Leadership Development Class to Strengthen Cape and Islands Nonprofit Sector

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: An opening reception was held in Hyannis for the inaugural Institute for Nonprofit Practice's Leadership Development program.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: An opening reception was held in Hyannis for the inaugural Institute for Nonprofit Practice’s Leadership Development program.

HYANNIS – A certificate program to strengthen the nonprofit sector on Cape Cod and the Islands kicked off yesterday in Hyannis.

The leaders of 17 nonprofit organizations from the region will participate in the Institute for Nonprofit Practice’s leadership development program, which was underwritten through a first-of-its-kind collaborative between eight funder organizations.

It’s the first time the program is being offered on Cape Cod. It is currently offered in Greater Boston, the Merrimack Valley and Rhode Island and is affiliated with Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

“We expect the pilot will be successful and that this is a program that will be able to run for a long time,” said participant Kristin O’Malley, the executive director of The Cape Cod Foundation, one of the funder organizations.

The other organizations who came together to fund the program are the Bilezikian Family Foundation, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Cape and Islands United Way, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Cape Cod Healthcare Community Benefits, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation and Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation.

The Community Foundation for Nantucket is also a partner and helped to fund transportation costs for program participants coming from Nantucket.

The certificate program includes 50 hours of classroom sessions on nonprofit leadership skills, along with 30 hours of small-group sessions. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with a mentor and will have ongoing access to all of the Institute’s alumni programs.

The Institute’s President and CEO Yolanda Coentro said the funding collaborative is an opportunity to experiment with ways to bring the program to communities that wouldn’t usually have access.

“To see this collaboration of board chairs, funders and executives coming together to forward the whole sector and not just their individual program efforts is really moving and transformational,” Coentro said. “It sets a tone for other organizations and other communities who may feel so isolated that they don’t see the possibility. I think the Cape and Islands have proven it is possible when you work together.”

The nonprofit organizations represented in the inaugural program on the Cape and Islands range in focus from youth services to housing, philanthropy and more.

“I am excited to learn from [everyone] and to grow and to partner with them in future collaborations, potentially,” said Julie Wake, the executive director of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and one of the participants chosen for the program. “And to also grow my own organization and be a better leader – a better manager.”

Other participants in the program are David Kuehn, Executive Director of Cotuit Center for the Arts; Anne Marie Bellavance, Director of Nantucket Food Pantry; Fiona Jensen, Executive Director of Calmer Choice; Andria Jason, Director of Operations for the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard; JR Mell, Regional Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands; Anne Van Vleck, Executive Director of Cape Cod Young Professionals; Jay Coburn, Executive Director of Community Development Partnership; Jessica Whritenour, Administrator of The 300 Committee Land Trust; Barbara Cotton, Executive Director of Cape Cod Children’s Museum; Elizabeth Wade, Executive Director of Champ Homes, Inc.; Barbara Milligan, President & CEO of Cape and Islands United Way; Courtney Bridges, Executive Director of Small Friends on Nantucket; Christine Menard, Executive Director of The Family Pantry of Cape Cod; and Cynthia Horgan, Executive Director/Family Support Coordinator of Cape Cod Children’s Place.

The participants will graduate with a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Tufts University in May.

Hy-Line Cruises is providing space for the class sessions in Hyannis.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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