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Congrats to Leadership Institute’s Class of 2021!

Annette Look

It’s the season of graduations! The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NPLI), a program of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, is celebrating the graduation of 13 nonprofit leaders from the Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute is a yearlong management program for nonprofit senior leaders presented in collaboration with Fox Valley Technical College. I am proud to say I’m one of this year’s graduates!

Our program began in May 2020, and we were awarded our certificate in Nonprofit Management in April 2021.

Typical graduation ceremonies have a keynote speaker to congratulate and inspire graduates. Our graduation was small, virtual, and featured 13 keynote speakers. My fellow graduates and I all had a moment on “stage” to congratulate each other and share a reflection.

Every single one of us took a moment to thank the many funders that invest in this program. Having the support of the wider community validates the vital role our organizations, and we as nonprofit leaders, play in the community and we appreciate their investment.

A few funders were present at our graduation ceremony, and they have given me permission to share the comments they put in the Zoom chat.

I, and many of my classmates, shared gratitude for the nine trainers who are experts in their field and provided concrete tools to help us grow and improve our organizations. Similar thanks were given to the volunteers who served as our individual mock board during our project simulation.

My cohort was filled with supportive, passionate, incredible people. Even though our program needed to be virtual, I was still able to build relationships with my classmates. I know that I have 12 colleagues who I can call with a question or use as a sounding board. I feel so lucky.

I also got to create an Institute yearbook – I invite you to learn about the colleagues I was privileged to share this learning journey with by reading their testimonials.
Check it out!

We look forward to our current May 2021 to April 2022 cohort of 15 local nonprofit leaders beginning their work to improve their critical leadership, management, technical and governance skills. Each January NPLI accepts applications for new, aspiring, or seasoned nonprofit leaders to participate in the Leadership Institute.


The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is a partnership of Fox Valley-area nonprofits, funders, educational institutions and businesses dedicated to providing resources needed by effective nonprofit boards and executive leaders. NPLI offers a wide range of leadership, management and technical skill-building programs, as well as peer learning circles, to the entire nonprofit sector in the Fox Valley.

We support  NPLI with a grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, one among many community partners supporting NPLI. Click here to learn more.

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