American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth I. Chenault today announced an extension of the company's philanthropic commitment to developing emerging leaders within the nonprofit sector with a five-year, $25 million funding commitment. The announcement was delivered today as part of Mr. Chenault's remarks to the 48 emerging nonprofit leaders selected to participate in the fifth American Express Leadership Academy, taking place this week in New York. The additional funds will be used to expand the American Express Leadership Academy and build partnerships with well-known leadership organizations including the Center for Creative Leadership.
"Developing the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector will help a wide range of organizations meet the needs of the communities where we live and work," said Mr. Chenault. "In addition to our philanthropic dollars, we will also be connecting our nonprofit partners with employee volunteers across the country and drafting our executives to share their insights at Leadership Academies in the years ahead."
Mr. Chenault's announcement came after American Express released survey results that showed that while seven in ten Americans (71%) trust nonprofits more than they trust government or industry to address some of the most pressing issues of our time and more than eight in ten Americans (83%) believe that nonprofits do not always have the resources they need to invest in the growth and development of their employees, indicating a clear need for increased investment in nonprofit leadership.
In addition to New York, American Express recently conducted a Leadership Academy in Tokyo and next week will host the inaugural UK Leadership Academy in London. American Express also plans to expand to other cities in the U.S. In total, more than 1,200 emerging nonprofit leaders will have the opportunity to participate in the program over the next five years.
"We believe that we can do the most good by offering targeted resources and expertise to the best and brightest at some of the most important nonprofit organizations in the world, along with providing the much-needed grant dollars that we contribute," said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. "We're giving these individuals the skills and tools needed to grow in their roles and evolve their organizations as they address issues that are critical to society."
On the final day of its Leadership Academy in New York—Friday, November 5th—the American Express Foundation will host an afternoon panel discussion to address this nonprofit leadership gap and identify challenges and solutions. The panel, moderated by The Economist magazine's U.S. Business Editor, Matthew Bishop, includes representatives from notable nonprofits such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, academics from Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania, and the president of the American Express Foundation, Timothy J. McClimon. The discussion will take place at American Express Tower in Manhattan from 1:30-3:00 p.m.
The American Express Leadership Academy is a week-long program created in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that immerses participants in a series of leadership training and development courses. Through the Academy, participants polish the personal, business and leadership skills needed to run a successful nonprofit enterprise in the "new normal" of today's complex economic climate.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express' three philanthropy platforms is "Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow." Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit sector, American Express is making grants focused on training high-potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.
About the Center for Creative Leadership
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that helps unlock the potential of individual leaders and organizations through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL serves more than 20,000 leaders and 2,000 organizations annually in the corporate, education, government and nonprofit sectors.