About the EXCEL Program

The EXCEL program is a nine-month leadership development and skills training program for nonprofit executive directors and high-level managers.  EXCEL is designed to enrich the management capabilities of those individuals leading or preparing to lead nonprofit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati region.

OneSource Center for Nonprofit Excellence provides faculty and coaches for EXCEL participants along with guest speakers with specific expertise in particular topics.

EXCEL is offered once per year beginning in September and culminating with graduation in May of the following year.  The program is currently in progress using a virtual learning format that is proving to be effective for the participants.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Building trusting relationships is an important component of EXCEL.  During the nine months of the EXCEL program, we will be working closely together starting with team exercises at Camp Joy.  To reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19, please confirm on the EXCEL application that you have been vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the first session.  Thank you for helping to create a safer environment for everyone involved in the program.

Key topics to be covered are:

  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence

  • Strength Based Leadership: Improving Management and Relationships with CliffonStrengths (a.k.a. StrengthFinders)

  • Strategic Thinking and Planning

  • Leading with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Building Diverse High Functioning Teams

  • Change Management

  • Organizational Development, Fundraising and Board Development

  • Financial Management

Components of EXCEL:

  • Team Building event at Camp Joy (when it is again possible to safely assemble groups of people)

  • Best-practice resources by leadership experts including Daniel Goleman, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, Patrick Lencioni, and Jim Collins.
  • Interactive Subject-Matter Workshops focused on individual and cohort learning facilitated by highly experienced professionals.

  • Development of Personal Growth Plans

  • One-on-One Coaching with Trained, Experienced Professionals

Announcing the EXCEL program schedule 2021-22

EXCEL offers only one leadership training program per year.  The 2020-21 program is currently in progress using Zoom. 

The 2021–22 cohort will meet approximately once a month starting September 24, 2021 and culminating with graduation on May 20, 2022.  Depending on the situation with COVID-19, we are planning that EXCEL will return to a live format.  The specific dates for each live session are as follows: September 24, October 15, November 12, and December 10, 2021 and January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 6, and May 20, 2022.  The first session is planned to be held at Camp Joy from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  All other sessions will at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Should COVID-19 persist, sessions will continue to be held virtually on Zoom. If this is necessary, a revised schedule will be provided.  

Selection Criteria

All candidates for EXCEL must submit an application and have the full support and commitment of their organization to participate in the nine-month program.  Applicants will participate in a confidential face-to-face meeting with program instructors as part of the admission process, and to assist in matching each participant with a compatible coach.

To ensure the best opportunity for interactive learning and discussion, no more than two applicants from the same organization will be accepted for each cohort and they must not be in a supervisor/direct report relationship. 

The selection process seeks to ensure a diverse group in personal background, organizations represented, and functional area of responsibility.

Previous NLIGC program participants have represented a wide array of organizations including government, health and human services, education, and the arts. Participating organizations include: United Way, Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, Freestore Foodbank, Phi Delta Theta Foundation, Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), Easter Seals, Shelterhouse, PreventionFIRST, 4C for Children, Health Care Access Now (HCAN), HELP Program, and NorthKey Community Care of Northern Kentucky.

Examples of positions held by previous participants include CEO, President, Executive Director, Vice President, Director, and Associate Director.

Program Cost

The total cost for participating in the EXCEL program, including all course materials, catered lunches (when appropriate), and individualized coaching, is $1,550.

Keeping the cost of leadership training affordable for nonprofits would not be possible without the participation of volunteer instructors and speakers, and the generous support of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

NLIGC Payment Policy

Due to the generosity of our funders, our program costs are kept low to ensure equal opportunity for all nonprofit organizations.

To help ensure a full cohort, tuition will be collected in full prior to the start of the program. If you or your organization cannot pay in full prior to the deadline, we can create a payment plan based on your organization’s need. Please note, this payment plan must be created prior to the start of the program. If you have not paid by the deadline (or created a payment plan), class participation is at the discretion of the NLIGC.

If you are officially accepted into the program and then you choose not to complete the program or course, your tuition will not be refunded. Course of action for these situations will be handled on an individual basis. ‚Äč


Applications are currently being taken for the 2021-22 program starting in September.