Launched in June 2015, the Marlboro College Center for New Leadership (CNL) has become the umbrella for a growing suite of community engagement and professional development activities for Vermont’s mission-driven sector. But this dazzling beehive of activity would not have been possible without the generous support of the A. D. Henderson Foundation, which includes in its mission to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in Vermont.
“The long-term financial support and the confidence of the Henderson Foundation enabled Marlboro College to plan, build, and launch the Center for New Leadership,” said Kate Jellema, associate dean for graduate and professional studies and director of CNL. “This is the realization of a dream we’ve had for many years, to create a unified home for the various programs we run in leadership development and nonprofit management.”
Henderson support this year included a $50,000 grant for internal capacity building, as well as an additional $30,000 for Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, the foremost provider of Results-Based Accountability (RBA) and related skills in northern New England. This latter grant will enable CNL to train hundreds of nonprofit organizations in RBA and work in-house with many of these Philanthropy News Henderson Animates Center for New Leadership organizations on how to weave a culture of accountability into their day-to-day operations. These grants build on others from Henderson over the years in support of nonprofit management programs at the Marlboro.
“Henderson Foundation has an interest in the ability of all nonprofit organizations in Vermont to run efficiently and effectively,” said Eddie Gale, program director at Henderson. “The Center for New Leadership is able to provide that support to Vermont’s nonprofit organizations in relation to management, governance, fundraising, and accountability, helping these organizations to steward the public resources that have been put in their trust to serve Vermont communities.”
“Henderson’s support has allowed us to undertake strategic planning, business planning, systems improvements, and staff development,” said Kate. “We now have a core staff working with a large network of trainers and consultants to provide transformational training and leadership development for the mission-driven sector.”
In addition to CNL’s popular cohort programs, such as the Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Women’s Leadership Circle, ALIGN, and the Board Leadership Institute, in October they launched the CNL Consultant Learning Community. This collaborative group of 16 educators, trainers, and facilitators (pictured, right) is dedicated to helping mission-driven organizations achieve greater impact.
“We know that for deep organizational change to happen, it is often really helpful to have a supportive outsider to serve as facilitator, organizer, technical expert, and cheerleader,” said Kate. “We now have the infrastructure and expertise in place to provide a vetted consultant to organizations seeking customized in-house support. In addition, the consultant group will be coming together on a regular basis to share ideas, build skills, and support each other’s practice.”