Center for Nonprofit Excellence Announces 2024 LEAD Institute

Center for Nonprofit Excellence Announces 2024 LEAD Institute

Nonprofit leaders in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties encouraged to apply by October 2, 2023 deadline

Monterey County, California — The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE), a program of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC), has officially launched its recruitment for the LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development) Institute 2024 cohort. Rising nonprofit leaders in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz County are encouraged to apply.

LEAD Institute offers nonprofit managers a dynamic professional development opportunity to foster strong, effective leadership in the local nonprofit sector. LEAD Institute begins in February 2024 and continues through December 2024.

‘LEADers’ commit to ten monthly seminars at the beautiful Harden Foundation in Salinas, where they connect for professional growth and facilitated learning. The program seeks to bring together a diverse and dynamic group of values-driven leaders each year.

An information session will take place on Thursday, August 24 at the Community Foundation for Monterey County at 2354 Garden Road in Monterey. Interested applicants or supervisors can register at, email or call 831.375.9712. Visit to learn more about the program.

The LEAD application deadline is Monday, October 2, 2023.

LEAD empowers participants to discover their leadership values, find a network of professional support and confidently lead a thriving team. Since it launched in 2009, LEAD has trained a network of more than 180 nonprofit leaders representing 120 nonprofits. These inspired and inspiring LEADers graduate ready to take on greater responsibilities and thrive.

Facilitated by Reid Norris, CFMC Leadership Development Specialist, the 2024 LEAD Institute emphasizes individualized professional growth with personal coaching sessions and builds leaders who are prepared to lead diverse communities. LEAD participants gain new insights and abilities that can be harnessed to address changing community needs.

“LEAD has helped me grow professionally in developing my leadership skills. I’m utilizing resources I’ve learned in LEAD and bringing them back as I supervise staff at my organization,” said Hayley Mears, LEAD Institute alum, Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County.

Rising nonprofit professionals from nonprofit organizations and community groups can apply by October 2, 2023, to join the 2024 cohort. Qualified applicants represent nonprofits or community groups in Santa Cruz, San Benito, or Monterey counties who are stepping into new leadership roles. Managers from backgrounds underrepresented in nonprofit leadership are encouraged to apply.

“For me it’s been 100% positive. I would highly recommend LEAD to anyone,” said Jeff Hinderscheid, Executive Director of Sol Treasures and LEAD Institute alum.

The year-long course includes learning opportunities from presenters with expertise in nonprofit management and leadership development. Recent experts have included LEAD Alumni Hana Kong and ileana Ortega Brunetti, Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz, G. Luca Oake, Sharon Papo, Catherine Hambley, Steve Dennis and CNE staff Reid Norris and Susie Polnaszek.

The program offers sliding-scale tuition rates and need-based scholarships and is an excellent opportunity for nonprofit organizations to invest in staff and empower their growth to build capacity and connection in the community. LEAD differs from other area leadership programs in that it is focused on strengthening the abilities of experienced nonprofit professionals within the context of the organizations where they work, using a unique peer-learning approach. LEAD was developed in 2009 by combining the best practices of programs nationwide with the experience of local community leaders.

To see more participant testimonials, for more information or to apply, visit

About the Center for Nonprofit Excellence

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) of the Community Foundation for Monterey County works with local nonprofits of all types and sizes to be stronger, more resilient and equitable. It helps staff, boards and volunteers make meaningful connections to resources and one another. On average, CNE works with more than 160 nonprofits each year, offering learning opportunities, toolkits, grant funding, consulting and more. To learn more, visit or call 831.375.9712.

About the Community Foundation for Monterey County

The mission of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) is “to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Monterey County.” Thanks to generous individuals, families and businesses who have created charitable funds, the CFMC has granted more than $268 million to nonprofits working towards healthy, safe, vibrant communities. For more information visit or call 831.375.9712.