The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago (YNPN Chicago) presents the Leadership Institute - Chicago’s most premiere and 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


This program targets mid-level professionals (5-7 years experience) who currently have responsibilities that include managing people and/or a variety of projects. To be successful, participants should have the support of their current employers, which includes having time off to attend monthly sessions and having the opportunity to apply new skills in the workplace. Participants are expected to attend all sessions and actively engage in group conversations, complete course assignments, meet with their mentors on a monthly basis, and complete the capstone project. 

The program is open to all Chicago professionals who currently work in the nonprofit/social sector. 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 you are covering the cost individually, see below: 

Individual Rate: $375

Discounted Individual Rate: $300 (Please reach out to juliann@ynpnchicago.org if you would like to utilize the discounted rate and/or need additional financial assistance).

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

All 2022 sessions are held on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Zoom.


Applications open on November 1 for the 2022 Leadership Institute cohort.



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