About the EXCEL Program

The EXCEL program is a nine-month leadership development and skills training program for nonprofit executive directors and those reporting directly to them as part of the executive leadership team.  EXCEL is designed to enrich the capabilities of those individuals leading or preparing to lead nonprofit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati region.

EXCEL is a unique growth opportunity for nonprofit executives.  OneSource Center for Nonprofit Excellence provides faculty and guest speakers with deep expertise on specific topics, networking with other nonprofit senior leaders, 1x1 executive coaching for each participant, and personal growth planning.

EXCEL is offered once per year beginning in September and culminating with graduation in May of the following year.  

Key topics to be covered are:

  • Leading with Emotional Intelligence

  • Strength Based Leadership: Improving Management and Relationships with CliftonStrengths (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

  • 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

EXCEL 2024-25 Program Schedule

The 2024-25 cohort will meet approximately once a month starting in October 2024 and culminating with graduation in June 2025.

Session One – Tuesday, October 1 (Camp Joy)
Session Two – Friday, October 18
Session Three – Friday, November 15
Session Four – Friday, December 6, 2024
Session Five – Friday, January 17, 2025
Session Six – Friday, February 14
Session Seven – Friday, March 14
Session Eight – Friday, April 11
Session Nine – Friday, May 16
Session Ten – Friday, June 13 (Graduation)

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. 


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, Otterbein Senior Living, and NorthKey Community Care of Northern Kentucky.

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

Program Cost

The total cost for participating in the EXCEL program, including all course materials, catered lunches (when appropriate), and individualized coaching, is $1,700.

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.

Some scholarship money may be available.

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 2023-24 program starting in September 2023. Class size is limited to 25.