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

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Classes

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

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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)
  • Buffalo (NY): Weekly on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)

* Our Cape Cod & the Islands (MA) Core program operates on a different schedule and model. Please view the schedule below for additional information.

  • 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.
  • 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 Thursdays, 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 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)

For the health and safety of students and staff, classes will be virtual for the 2023 class year. Select events will be held in person pending 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.

Process

Our application process consists of:

  • Online application, requiring a resume and brief answers to a few questions
  • Submission of two recommendations (References will receive a notification to complete an online form after the application is submitted.)
  • Participation in a group interview (up to 2 hours)

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

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Application Deadlines

Applications are currently open for 2022-23 in New England (Boston, MA; Cape Cod & the Islands, MA; Merrimack Valley / Essex County, MA; Providence, RI), and New York (Buffalo; New York City). Click the button below to start your application and specify which region you want to apply to.

  • For New England and New York City, the final application deadline was April 25, 2022. After this, applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
  • For Buffalo, NY, the final application deadline was June 24, 2022. After this, applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
  • For the Bay Area, CA, applications are now closed.

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Tuition

Typically, there is a $3,500 tuition fee for the Core Certificate Program (excluding programming in New York state).

We understand that the past two years have been hard on many organizations and individuals working in the sector, and we aim to make all of our programs as accessible as possible. 

Thanks to the generosity of INP’s Board of Directors and funding partners, this year we are able to waive tuition for any individual or organization who would not otherwise be able to attend the Core 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.

Certification

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

Through an affiliation with Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, students who successfully complete our New England programs will earn a certificate from both the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and Tufts. Program graduates who are admitted to and enroll in Tufts graduate degree programs may earn the equivalent of 3 credit hours.

alumni community

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

Alumni Report

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

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improved their ability to facilitate organizational change

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achieved a better work-life balance

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

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