Sponsored by the El Pomar Foundation and Center for Creative Leadership, the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program is a customized leadership program for CEOs and executive directors of Colorado organizations.

Those interested in attending this year’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program 2.5 in Colorado Springs have until June 7 to apply.

The program will run from 8:30 a.m. — 5 p.m., Aug. 11 and 12, and 8:30 a.m. — noon, Aug. 13 at the Center for Creative Leadership Colorado Springs campus, 850 Leader Way, with a social the evening of Aug. 11 at Penrose House in Colorado Springs. Safe distancing and COVID health protocols will be practiced.

NELP 2.5 trains nonprofit CEOs and executive directors to effectively manage and lead nonprofits with operating budgets of less than $750,000. The customized two-and-a-half-day program sees leaders engage in challenging exercises/workshops designed to teach them to become more effective organization and community leaders.

Through NELP 2.5, participants learn how to give and receive feedback from colleagues, peers and stakeholders, identify development goals and strategies with the assistance of peers and professional staff.

Also, they learn to establish relationships with peers that can become long-term learning partners and gain insight into personality preferences and leadership styles through self-assessments. NELP gathers nonprofit executives from around the state, according to Joan Shields, senior vice president of Leadership and director of the Fellowship, El Pomar Foundation.

“The experience is tailored to CEOs and executive directors of nonprofits with budgets of under $750,000 and provides a unique, immersive opportunity for these leaders to not only focus on and hone their own leadership skills, but to also gather with a cohort who in many cases have very similar experiences to share,” Shields said.

This program has two offerings of differing lengths and aims. They are NELP 4.0 and NELP 2.5. These distinct offerings are designed to prepare leaders of small and larger organizations to effectively lead their organizations and maximize their impact in the communities they serve.

As of this year, NELP 4.0 — formerly NELP at the Center for Creative Leadership, and NELP 2.5 — formerly Regional NELP, will alternate each year, according to Shields.

“NELP 4.0 takes place over four days and is targeted to CEOs and executive directors of nonprofits with budgets of $750,000 and more. NELP 2.5 is a two and one-half day program targeted to CEOs and executive directors of nonprofits with budgets of less than $750,000,” Shields said.

The program is facilitated by Center for Creative Leadership staff.

“From the foundation’s Fellowship Program, to convening local leaders over timely topics, to celebrating the work of nonprofits throughout the state, each of the foundation’s programs aims to create healthy connections within and among Colorado’s communities,” Shields said.

“NELP is one of these keystone programs that seeks to create fundamental support for the nonprofit leaders around the state in reaching their goals on behalf of our residents.”

Spencer and Julie Penrose founded El Pomar in 1937 with the mission to enhance, encourage and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado. It is one of the state’s largest and oldest private foundations.

Each year El Pomar contributes about $22 million through grants and community stewardship programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations involved in arts and humanities, civic and community initiatives, education, health and human services.

The impact of NELP benefits the nonprofit executive, the organizations they lead and the communities they serve, Shields said.

“By creating a critical mass of leaders statewide who are well prepared to step into the pressing challenges they face creates benefits for all Coloradans,” Shields said.

The NELP program cost is $400 with the potential for a $1,000 contribution to the participant’s nonprofit to defray the costs of participation. Financial support from the foundation to operate the program allows nonprofit executives to participate in this experience at a small portion of the actual cost.

Visit elpomar.org/nelp to learn more about the application process, read participant testimonials and get details about the NELP 4.0 companion program.

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