Claire Louge, ELC alumna
Nonprofit Management Institute

Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate

This certificate educates, empowers and connects executive directors, senior-level managers and emerging executives of nonprofit and public organizations. It is a premier learning and networking experience for seasoned leaders.

8 months

to earn this certificate

7 courses

on key topics

30 leaders

in each program cohort

Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate

A learning and networking experience for seasoned leaders

The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate is designed to meet the professional needs of executive directors, senior-level managers and emerging executives of nonprofit and public organizations, designed in a cohort format to promote skill-building and peer networking among seasoned leaders facing challenges just like yours.

The instructional team for this certificate includes current and former CEOs and executive directors of nonprofit organizations, with extensive experience as change-making practitioners in the social sector. We provide an engaging, practice-oriented learning environment that focuses on knowledge, skills and techniques that can be put to use immediately.


Participants enrolled in the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate have access to the following:

  • A robust and broad network of established experts and cohort colleagues that share best practices and offer guidance and support. The knowledge specialists for each course are qualified executives in the nonprofit sector. Acquire knowledge from those with firsthand experience.
  • Transformational learning tailored for experienced nonprofit leaders seeking to enhance the impact they have in their organizations and the community.
  • Immediate and accessible knowledge and tools that strengthen necessary skills, improve efficiency and provide the ability to implement best practices of high-impact nonprofit organizations.
  • Peer-based, cohort learning that advances each participant’s ability to identify opportunities to collaborate and partner.
  • No added travel time with a course structure and interactive online format that makes maximum use of your time and energy as a busy executive, while maintaining and building on your network of other nonprofit leaders.
  • Prestigious certification from Arizona State University's Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and its Nonprofit Management Institute. You'll demonstrate your commitment to being an expert in your field, build your credibility and stand out from the crowd.
  • Capstone project, guided by our knowledge experts, that you can immediately implement at your organization to make a greater impact. Implement a new technology, branch out into a new area, develop a new initiative – increase and showcase your skills with your final project.

Required courses


Claire Louge

Building relationships

I learned how to stay curious and listen more, how to define alignment with other partners. The ASU Lodestar Center helped me think through the critical importance of building relationships, because relationships are really the measure of our strengths and our influence, especially in the nonprofit sector.

Claire Louge Executive Director, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
Jeff Petrovic

Adding to my skill set

This program has not only made me a better leader for my department, but has added to my skill set as a community leader. My work as the CDO for United Way of Tucson requires a commitment to the well-being of my fellow community members. This program has given me one more tool in my toolkit to serve my community. I was proud to receive the certificate from ASU.

Jeffrey Petrovic Chief Development Officer, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona; 2020 alumnus
Mary Davis

Exactly what I needed

Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to be a part of an ELC cohort. The experience and the education I have gained through NMI's Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate has been nothing short of exactly what I needed to continue the meaningful work that we provide in the community!

Mary Davis Executive Director, Northwest Valley Family YMCA; 2021 alumna

Format, schedule and cost

This certificate program is limited to 30 cohort members. The certificate is comprised of six courses and one capstone project over the course of eight months.

The six topic courses are held over two half-day Zoom class sessions facilitated by NMI knowledge specialists. Participants interact in lively discourse regarding the executive topics and pre-work materials and cases. The capstone course and project is presented in the seventh and final one-day Zoom class.

All courses within this certificate contain required and suggested study materials, cases, assignments and discussions. Participants must also complete a project specific to each course section, submitted to their knowledge specialist for feedback.

2023-24 course schedule

All classes will be held virtually on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • NMI 205: Nonprofit Executive Leadership – September 8 & 22, 2023
    • During this course, you will be introduced to current models of leadership and core leadership competencies.
  • NMI 226: Advanced Resource Development – October 13 & 27, 2023
    • This course delves into annual funds, major gifts, capital campaigns, planned giving, grants and special events.
  • NMI 211: Strategic Governance and the CEO – November 17 & December 1, 2023
    • This course explores the components inherent in creating and maintaining a governing body that promotes a healthy and successful nonprofit organization.
  • NMI 221: Social Entrepreneurship, Innovation and New Business Models – January 5 & 19, 2024
    • In this course, you will assess your organization’s readiness for social entrepreneurship.
  • NMI 210: Public Trust and Influence – February 9 & 23, 2024
    • This course will discuss the role nonprofits play in influencing public policy, leading social movements, building coalitions, and organizing issue campaigns.
  • NMI 203: Financial Management for Executives – March 15 & 29, 2024
    • This session integrates financial management into executive decision making and addresses the struggle to match mission with financial resources. Taught by Lisa Ricci
  • NMI 260: Nonprofit Executive Leadership Capstone – April 19, 2024

Program cost

  Deadline Amount
Application fee At the time of application or before applications close $250, non-refundable (applies toward certificate cost if accepted)
Certificate full payment August 25, 2023 $3,249
Cancellation fee See cancellation policy  


The ASU Lodestar Center thanks BeachFleischman for providing partial sponsorship of our Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate program. With support from BeachFleischman, we are offering selected individuals scholarships up to $1,000 each to enroll as candidates in our renowned Executive Leadership Certificate program. Learn more.

Apply for the 2023-24 cohort

Applications are due on August 18, 2023.

Candidates must complete the online application form, where you will be prompted to:

  • Upload a current resume (in Word or PDF formats only)
  • Answer general background information questions
  • Submit a $250 non-refundable application fee (will be applied toward the total cost of your certificate on acceptance)

Please, only serious candidates are encouraged to apply to this certificate program.

Within five business days after receipt of your application, NMI staff will review and notify you of their decision.

Apply now

Online learner

Flexible online learning

The ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Management Institute offers courses in an interactive online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.

People talking - illustration

Program contact information

If you have questions related to this program, please use the contact information below and a program manager will get in touch with you directly.