The Core Certificate Program (or Core Program) equips nonprofit, public and social impact leaders with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to make strategic, mission-driven decisions that center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), and effect meaningful change in their organizations and beyond.

Accelerate Organizational and Community Impact

Through the Core Program, established community and nonprofit managers and executives can realize their full potential, building on their strengths to elevate their careers and organizational and community impact. The year-long program includes*:

  • Weekly Management Seminars (2 hours per session) taught by Management Seminar faculty – and supported by guest lecturers – that study the fundamentals of management and leadership.
  • Weekly Practice Seminars (2 hours per session) facilitated by Senior Fellows and conducted in small groups that engage in action-oriented problem-solving for specific leadership and management challenges confronted by students and their organizations.
  • One-on-one mentorship with an experienced nonprofit or private sector leader working in student’s area of interest (following graduation).
  • Access to additional resources through the Institute’s network. This includes learning from other leaders in the sector, current students, alumni, faculty members, community partners, and funders.

Who are Core Program Students?

At INP, we know that the learning experience in the classroom is strengthened by the diversity of our students and our faculty. Our classes represent a wide array of fields and roles across the social impact sector, from education to the environment, and finance to fundraising. We encourage students across all identities, backgrounds, and organizational sizes to apply. Meet our current Core Program class here!

Ideal candidates for the Core Program are:

  • Growth-oriented individuals seeking to enhance their leadership and management impact through classroom learning and hands-on practice
  • Nonprofit and public sector C-suite executives, social entrepreneurs, senior leaders, and managers who share a passion for and dedication to racial and gender equity
  • Collaborative leaders who aspire to build or expand cross-sector networks/partnerships for social change

Applications for our Core Certificate Program are currently closed. Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when we open applications.


Management Seminars

Generally, Management Seminars meet weekly from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. for 22 sessions. Management Seminars are:

  • A class of 24 to 36 students
  • Led by a Core faculty member, with guest instructors; topics include:
    • Financial management
    • Strategy, growth, and evaluation
    • Team development and leadership
    • Organizational culture and change management
    • Strategic marketing and communications
    • Appreciative Inquiry
    • Governance and leveraging your board
    • Development and executing fundraising strategies
    • Self-care, mindfulness and healing
  • Comprised of engaging presentations, case discussions, and small group work

Practice Seminars

Generally, Practice Seminars meet weekly from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. following the Management Seminar. Practice Seminars are:

  • Cohorts of 8 to 9 students (sub-groups of Management Seminar students)
  • Facilitated by a Senior Fellow (Meet current faculty here)
  • Highly engaging case presentation formats, where students address organizational and leadership challenges in supportive cohorts and develop action plans to advance their work and careers

Please visit our FAQ page for more details or check out this video overview.

Academic Year

Our program term typically lasts from October through early May. A detailed schedule will be provided during the enrollment process. Please note that breaks are incorporated throughout all sessions.

Class Schedule

The Core Certificate Program is currently offered through seven sites* and enrolled students commit to the schedule of their specific class.

Generally, Core Certificate Program classes meet weekly with a 4-hour student commitment. Please see an overview of our current site schedules below:

  • Boston (MA): Weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays, pending student assignment, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • Merrimack Valley / Essex County (MA): Weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • New York City (NY): Weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays, pending student assignment, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • Providence (RI): Weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • San Francisco Bay Area (CA): Weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays, pending student assignment, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • Western New York: Weekly on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • Cape Cod & the Islands (MA): Management Seminar twice a month on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Practice Seminar twice a month on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. *Our Cape Cod & the Islands (MA) Core program operates on a different schedule and model.

For the health and safety of students and staff, classes will be virtual for the 2023-24 class year. Select events will be held in person based on CDC recommendations and guidelines. INP will accept students by class location who work or live in proximity to those sites given that some classes will be held in person.

Some logistics may change due to considerations for COVID-19.


Our application process consists of two parts, including:

Online Application

  • Resumé, program preferences, and demographic information
  • Short responses to two prompt questions. Responses are not evaluated as a writing sample; they are purely to understand more about you as a candidate. Please limit responses to 2-5 sentences. The two prompt questions are: 1) What specific skills, knowledge, or experiences do you hope to gain from your INP experience? and 2) Briefly describe a current management or leadership challenge you’re facing and what support you need to address it.

Group Interview

  • Candidates will participate in a virtual group interview that can last up to 2 hours.

Completed applications will be reviewed with priority for each deadline. Applicants will receive a more detailed timeline during the application process. 

Application Deadlines

Applications for our Core Certificate Program are currently closed. Please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when we open applications.


While historically the tuition for INP’s Core Program has been $3,500, we are committed to making all of our programs as accessible as possible. Thanks to the generosity of our Board of Directors and funding partners, INP is now able to waive tuition for any individual who would like to attend the Core Program. Please do not let financial constraints prevent you from applying.

However, if you or your organization is in a position to contribute financially toward the cost of participating in the Core Program, it will allow INP to extend these types of opportunities to even more social sector leaders. If accepted into the program, you can let us know at the time of enrollment that you are open to a discussion with INP staff about this. The ability to contribute financially will in no way affect admissions decisions for this INP program.

Continuing Education

Students who are interested in receiving Continuing Education hours should reach out to INP staff to discuss further. In Massachusetts, specifically, students can earn more than 80 Social Work Continuing Education hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 258 CMR.


Core program graduates receive a certificate in Social Impact Management and Leadership from INP.

alumni community

Become a lifelong learner. Check out our Alumni page for more on these benefits.

Alumni Report


built their social capital and gained access to stronger personal and professional networks


improved their ability to facilitate organizational change


achieved a better work-life balance


improved their ability to build a healthy, high performing team culture

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