American Express Leadership Academy receives $150,000 grant from American Express Foundation

American Express Leadership Academy receives $150,000 grant from American Express Foundation

Phoenix, Ariz. (June 27, 2018) – The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation recently received a grant from the American Express Foundation in the amount of $150,000 to further develop and fund its American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center. Building on their investment over the past ten years, this grant will allow the highly-effective leadership development program to engage more than 30 new participants for the 2018-2019 class. The Academy is a cohort of the region’s top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in a nine-month training program that provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit community. The program is comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits that include renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.

The one-year grant will allow the ASU Lodestar Center to continue its world-class leadership programming, which includes 360-degree feedback assessments, one-on-one executive coaching, and a comprehensive nonprofit leadership development curriculum. These are in alignment with the other nonprofit leadership academies that American Express supports across the country as part of their strategy to expand programming for nonprofit leaders both nationally and abroad.

“Our Academy enacts a proven design that places a premium on the context and organizational purposes by which individuals engage their evolving leadership styles to achieve community impact,” said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise with the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU. “Our partnership with the American Express Foundation is enduring and we benefit greatly from the national and global network of funded Academies as supported by this enlightened corporate leader,” he added.

Over $710,000 in external grant dollars have been awarded to the ASU Lodestar Center in support of the American Express Leadership Academy since the program's launch in 2008. When accounting for the value of in-kind support, as well as funds invested by the participants themselves, the total financial investment is over $175,000 this year and nearly $950,000 over the past ten years. A majority of the support has come from the American Express Foundation, however, an additional $18,000 has been obtained locally though support from Salt River Project, with in-kind support from BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, CopperPoint Insurance Companies, National Bank of Arizona, and Wells Fargo.

For additional information regarding any of the ASU Lodestar Center’s programs, visit If you have questions, please call 602.496.0500 or email



The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is recognized as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate nonprofit education, research and technical assistance. The ASU Lodestar Center exists to enhance the quality of life in communities through the advancement of nonprofit leadership practices and provides knowledge and tools to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, professionals, board members, donors and volunteers by offering a selection of capacity building workshops, conferences, classes, and programs. For more information, please visit:


The American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center operated as the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy for six years. Now beginning its tenth year at ASU, this highly-effective leadership development program is now the American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center. Currently, over 30 individuals are selected through a competitive process to participate in the nine-month program beginning in August and ending in May each year. Each program day covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, public policy and advocacy, collaboration, marketing and media relations, board development, donor relations, and leadership development. The American Express Leadership Academy at Arizona State University offers: increased awareness and understanding of the nonprofit sector and issues affecting its growth and prosperity; leadership skills development, cultivation and opportunities for engagement; and a broader network of personal and professional relationships. For more information, please visit:


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