Catalysts for Change Leadership Program

The Catalysts for Change Leadership Program is an initiative of the Capital Region Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action Collaborative facilitated by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

Based on the Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders program at The Gifford Foundation, the Catalysts for Change Leadership Program is an 8-week board development series that will focus on increasing inclusiveness and diversity on nonprofit boards and linking leaders to supporting nonprofits. The program is designed for 15 community members currently looking to join a local nonprofit board or new to serving on a board. After completing the program, participants will be connected to local nonprofits in the area looking for new board members and will join a network of leaders looking to change the state of diversity on nonprofit boards.

Meet the 2021 Cohort

The program is FREE for participants and has been made possible through support from the Community Foundation, MVP Health Care, and SEFCU.

The program will focus on recruiting a diverse cohort, including people who identify themselves as:

  • Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or a Person of Color
  • LGBTQ+
  • A person with a disability,
  • An immigrant or non-U.S. citizen
  • A religious minority
  • A member of an underrepresented community

Program Goals

  1. Increase diversity on nonprofit boards and build inclusive cultures
  2. Create a pipeline of trained board members
  3. Strengthen the skills and knowledge of new leaders in the community
  4. Build and strengthen a supportive network to help board members survive and thrive
  5. Increasing awareness of equitable issues in our community

For more information and questions, please contact Jonathan Meagher-Zayas at
If you would like to support this initiative, please email John Eberle at

Program Benefits, Expectations, and Application Process

Ideal Candidates will Have:

  • Passion for serving the Capital Region and striving for equitable and just communities
  • Motivation for personal leadership development and growth
  • Current community involvement and the desire to join a nonprofit board or new to board service
  • Interest in expanding their network and initiative to make connections despite being virtual
  • Commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and action

Benefits of Participating:

  • Network with nonprofit board leaders and local community experts
  • Develop a supportive network of peers from diverse identities and communities in the Capital Region
  • Gain key leadership skills, resources, and knowledge that will aid in your nonprofit board service
  • Build connections with local nonprofits looking to expand their board and increase their board diversity
  • Contribute to strengthening and advancing equity in the region

Participant expectations:

  • Attend all sessions. Participants must attend 7 out of 8 sessions to complete the program and graduate
  • Be open to growth and connecting with people from different identities and cultural backgrounds
  • Take initiative to build connections within your cohort since the program will be conducted virtually
  • Willingness to provide critical feedback to help the program improve and expand in the future
  • Stay connected after completing the program to build a strong network of emerging leaders in the region

Program Timeline:

  • September 16: Application Available
  • November 16: Application Closes
  • December 14: Program Participants Notified
  • January 19, 2021: First Day of Program (Workshops description on next page)
  • January 26 – March 2: Training Workshops (Break Week of Thanksgiving)
  • March 9: Last Day of Program
  • March 16: Graduation Event

Applications closed on Monday, November 16. To view the current cohort, please click here and view the 2021 inaugural class. 

Program Details

The program has eight workshop sessions beginning on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, followed by a graduation event on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. At this time, all sessions will be held virtually via Zoom from 6 pm to 8 pm. Program participants are expected to attend all sessions and are encouraged to apply knowing they can commit.  Below is a schedule of workshops and their learning objectives. A full training schedule with trainers and materials will be available to participants on the first day of the program.


Session Learning Objectives Date
How Boards

Add Value

·      What does nonprofit mean

·      Identify different types of nonprofits

·      Background of how nonprofits got started

January 19
ABC’s of Being a Board Member ·      Key Responsibilities-fiduciary responsibility, reading financials, what gets voted on, annual filings, consent agenda, etc.

·      Does your nonprofit really impact the targeted population and how to tell

·      Understanding the time commitment

·     Officers and committee structures

January 26
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ·      Understanding the basic of diversity, equity and inclusion

·      Learning about power and racism/sexism/ageism, etc.… or ignorance, Values, and Stereotypes.

·      How to handle being the only one in the room (practical coping tools)

February 2
Group Dynamics ·      Understanding how groups form and behave; discuss power & tokenism

·      How to maximize your input in a group setting

·      Understanding the “players” in these settings and how to navigate (practical tools)

·      Having a “robust” discussion

February 9
Lifecycles of a Nonprofit ·      Understanding different funding streams

·      What every nonprofit should have (bylaws, operating procedures, insurance, etc.)

·      Understanding the nonprofit lifecycle

February 16
Collaborations and Conflict Resolution ·      Understanding conflict and its causes

·      Difference between compromising, accommodation, competition, and collaboration

·      Active listening tools

·      Getting to win – is it always possible (consensus building)

·      Negotiation techniques

February 23
Making the Connection


·      How to make myself more marketable to boards (tools)

·      Understanding what I can contribute (other than money)

·      Art of Networking; One on ones and storytelling

March 2
Change Management ·      Learning strategies on how to inspire, implement and manage change

·      Understanding tactics to influence others and change group culture

March 9
Graduation ·      Remarks from Community Leaders

·      Present community project findings

·      Connect with local nonprofits

March 16


Please email for more information or to support these initiatives.