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.

* The Cape and Islands Core program operates on a different schedule and model. Please view the schedule below for additional information.

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.

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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Management Seminar Details

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 Seminar Details

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

Academic Year

Our academic year typically spans the months of October through early May. The inaugural class of the Bay Area will run from April to November 2022.

Class Schedule

The Core Certificate Program is currently offered through six 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:

  • San Francisco Bay Area (CA): Weekly on Wednesdays; times to be announced
  • 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)
  • New York City (NY): Weekly on Thursdays, 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)
  • Providence (RI): Weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (with a 30-minute break)
  • Cape Cod and 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 program term typically lasts from October through early May. The inaugural class of the Bay Area will run from April to November 2022. A detailed schedule will be provided during the enrollment process. Please note that breaks are incorporated throughout all sessions.

For the health and safety of students and staff, the current program term is being held virtually.

INP will again be virtual for the 2022 class year while accepting students by class location who work or live in proximity to those sites given plans to offer additional (though not mandatory) in-person programming as soon as the option becomes available. INP will consider public health guidelines as well as the INP community’s well-being to make a decision regarding transitioning to optional in-person programming over the course of the academic year.

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


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.

Application Deadlines

We are currently accepting applications for the Bay Area Core Certificate Program. If you are interested in a different location, please sign up for our mailing list to be notified when we open applications for 2022.


Typically, tuition for the Core Certificate Program is $3,500 for the full year. The cost covers all program access and instruction, including session readings and other materials.

The Core Certificate Program tuition is substantially subsidized and represents a portion of the actual program costs. We strive to make the program affordable to as many leaders as possible. Where appropriate INP provides applicants with a list of city or state-specific resources they can contact for financial assistance.

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.

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


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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