this ongoing initiative, visit independentsector.org/leadership_initiative.
National Guild for Community Arts Education, New York, NY
The National Guild for Community Arts Education ("The Guild") is a service organization for nonprofit community arts education providers. To address the rapid changes within the field of community arts education, our leadership support enabled the Guild to launch the Community Arts Education Emerging Leaders Institute (CAELI), a five-day seminar for a diverse group of high-potential nonprofit executives, typically with about three to six years of management experience. The curriculum was developed with experts in values-based leadership development, arts leadership programming and community arts education. In-person sessions were supplemented with one-on-one coaching, advanced group assignments and three months of follow-up work. Pre- and post-360 evaluations measure changes in the participant's leadership behavior, as well as the resulting organizational impacts.
NatureServe, Arlington, VA
NatureServe represents an international network of 82 conservation/natural heritage programs in the U.S., Canada and 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The NatureServe mission, to provide the scientific basis for effective conservation action, is dependent upon the strength and effectiveness of the local programs and their leaders. Support funded the "Leader to Leader" training program, designed to develop the leadership skills of its members, create a self-renewing pool of new leaders in the network and build its community.
Click here for more information about other initiatives within this theme.