Nonprofit Learning Institute 2021


Thank you for your interest in applying for the Nonprofit Learning Institute, presented by Bank of America and Philanthropy Massachusetts. 

2021 Press Release: 
The Nonprofit Learning Institute Announces its 2021 Cohort

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 2021 Nonprofit Learning Institute will be held virtually. The application deadline is November 29th at 11:59 PM.

Nonprofit Learning Institute Focus:

In the tenth year of the Institute, there will be an increased focus on supporting leaders of color through the work of the institute. BIPOC leaders are strongly encouraged to apply. Over the last nine years, this program has increased the effectiveness of 170 nonprofit organizations from throughout Massachusetts.
Session Description:
  • Launch of Nonprofit Learning Institute (January 2021)
    This will be the orientation for the Nonprofit Learning Institute. During this orientation, we will go over goals and expectations for the program, as well as learn more about the organizations in the program.
  • Strategic Planning (February 2021)
    This session will walk participants through what it means to be strategic; how an organization can do so; and a truly strategic plan should look like.
  • Board Engagement & Development (March 2021)
    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 (April 2021)
    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 (May 2021)
    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.
  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in Massachusetts
  • Annual operating budget should be between $500,000 and $2 million (Budget size should not deter organizations from applying. Organizations outside this range will also be considered. See Application Form Question 5 for details.)
  • A primary contact, in a senior leadership role, must commit to attending all five sessions of NPLI. Additional organization representatives (senior staff, board members) will also be welcome to join some sessions. 


  • Sessions will be held from January - May 2021.
  • The sessions will be held virtually through the Zoom platform.

Application Timeline:

  • October 14, 2020: Application released
  • October 26, 2020: Information session
  • November 29, 2020: Deadline for application submission
  • Week of December 7, 2020: Participants notified of application status
  • January 2021 – May 2021: Nonprofit Learning Institute Sessions

Click here to view application guidelines and a blank application.

Contact:  If you have any questions or concerns about eligibility or timeline, please email or call 617.426.2606 x138.

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
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