June 16, 2023 | News Article

INP Receives $2.5M+ Investment from Ballmer Group to Expand Black Leadership Institute to New Cities

Gift makes possible fellowships to be offered in Detroit and Seattle, and further funds the Los Angeles program

June 16, 2023, Boston, MA – The Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) announced today a new and catalytic partnership with Ballmer Group, marked by a $2,535,750 grant that will propel the expansion of INP’s Black Leadership Institute (BLI), extending its reach to additional cities and serving a larger cohort of Black leaders across the nation.

Ballmer Group’s grant will fuel the ongoing operation and growth of the Black Leadership Institute over the next three years. Currently available in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Providence, the Ballmer Group commitment will expand BLI sites to include Detroit and Seattle, while ensuring the continuation of the work in Los Angeles, which was launched with funding from the Angell Foundation and Weingart Foundation.

Applications and nominations for the next cohort of the Black Leadership Institute set to commence in January 2024, are now open.

The Black Leadership Institute, launched earlier this year, aims to connect, inspire, and uplift senior-level Black leaders shaping social impact across sectors and geographies. This program provides essential resources, networking opportunities, and a supportive community to Black leaders working in fields or on issues with significant outcome disparities for Black communities. By enhancing their social, financial, knowledge, and cultural capital, BLI equips leaders to step into positions of greater power and influence.

Eshauna Smith, Director of Community Impact at Ballmer Group, emphasized the significance of this partnership, stating, “The Black Leadership Institute exemplifies Ballmer Group’s commitment to strengthening leadership pipelines for Black leaders in America. By supporting this program and investing in these leaders, Ballmer Group and INP are empowering organizations to tackle complex issues and achieve tangible, sustainable results. INP’s proven track record and shared commitment to our goals and values make them an outstanding partner.”

Yolanda Coentro, President and CEO of INP, expressed deep gratitude for the partnership, recognizing its immense potential to positively influence and transform the landscape of Black leadership programs across the nation. “By committing substantial resources to BLI, Ballmer Group sets a powerful example of philanthropic leadership in our collective pursuit of a just, thriving, and equitable society. Fully resourced Black leadership programs and the leaders themselves play pivotal roles in realizing that future,” said Coentro. “As we expand BLI’s reach, we eagerly look forward to forging meaningful connections and partnerships in Detroit and Seattle and collaborating with local leaders who share a passion for racial equity and leadership reflective of the communities they serve.”

Obenewa Amponsah, Managing Director of the Black Leadership Institute, added, “Since its launch earlier this year, BLI has already exceeded our expectations, generating remarkable energy and insights among our inaugural cohort of leaders. The Ballmer Group’s investment will enable INP to reach more BLI Fellows, transforming their lives and leadership as well as the communities they serve.”

Over the course of 18 months, BLI Fellows attend two in-person retreats with the full national cohort, participate in in-person and virtual sessions that focus on topics enabling leaders to identify and implement new strategies for building greater power and influence in their communities, and receive one-on-one executive coaching. The program kicked off this year with a four-day opening retreat in Montgomery, AL during which BLI Fellows and faculty visited a number of historic sites, landmarks, and museums, met with leaders and activists to learn about Black history in the US, and reflected on each Fellow’s aspirations for their own leadership and for the collective cohort. Among those who addressed the BLI Fellows were Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Civil Rights Movement Leaders Charles Mauldin and Dr. Bernard Lafayette, and Evan Milligan, Executive Director of Alabama Forward.

INP’s Black Leadership Institute was launched with support from a group of Founding Sponsors that includes Barr Foundation, The TJX Companies, Inc., Kraft Family Philanthropies & New England Patriots, Papitto Opportunity Connection, Angell Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and Fish Family Foundation.


The Institute for Nonprofit Practice equips the nation’s social impact leaders with the skills, resources, networks, and confidence to boldly advance their organizations and missions, creating a more equitable future for all. Through a suite of comprehensive leadership development programs, robust alumni programming, thought leadership, and community convenings, the Institute trains and connects executives, managers, and emerging leaders nationwide. Central to the Institute’s work is a focus on social justice and supporting women and people of color to confidently step into leadership roles of greater influence; the majority of the Institute’s participants and alumni identify as BIPOC and women. For more information, visit nonprofitpractice.org.


Ballmer Group is committed to improving economic mobility for children and families in the United States. They fund leaders and organizations that have demonstrated the ability to reshape opportunity and reduce systemic inequities. For more information, visit ballmergroup.org.

For media inquiries, please contact media@nonprofitpractice.org.


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