Are you ready to be an Executive Director?

future_edsAmanda Andere, who participated in the Nonprofit Roundtable's first Future Executive Directors' Fellowship program several years ago, recalls when she had her "aha" moment. Part way into the training, Andere, who at the time was Vice President for Community Resources at Reston Interfaith, remembers when Rosetta Thurman told the group they needed to stop looking at the work they do through the lens of their current jobs. "That is when I did a 180-degree turn," says Andere. "It's as if I walked out of the room as Amanda Andere the vice president and walked back into the room as Amanda Andere who is going to lead a nonprofit organization."


This illustrates is why we launched the Future Executive Directors Fellowship, the first program of its focus and intensity to be offered to emerging nonprofit leaders who aspire to the executive director position. This intensive program is designed to prepare driven, motivated Fellows for work as an executive director, diving deep into financial management, fundraising, communications, human resources, effective negotiation, building partnerships, and achieving work/life balance. Our inaugural class was launched in 2008, and we formed a second class in 2010. Of the 50 Fellows who have gone through our program, seven have assumed executive director positions. You can read about some of these alumni here under "Success Stories."

And here's where it gets exciting: you could be next! If you aspire to lead a community-based nonprofit organization as the next step in your career, then the 2012-2013 Nonprofit Roundtable Future Executive Directors Fellowship might be for you!

You'll not only receive intensive training in the areas already mentioned, you'll work with a wide network of mentors, colleagues, faculty, and current executive directors who are ready to help you develop as a leader; you'll have the opportunity to direct your own learning with a personal stretch assignment, the capstone of the Fellowship; and you'll develop a robust support network of fellow class members which will last well beyond the course of the program itself.

Here's what some of our participants have said about the Future Executive Directors Fellowship:

"It isn't your grandfather's non-profit anymore! Everything from outcomes-focused grantors, to evolving social media, to the current economy creates new challenges and opportunities for nonprofit leaders every day. This Fellowship has brought me face-to-face with some of the best minds in the DC area and beyond who have shared theories and best practices about how to lead a nonprofit in the 21st century. Most importantly, it has introduced me to a new crop of leaders with fresh ideas and great aspirations for the future of nonprofits in this area. No other leadership program in the area can boast the kind of access to local nonprofit rock stars or the hands-on training that the Fellowship offers." John Odenwelder, 2010 Future Executive Director Fellow and Director, Quality Improvement at Northern Virginia Family Service

"The Future Executive Directors Fellowship program was an invaluable learning experience for me. I particularly enjoyed hearing from three Executive Directors in the field each class day, both because they provided a candid look at what it's like to be an ED, and because it helped me identify skill areas I need to work on." – Catherine Crum, 2010 Fellow and Deputy Director, Case Management at Miriam's Kitchen

We're looking for candidates who are successful in their current positions, have a record of achievement, have managerial experience, and are eager to prepare for executive leadership. Full eligibility requirements can be found here. We believe that our application process is a leadership development opportunity in and of itself, and encourage anyone who meets the eligibility requirements to apply.

The 2012 Fellowship kicks off on September 7, 2012 with a welcome lunch for Fellows, Staff, Mentors, and Faculty and continues with an overnight retreat on September 21-22, where Fellows will develop a vision for their own leadership.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the monthly sessions that will be offered during the program:

  • A Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Executive Director
  • Financial Leadership 101: What the Executive Director (and the Board) Needs to Know
  • Developing a Fundraising Culture: The Role of the Executive Director, Staff, and Board
  • The Executive Director as Storyteller and Chief Communicator
  • Best Practices in Nonprofit Advocacy and Collaboration
  • Strategies for Work/Life Balance: Conversations with Mentors

An extensive program overview can be found here. If this sounds like a commitment you're ready to make, we want your application!

All application materials are due by 5:00pm on April 30, 2012. We look forward to reading yours, and meeting our next class of Future Executive Directors!

For questions about the program or the application process, contact Amy Fishman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 202-973-2506.


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