Leadership Development

  • Emerging Leaders

    Across southeastern Louisiana – throughout our cities, towns, and parishes – passionate leaders are ready to elevate their skills, perspectives, and networks to become the region’s next nonprofit executive and senior leaders. Emerging Leaders provides an opportunity for those leaders to level up their leadership.

    Emerging Leaders is a leadership development program aimed at creating a pipeline of senior and executive leadership in the nonprofit sector of southeast Louisiana. This program equips participants with the technical and relationship skills, as well as the critical systems-level thinking necessary to lead strong, healthy, and impactful nonprofits. Program components allow participants to explore foundational and innovative practices in:

    • organizational finance,
    • team and board management,
    • fund development,
    • network-building, and
    • and sustainability.

    In addition, the program provides space to examine leadership styles and how power, justice, and equity shape leadership practices and development. Participants will have access to individualized coaching sessions and receive comprehensive resources including articles, templates, samples, and worksheets. With these skills and resources, participants should experience an increase in confidence, be better prepared to move into new areas of leadership and be better equipped to lead organizations that are equitable and just.

    Because the Foundation’s research has documented there is a racial leadership gap in the greater New Orleans area, like there is in many regions across the country, Emerging Leaders centers Black and Indigenous leaders and other leaders of color (BIPOC leaders) in this learning community and affirms their strengths, experiences, and the unique challenges they face.

    Program Components and Schedule

    Emerging Leaders is an in-person, cohort-based experience. Program sessions will take place over six months and include six full-day training sessions and one day of networking. Please see the schedule and session topics for the most recent Emerging Leaders cohort below:

    • “Who I Am as a Leader” on Thursday, September 21st from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Financial Leadership” on Thursday, October 12th from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Fund Development and Network Building” on Thursday, November 9th from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Networking Opportunities with Financial Supporters” on Thursday, December 7th from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Sustainable Leadership” on Thursday, January 11th from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Leadership through Relationships” on Thursday, February 1st from 9:00am-3:00pm
    • “Leaders as Visionaries” on Thursday, February 29th from 9:00am-3:00pm

    For a full description of each session, please click here.

    Program Readiness

    Leadership development is an ongoing process. We recognize that cohort members already have skills, strengths, and perspectives that will serve them well as executive directors and senior leaders. To be aligned with the intentions and goals of Emerging Leaders, participants should, first and foremost, have a desire and aspiration for a senior or executive leadership role within the nonprofit sector. We also expect that participants will be open to examining how power and privilege have shaped their leadership styles and relationships with teams and colleagues.

    Priority is given to applicants who are currently employed at a nonprofit organization and have experience in: managing a budget or financial resources; managing or leading a team; coaching or mentoring staff or colleagues; and/or cultivating and managing partner relationships for a project, program, or organization.

    Others involved in the nonprofit sector and working towards social change are also invited to apply.

  • Executive Director Intensive

    Being an executive director can be both rewarding and challenging. While executives assume leadership roles because they are passionate about the communities they serve, they increasingly face operational disruptions, increased demand for services, and a host of sustainability challenges. Now more than ever, executive directors need timely, relevant training and networks of support.

    In partnership with Chevron and the Kresge Foundation, we are hosting the Executive Director Intensive (EDI), a comprehensive leadership program exclusively for executive directors. EDI combines experienced trainers and peer learning to support leaders as they develop critical technical and leadership skills; inspire their staff, board members, and other stakeholders to deeper impact and greater responsiveness; and envision organizations that simultaneously meet community needs and successfully navigate the changes occurring in the nonprofit sector.

    Program Content

    The program’s curriculum draws on research, experiences with individual coaching and organizational capacity building in the region, and the collective wisdom of EDI alumni to create a powerful space to think creatively, tryout fresh ideas, and identify action steps to successfully lead your organization. Session topics include:

    • strategic priorities and organizational decision-making;
    • organizational sustainability and financial health;
    • organizational business models and revenue streams for your model;
    • mutually supportive and interdependent partnerships with your board (generally) and your board chair (specifically); and
    • the executive director’s role in people management and talent development.

    Program Format

    Over the course of 5 months, cohort members will be able to engage readings, videos, and relevant tools; reflect on learnings between sessions; and apply new practices and strategies in their day-to-day work. Program components include: an in-person kick off session; six 2-hour virtual sessions; an express financial coaching session; a cohort gathering (session focus determined by cohort members); and an in-person closing session.

    Program Calendar

    Session Date and Time Format and Location
    Kickoff Session November 2, 2023 – 9am-3pm In-person @ Greater New Orleans Foundation
    Training Session 1 November 15, 2023 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Training Session 2 December 5, 2023 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Training Session 3 January 9, 2024 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Training Session 4 January 23, 2024 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Express Financial Coaching Session TBD by cohort availability

    *Each cohort member will sign up for a 30-minute session.*

    Training Session 5 February 20, 2024 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Training Session 6 March 12, 2024 – 10am-12pm Virtual
    Cohort Gathering TBD by cohort availability In-person @ Greater New Orleans Foundation
    Closing Session March 26, 2024 – 9am-3pm In-person @ Greater New Orleans Foundation


    The fee for the program is $400. Payment will be due upon acceptance into the program. However, we never want funding to be a barrier to participation. We have a small pool of funds available for partial scholarships for qualified participants.

    If you have any questions about the program, including scholarships, please contact Devon Turner, Director of Nonprofit Leadership and Effectiveness, at devon@gnof.org or 504.620.5279.

    Meet the Trainers

    Marla Cornelius, MNA

    Nonprofit Leadership, Management, and Board Governance Consultant

    Certified Gallup Strengths Coach

    Marla Cornelius works with organizations and leaders committed to social justice. She is skilled at designing programs and consulting engagements that blend highly relevant theory with practical application. Her deep understanding of nonprofits, the challenges facing leaders, and the way that power plays out in organizations enables her to create environments where clients can explore new realities, learn new approaches, and achieve their goals. Marla is an expert trainer, coach, and consultant who has also co-authored a number of national studies and research reports on leadership. She has extensive board experience and currently serves on the board of Cat Town, an animal rescue and rehabilitation organization in Oakland, CA.

    Roxanne Hanson

    Managing Director, BDO

    Roxanne leads teams to deliver fiscal management and operational insights to nonprofit and philanthropic clients across the country. She also supports organizations transitioning to independence from a fiscal sponsor, mergers, and sunsetting. She has extensive experience with instructional design, developing curricula, and delivering trainings and workshops that leverage diverse perspectives for better strategic financial decision-making. Experienced in recruitment, supervision, and talent-management, Roxanne intimately understands the role of organizational culture in mission success. Her on-the-ground experience, as a nonprofit executive and philanthropic leader, has equipped her for addressing a broad range of client needs in a way that is sensitive to all stakeholders.

Want to know more?

For more information about our Nonprofit Leadership & Effectiveness programs and initiatives, get in touch with Director Devon Turner.