Accelerate YOUR GROWTH & Impact

The RISE Program brings together the next generation of highly-motivated, mission-driven, early career social sector and community leaders (with approximately five or fewer years of work experience), who are passionate about social change and advancing equity. Launched in 2006 at New Sector Alliance, the RISE Program formally transitioned to INP’s portfolio of programs in fall 2021 as part of a partnership agreement between the two organizations. Read more about the program transfer.


The RISE Program is designed for early career individuals looking for impactful leadership development opportunities to propel their careers. During the program, RISE students gain an understanding of how mission-driven, social impact organizations function, develop essential leadership and professional skills, and engage in mentoring relationships and networking. The RISE Program includes:

  • Twice monthly virtual seminars, all of which deeply integrate the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, that explore career development, build knowledge about the social impact sector, cover essential leadership skills, and introduce the fundamentals of design-thinking.
  • Networking with a diverse network of other nonprofit and social impact professionals to provide opportunities for connection, collaboration, and building social capital.
  • Mentorship and support from social impact professionals during the program.
  • Individualized coaching with INP Faculty to engage in action-oriented problem-solving for workplace based situations.
  • Peer learning with groups that meet regularly to work on skill development, offer mutual support, and expand upon workshop topics together.
  • Access to additional resources through INP’s active and diverse network. This includes learning from other equity-driven leaders including current students, alumni, faculty members, community partners, and funders.


At INP, we know that the learning experience in the classroom is strengthened by the diversity of our participants, and through our programs we are working to create a social impact sector which is more effective, innovative, equitable, and connected. Our cohorts represent individuals from a wide array of fields and roles, from education to the environment, human services to organizing, and finance to fundraising. We encourage candidates across all identities, backgrounds, and organizations to apply.

Ideal candidates for the RISE Program are:

  • Early career professionals (with approximately five or fewer years of work experience) who are already employed and want to bolster their skills and networks in the social impact sector.
  • Growth-oriented individuals who are passionate about social justice, racial and gender equity work, and community change.
  • Individuals who are seeking to expand their careers, organizational impact, and enhance their leadership and impact through classroom learning, practical application, and network building.

Applications for our Fall 2024 RISE Program are currently open and being accepted on a rolling basis. Please contact with any questions regarding the application process.

Apply Now


Generally, students meet every three weeks on Friday for an all-day session (10:30am – 4:30pm ET | 9:30am – 3:30pm CT | 7:30am – 1:30pm PT with breaks). Seminars are facilitated by a lead Faculty Member, complemented by guest instructors, and include engaging presentations, case discussions, and small group work with a cohort of 10 to 25 peers. 

Seminar topics include:

  • Designing Your Future: Employing Design Thinking to Shape Your Career
  • Building a Culture of Belonging: Maintaining Authenticity Inside Your Organization
  • Maximizing Your Communication Style and Approach
  • Making Self Care Habitual: From Resolutions to Lasting Behavior Change
  • Leadership Identity Assessment and Formation: Identifying and Leading Through Your Values
  • Results-Focused Work: Setting and Achieving Your Goals
  • Nonprofit Governance: Understanding How Decisions Are Made Inside Your Organization
  • Nonprofit Finance: Understanding How Resources Are Allocated Inside Your Organization


Applications for our Fall 2024 RISE Program are currently open and being accepted on a rolling basis. Please contact with any questions regarding the application process and learn more about our 2024-25 RISE Program schedule.

Apply Now


Currently offered nationwide, the RISE Program is delivered virtually with possible opportunities for in-person engagement depending on the number of participants in a given area. We encourage any and all candidates in the U.S. and territories to apply.


Our application process consists of two parts, including:

Online Application

  • Resumé, program preferences, and demographic information
  • Short answer responses to two prompts. Applicants are not evaluated based on strength of writing and short answer responses are not considered as a writing sample — they are purely to understand more about you as a candidate. Please limit responses to two-five sentences. The two prompts are: 1) Briefly describe what compels you to work in the nonprofit, public, or social impact sector and 2) What specific skills, knowledge, or experiences do you hope to gain from the RISE Program?

Group Interview

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

Applicants will receive a more detailed timeline during the application process.

Application Deadlines

Applications for our Fall 2024 RISE Program are currently open and being accepted on a rolling basis. Please contact with any questions regarding the application process.

Apply Now


Please do not let financial constraints prevent you from applying to the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

We are committed to making our award-winning programs as accessible as possible. Thanks to the generosity of our Board of Directors and funding partners, any leader who wishes to participate in the RISE Program and is accepted can do so at no cost to the leader or their organization.

However, if you or your organization is in a position to contribute financially toward the cost of participating in INP, it will allow us to continue to extend these types of opportunities to even more social sector leaders. A typical contribution is $1,500.

The ability to contribute financially will in no way affect admissions decisions. If accepted into the program, you can let us know at the time of enrollment that you are open to contributing.

Continuing Education, networking & alumni community

In addition to the significant learning and growth participants achieve during the RISE Program, INP alumni gain access to lifelong alumni benefits including continuing education, networking opportunities, and more. Check out our Alumni page for more on these benefits.

Alumni Report


of RISE alums say that skills learned at the program were largely transferable to their current role


of RISE alums remain in social impact work


of RISE partner organizations agree that the support provided by RISE students was a good or excellent value


of RISE alums continue to rely on their RISE network as an important support system outside of work

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