Leadership Development

Do you have what it takes to be a leader in the nonprofit community? This page is dedicated to resources that may help shape and give insight into emerging leaders. Use these resources to find leadership opportunities and to learn how you can become a leader in your nonprofit.

If you have any resources that you’d like to share with the nonprofit community, please email a brief description, and link or PDF to Katie Breslin.



Hartford Seminary has a new Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality.

Learn more here.


Leadership Opportunities


Many older professionals, those over 50 in the boomer generation, are seeking more than just a paycheck in their second half of life. They are looking for employment with a purpose - sometimes known as “encore careers.” Encore!Hartford is a workforce training program for seasoned corporate professionals transitioning into the Connecticut nonprofit sector. Twenty Encore Fellows will be vetted and chosen through a competitive selection process based on their skill sets and potential for success in the nonprofit sector.

More information can be found on UConn's Continuing Studies web site.

The program is a statewide partnership of University of Connecticut Nonprofit Leadership Program, Leadership Greater Hartford, Connecticut Department of Labor, Capital Workforce Partners, CTWorks, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and the United Way of Central and Northeast Connecticut.

Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR)

Leadership Development Roundtable 2009

Participants in the 2009 LDR program, hosted by Fairfield University.

The LDR Program has graduated 50 rising leaders in the last three years. The greatest benefits of the Program cited by participants are the support for true leadership – not just management – development and an expanded network. LDR isn't concerned simply with the technologies of management – they are focused on the development of adaptive, collaborative and effective change leaders.

The Program was initially developed in response to the 2006 report “The Leadership Deficit” by Thomas J. Tierney which estimated need for 640,000 new nonprofit leaders over the next decade – the equivalent of 2.4 times the number currently employed! In fact, an updated and expanded 2008 report estimates that this deficit was underestimated – by 43%! Despite the changed economy, the nonprofit sector in Connecticut is expected to undergo leadership transitions at an unprecedented rate, similar to national trends. Will the next generation be ready to lead high-impact organizations?

With your help, the answer can be YES! For the fourth year, the Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR) Program will offer support to our next generation of leaders. Nonprofits want to support the professional development of their staff but often do not have the adequate resources to do this effectively in-house. This program is an opportunity to provide a great learning opportunity externally for staff with the highest potential for leadership. One participant said: “The LDR had me step back and assess my own strengths. I also had the opportunity to look at the best way to use my strengths in my organization. It has helped me to value the contribution that I am making and look at ways that I can improve.”

The LDR is designed for those currently employed by Greater Hartford & Fairfield County nonprofits who are inspired to increase their impact as leaders. This program is for individuals from Generations X and Y who plan to become an Executive Director within the next five years. By taking part in this 12-session program participants commit to attending the entire series and completing readings and assignments in between sessions to enhance learning and group discussion. By the end of the 12-session program participants are prepared to meet the anticipated demand for social sector leaders.

 Click here for more information on the program.

The following community of supporters and funders make this Program possible: Fairfield County Community Foundation, Lone Pine Foundation, Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Peoples United Community Foundation, General Electric, CT Association of Nonprofits, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, William H. Pitt Foundation, Fairfield University Center for Faith and Public Life, Partnership for Strong Communities.


Next Generation Leadership

The Bridgespan Group has released their follow-up report to their 2006 The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit. The new report, Finding Leaders for America's Nonprofits, findings include:

  • Respondents reported that actual senior job openings in 2008 were running at 77,000, or 43 percent above the leadership gap previously forecast in Bridgespan’s 2006 study.

  • As of January, 28% of nonprofit organizations planned to make senior management hires, translating to 24,000 vacancies in 2009.

  • Top barriers to finding suitable leaders included compensation and difficulty finding executives with specialized skills, as well as competition for the same in-sector talent pool and lack of resources to find or cultivate new leaders.

  • 53% of U.S. nonprofits with revenue over $1 million have significant for-profit management experience represented on their senior management teams, including 20% in financial roles.  Additionally and perhaps surprisingly, 42% of the executive directors surveyed had significant management experience in the private sector.

  • 21% of those hired between June 2007 and December 2008 were “bridgers” coming from for-profit entities, while only 15% went in the reverse direction, indicating a net gain for non-profit organizations relative to their for-profit counterparts.