AFP Leadership Institute

Applications opening soon for AFP's next week-long intensive leadership learning experience.

As baby boomers retire, nonprofits are having trouble finding qualified individuals to fill key leadership roles. AFP Global, in partnership with the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy, is addressing this gap with a new leadership development program, designed to provide the next generation with the skills they need to claim a seat at the leadership table.

AFP Leadership Institute

This program is focused on four key leadership skill sets: self-awareness, culture building, communication, and learning agility.

The application for the Leadership Institute cohort in Arlington, VA is now closed. The next cohort will take place in Q1 of 2024.         
We will announce when the next application opens shortly.



Leadership Institute CohortWhat is the AFP Leadership Institute?

AFP’s Leadership Institute is a week-long in-person learning experience, the next cohort will take place Sunday, November 5 – Friday, November 10, 2023 in Arlington, VA.     

This deeply reflective, action-oriented program teaches both the theory, as well as practical applications, of key leadership concepts, with a focus specifically on applying these leadership skills to the fundraising profession.       

Who is the Leadership Institute built for? 

This program is designed by fundraisers, for fundraisers who aspire to the next level of leadership in the nonprofit industry.    

Selected participants will have both fundraising and staff management experience, and, crucially, will represent the diversity of our field (geographically, demographically, and representing different organization sizes and career trajectories).     

Participants will be change agents, open to self-reflection, generous and willing colleagues, and ready to work.   

Here's what participants had to say about the program:     

BeckThe international design of the program, the authentic conversations, well prepared instructors, mixed with a diverse group of professionals, made for a very open and welcoming environment for everyone to be authentic and vulnerable. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is serious about their leadership role or to someone who desires to lead. – Christopher Beck, CAP 

DerriaI had the privilege of getting to know 18 leaders across the country who committed to taking a deep dive into leadership practices, personal goals, evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, AI in the workplace, creating safe environments, providing feedback, agile thinking, growth mindset, and so much more. We laughed, challenged our thinking, discussed our goals, examined our strengths/weaknesses, but most importantly focused on        
embedding a growth mindset in our core ways of thinking. – Derria Ford, MBA, Ed. D     

View Testimonials

What will I learn?Classroom in Cohort 1

AFP's Leadership Institute focuses on key areas of leadership, essential to building a growth mindset, including learning agility, adaptability, communication, team development and motivation, decision-making, and strategic thinking.   

Case studies, deliverables, discussion prompts, and guest speakers will all directly tie into fundraising and the experience of fundraisers.   

You will develop self-awareness and a practice of reflection to help you become an authentic leader, rooted in your own core values and strengths.    

The leadership skills learned are highly transferable across job positions, organizations, and hierarchies, and can be applied to management responsibilities like talent management, strategic planning, and board management.

How can the Leadership Institute benefit me?

We are not building cookie cutter leaders. We’re giving you tools and helping you build key competencies to support YOUR leadership trajectory in fundraising and beyond. 

  • Come away with an individualized career growth plan, reflective of your leadership goals, skills, and growth areas.
  • Connect with other aspiring leaders for ongoing conversations beyond the program.
  • Participate in 1:1 coaching sessions to develop skills specific to your needs. 
  • Learn effective culture-building strategies that focus on inclusivity, diversity, equity, and access.

Key Application Information

Cohorts will be limited to no more than twenty-five participants. 

Program Cost: 

  • AFP Member discounted rate: $4,900 USD
  • Nonmember rate: $5,900 USD
  • Once accepted into the program participants will make a nonrefundable $500 USD payment to hold their spot.
  • Scholarships are available. Applicants accepted into the program will have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship at that time. 

To apply applicants should:

  • Have between 5 -15 years of fundraising or relevant nonprofit work experience. 
  • Have some supervisory experience. (Have managed at least one full time staff member)
  • Be willing to engage with the leadership development cohort community following the week-long experience.
  • Aspire for career advancement!

What’s included with The AFP Leadership Institute:

  • 5 full days of immersive leadership development training.
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) from Sunday evening through Friday afternoon except for dinner on your own two nights during the program week.
  • Executive coaching sessions following the program week.
  • Networking and professional development opportunities in person, online, and virtual with all cohorts.

Participant Expectations:

  • Participants in the program will be expected to complete prework readings and take the CliftonStrengths Assessment.
  • Be fully engaged throughout the week and present.

What’s not included:

  • Travel and hotel expenses
    • Program hotel: Hilton Arlington | $235.00 USD plus tax per night

Application Process:

  • Applications are scored using a rubric. To support you through the process we have attached the application scoring rubric for you to review.
  • The application for the Leadership Institute cohort in Arlington, VA is now closed. The next cohort will take place in Q1 of 2024. We will announce when the next application opens shortly. 


If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to email Ian Adair, Director, Leadership Development & Credentialing, at

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