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Nonprofit Learning Institute - 2023 Overview


Presented by Bank of America and Philanthropy Massachusetts, the Nonprofit Learning Institute is comprised of a series of technical assistance and capacity-building sessions with the goal of fostering and empowering leaders in the Massachusetts nonprofit sector. Twenty nonprofit organizations from a broad cross-section of the nonprofit sector will be selected to participate. The Nonprofit Learning Institute includes four sessions for learning and networking. A primary contact – senior management staff or board member – will be expected to attend all sessions. Sessions will be led by experts from leading service organizations and/or consultants in each topic area. The 2023 Nonprofit Learning Institute will be held virtually. 

Nonprofit Learning Institute Focus:

Now in its 12th year, the Nonprofit Learning Institute continues to strengthen the nonprofit sector with an emphasis on supporting leaders of color. BIPOC leaders are strongly encouraged to apply. Over the last 11 years, this program has increased the effectiveness of 210 nonprofit leaders from throughout Massachusetts.
Session Descriptions:
  • Strategic Planning (March 14, 2023) 
    This session will walk participants through what it means to be strategic; how an organization can do so; and what a truly strategic plan should look like. 
  • Board Engagement & Development (April 11, 2023)
    This session will focus on engaging and developing a board; purpose, roles and responsibilities of the board of directors; opportunities for board leadership; and, strategic board recruitment.
  • Capitalization & Financial Stability (May 9, 2023)
    This session will cover the fundamentals of nonprofit finance including: how to read income statements and balance sheets and how to assess your organization’s financial picture, as well as a framework for understanding full costs.
  • Breaking Down Barriers to Funding (June 13, 2023)
    This session will provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges to accessing funding and ways to mitigate those challenges. Participants will also have the opportunity to chat with local grantmakers.

  • Each participant must be in a senior management role or serve as a board member with an organization with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in Massachusetts.
  • The annual operating budget of the associated organization should be between $250,000 and $2 million (Budget size should not deter applicants from applying. Applicants associated with organizations outside this range will also be considered. See Application Form for details.)
  • Participants must commit to attending all sessions.


  • Sessions will be held from March to June 2023.
  • The sessions will be held virtually through the Zoom platform.

Application Timeline:

  • January 4, 2023: Application Open
  • January 12,2023: Information Session
  • January 25, 2023: Deadline for Application Submission
  • Week of February 13, 2023: Participants Notified of Application Status
  • March to June 2023: Nonprofit Learning Institute Sessions
  • Late June Date TBA: Closing Reception


“It is definitely worth the time and effort. A large key to taking what is learned and implementing it is to have both board & staff representation at the sessions. It provides a great opportunity to hear the same story, share takeaways and to learn that your organization is not alone in its struggles and challenges. You build a sense of community and a stronger knowledge base of how you can meet some of the challenges.”

"Having one consistent board member attend with me was really key in helping us implement some of the ideas from NPLI. This way, suggestions for change were coming from both a board member and the executive director, giving it more credibility and strength.”

"As a new (and young) executive director, this series was incredibly helpful. I've used a lot of the information and tools in everyday worklife."

"Our board recruitment and vetting has become much more organized, as well as a formalized rotation plan so that the board continuously brings on new members and doesn't get stale.”

“Very helpful for both board development and prospective donor ‘pitches.’ Was especially helpful to be able to bring key board members with me on specific subjects. They got a lot of out of it.”

If you have any questions or concerns about eligibility or timeline, please email pcorkum@philanthropyma.org or call 617.426.2606 x139.

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