Executive Director Intensive

January 14, 2016


As an Executive Director, how do you powerfully lead your organization while facing complex leadership challenges?  How do you align your organization, staff and board around impact and achieve financial sustainability? As daunting as these questions can seem, they are fundamental executive leadership responsibilities. The Greater New Orleans Foundation Organizational Effectiveness Initiative will host an intensive session exclusively for Executive Directors that combines expert instruction and peer-learning to tackle these issues.

Thanks to Chevron for making this learning opportunity possible!


Executive Director Intensive 2018 will occur all day on Wednesday, January 24-Friday, January 26, 2018. Participants will be required to attend a pre-session webinar on Wednesday, January 11 from 11:00am-12:30pm CST. Additionally, there will be follow-up peer accountability and support check in calls (to be determined).

Applications are now closed for Executive Director Intensive 2018.  Please email Rachel Swan (rachel@gnof.org) to be placed a notification list for a future session.

This program will be led by Marla Cornelius and Steve Zimmerman and will draw on research, extensive work developing and coaching nonprofit leaders, and the collective wisdom of the participants to create a powerful space to think creatively, you’ll try on fresh ideas, learn new strategies and identify action steps to powerfully lead yourself and your organization.

To keep the participation intimate, participation is limited to twenty four executives.

Focus of the Executive Director Intensive

The content will focus specifically on:

  • Leadership and Management: Balancing and understanding the leadership and management needs of a nonprofit within a multicultural framework. Better understanding of your personal purpose, strengths, and desired impact in your executive director role.
  • Refining and articulating your organization’s desired impact and strategies that were most powerful and enabled you to achieve that impact.
  • Identifying the core competencies to best align your people to the needs of the organization.
  • Sustainability-Linking Strategy and Finance: Understanding strategy formation processes and their role in organizational sustainability planning; overview of key financial management concepts and the principles of financial leadership—knowing your business model, the resources it takes to support your work and determining the right revenue mix

Program Components

Preparation Webinar: Prior to the actual seminar, on January 11, 2018 from 11:00am-12:30pm (CST) each participant will be required to attend a webinar which will set the context to be able to fully engage in the upcoming seminar and provide insights into your strategic and financial questions. You will need to access your financial statements for the webinar (more information on confirmation).

StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment: You will also be required to complete a Strengths Finders assessment prior to the session which will be referenced during the Intensive.

Facilitated Peer-Accountability Calls: Post Intensive, we will offer peer accountability calls facilitated by session leaders and GNOF OE staff (dates will be set during kick-off intensive).

This Executive Director Intensive is right for you if:

  • You are beyond the basics of acclimating to your Executive Director role and the fundamentals of running your organization (in the role at least 3 years).
  • You are now ready to take your organization to the next level and are eager to address questions of sustainability and staff management in more powerful ways.
  • You are standing in the place of strategic stewardship.
  • You desire to deepen your leadership practice and strengthen your organization.
  • You are ready to invest in your personal and organizational development.
  • You are excited to learn with peers, share your experience, and are open to others’ ideas.
  • You would benefit from being in a safe, confidential and generative learning environment.
  • You are able to fully engage and participate in all program components:
    • Attend the prep webinar
    • Complete the Strengths Finder assessment (details sent upon confirmation)
    • Attend the 3-day Intensive seminar
    • Attend the peer-accountability calls to support the implementation of your actions and decision making process
  • Neither you nor your organization is in crisis mode so that you are able to take full advantage of this program and can, make it a good investment of your time and your organizational resources.

Cost of the Executive Director Intensive

Nonprofit organizations with annual budgets over $3,000,000:  $1000

Nonprofit organizations with annual budgets between $1,000,000 to $3,000,000:  $750

Nonprofit organizations with annual budgets under $1,000,000: $500

Fees include all materials, breakfast and lunch for all three days and three follow-up peer accountability calls with session leaders.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis until the class is full and is subject to approval by the OE staff. Payment is due at promptly upon acceptance into the cohort.

Please note, we never want money to be the reason you can’t attend the Executive Director Intensive.We have a small pool of funds available to partially offset the program costs for qualified participants. Please email Joann Ricci (joann@gnof.org) with the subject line “Executive Director Intensive-Scholarship-Your Name” to share if the fee would cause a hardship for your organization and is a barrier to your possible participation.

Questions? Please contact Joann Ricci, Vice President at Greater New Orleans Foundation, 504.598.4663 or joann@gnof.org.