The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago) presents the Leadership Institute - Chicago’s premier and most accessible leadership training program for emerging nonprofit leaders. As a cohort, Chicago’s promising nonprofit leaders will come together to challenge each other, collaborate, and build relationships to serve them beyond the program. Participants will have access to experienced nonprofit leaders as mentors and guest speakers. Leadership Institute graduates will leave the program equipped with the skills, self-awareness, and connections necessary to lead the nonprofit sector of the future.


Participants will graduate with the skills to successfully lead teams, oversee projects, and contribute to overall organizational growth.

The curriculum has two distinct focuses:

  • Self-reflection

    • Understand personal strengths and weaknesses 

    • Build effective communication skills

    • Develop one’s own leadership style

  • Skill building 

    • Assess the needs of your organization for growth and development

    • Learn best practices of thriving nonprofits 

    • Apply learning to current workplace


The Leadership Institute is a virtual 10-month cohort program that runs from January through October and finishes with a capstone project. Features of the program include:

  • Monthly three-hour sessions with guided peer learning and engaging activities

  • Two optional but encouraged in-person networking events with the cohort and mentors

  • Guest presentations from local nonprofit leaders

  • Monthly one-on-one meetings with a mentor

  • Free course materials including textbooks and online access to management and leadership tools

  • One-year membership to YNPN Chicago


The program is open to all Chicago professionals who currently work in the nonprofit/social sector. This program targets mid-level professionals (5-7 years experience) who currently have responsibilities that include managing people and/or a variety of projects. YNPN Chicago membership is not a requirement to be eligible for Leadership Institute; however, preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate engagement with YNPN Chicago through membership and/or event attendance. If accepted, participants should:

  • Be able to attend all ten monthly sessions from Jan-Oct 2022

  • Be able to dedicate an hour a month to meeting one-on-one with their assigned mentor

  • Have the support of their current employer which includes having time off to attend monthly sessions and having the opportunity to apply new skills in the workplace. 

  • Have additional time and energy to complete readings, reflections, and assignments between monthly sessions.

  • Be willing and prepared to engage in personal reflection and in active, respectful discussions with other cohort members


If you are covering the cost individually, see below: 

Individual Rate: $375

If finance is a barrier to participating, please continue with your application and reach out to juliann@ynpnchicago.org to discuss potential solutions including a discounted rate, monthly payment plans, etc.

If your organization is able to cover the costs of the program, please use the following sliding scale model: 

Organizational budget under $2 million: $375

Organizational budget between $2 and 5 million: $500

Organizational budget between $5 and 10 million: $750

Organizational budget over $10 million: $1000

Program Dates

2022 cohort meetings will be held on the first Friday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Zoom. 2022 dates: January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, October 7


The application for the 2022 cohort is now closed. Applications for the 2023 cohort will open in fall of 2022.



Corey Richardson

We are excited to share that Corey Richardson will be facilitating the 2022 Leadership Institute cohort. Corey is Director of Strategic Partnerships of the Golden Apple Foundation, which honors, develops, and trains teachers in Illinois. Golden Apple is an innovator of teacher preparation in the state of Illinois and prepares effective teachers for the 2.3 million students of need in Illinois. Richardson focuses on improving the K-12 partnerships, development, and donor relations. Before joining the foundation, he served as a regional admission counselor for Western Illinois University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of St. Francis (’09) and a master’s in Leadership Studies in Higher Education from North Central College (’12). Richardson volunteers in the community as the Past Chairman of One Million Degrees Associates Board and is a national member of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network.

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For additional information or questions, please contact Juliann Krupa juliann@ynpnchicago.org.