Announcements, Community Development

Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders Prepare for Future


The Partnership for Strong Communities announced on March 15, 2013 that it has selected the winning applicants and launched the 2013 Connecticut Leadership Development Roundtable (LDR) Program.   Twenty-three social impact leaders will receive support through the Program to ensure they become highly effective nonprofit leaders of the future.

The idea of a leadership development program for Connecticut’s rising nonprofit executives was first considered in 2006 when representatives from 20 nonprofit organizations were convened by CT Nonprofits to discuss their concerns about the lack of young leaders entering and remaining in the state’s nonprofit sector. The group conducted surveys, focus groups and interviews with rising leaders in nonprofit organizations to determine the issues confronting young leaders in the sector.

From the research, the group identified ways to support the next generation of leaders including the idea of a training program specifically designed to meet the needs of young executives. Using these recommendations, Meghan Lowney, one of the members of the group, designed a specific program for rising leaders in small and medium nonprofit organizations, and launched the first “Leadership Development Roundtable” series in Fairfield County in 2008.

Since 2008, close to 100 participants from 83 different organizations located throughout Connecticut have completed the Program. Participants have included emerging leaders from the housing, education, human services, healthcare, immigration and refugee services, philanthropy and arts and culture nonprofit fields, from both advocacy and direct service organizations, and have diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.

“Investing in future nonprofit leaders is one of the best ways to strengthen organizations for the challenging times ahead,” said Juanita James, president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. “Especially as we begin to recover from the recession, these future leaders will ensure their organizations continue to respond to the greatest needs in Connecticut and that their programs are cost effective and impactful.”

Each year, two cohorts of current nonprofit staff who aspire to be nonprofit executive directors or senior leaders were chosen to participate in the Program. One cohort is based in Hartford and the other in Fairfield.  They meet at the Lyceum and at Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life respectively.  The series includes roundtable discussion, individual coaching and practical assignments so that participants grow to possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to meet challenges in the nonprofit sector.

“We believe the Leadership Development Roundtable is developing a cohort of non-profit leaders who are strategic thinkers and doers, who understand the vital role non-profits have as partners with for-profit and governmental entities for a civil society,” said Howard Rifkin, executive director of the Partnership for Strong Communities, which is providing support for the program. “Over the past decade, the Partnership has led the growing movement to transform previously fragmented system-change efforts into a strategic and cohesive advocacy, policy, and education initiative to end homelessness and create affordable housing. Leadership is simply critical to making change.”

The Leadership Development Roundtable is made possible in part by grant support from the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Charter Oak Challenge Foundation, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Lone Pine Foundation, Connecticut Association of Nonprofits and The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund.

The Partnership for Strong Communities engages civic and political support to solve homelessness, create affordable housing and develop strong, vibrant communities. Click here for more information about the Leadership Development Roundtable Program.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded $151 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. Click here for more information.

Participants include: 

Back Row, L to R:  Ryan Matthews, Tracy Helin, Tim Yergeau, Sophie Starchman

Front row, L to R:  Ellie Webb, Sarah Horkel, Sara Frankel, Tenesha Grant, Shelly Henderson

Back row, L to R: Joanne Delone, RJ Mercede, Kait Herman, Melissa Mangini, Lisa Bahadosingh, Alex Spurrier, Jennifer Barahona, Amanda Romaniello, Setta Mushegian

Front row, L to R: Cristina Sandolo, Melanie Seawright, Shana Hurley, Leonela Cruz, Johanna Davis



Filter News By