American Express Foundation supports Center for New Leadership

People gathered on a lawn for an event

Budgets, boards, organizational management, and staff development are just a few of the daily challenges faced by nonprofit organizations, made more difficult in a small, rural state like Vermont where nonprofit leaders can feel isolated. Marlboro College is meeting those challenge through the Center for New Leadership (CNL), launched in 2015 to provide a variety of programs for emerging nonprofit leaders in the region. CNL was buoyed by a generous grant last year from American Express Foundation, a national leader in corporate social responsibility with high-profile grantees ranging from the American India Foundation to the National Urban League.

“We’re proud to support the development and expansion of Marlboro’s Center for New Leadership’s programs,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “Leadership development for nonprofit professionals is essential for the future success of the sector and, ultimately, the communities nonprofits serve. Through this grant, we hope to continue to support communities in New England and beyond.”

A $25,000 grant from the American Express Foundation is supporting three interrelated programs designed to build leadership capacity, improve management skills, and expand the professional network for mission-driven leaders in northern New England. These include Marlboro’s long-standing Certificate in Nonprofit Management program, ALIGN for Emerging Leaders, and a one-day skills refresher called the Nonprofit Management Summer Camp.

“These tiered, transformative offerings provide high-potential nonprofit professionals and community visionaries with skill-building, deep leadership development, and peer support,” said Kate Jellema, associate dean for graduate and professional studies and director of the Center for New Leadership. “They not only imparts skills but also consciously inculcate professional connections and regional support networks that continue far beyond the formal end of the programs.”

The Certificate in Nonprofit Management is an 80-hour series of courses, offered this fall in Waterbury, Vermont, and Keene, New Hampshire, that provide the essential skills nonprofit leaders need to strengthen their organization and achieve their missions. ALIGN for Emerging Leaders is an innovative six-month leadership development program for selected, high-potential community visionaries. The Center for New Leadership’s highly successful Nonprofit Management Summer Camp was developed in response to certificate and ALIGN graduates who wanted continued engagement with their cohort and access to ongoing skill development.

“Participants in these programs consistently find they have a powerful new set of tools and practices to sustain their passion for a life in service,” said Hillary Twining, Marlboro’s director of corporate and foundation relations. “The American Express Foundation is a natural partner in this work because of its focus on developing new leaders, and we are grateful for its generous support.”