Excellence in Leadership Program (ELP)

Fostering excellence in leadership to create stronger, more sustainable Bay Area nonprofits.

Excellence in Leadership Program

The Excellence in Leadership Program (ELP) is a focused, immersive program with over 30 hours of teaching and coaching from expert faculty and nonprofit professionals.
Earn a Certificate of Completion in Excellence in Leadership!

Fall 2024 Schedule Coming Soon!

Excellence in Leadership Program (ELP) has two main goals:

  • Develop strong personal leadership and problem-solving skills
  • Apply these skills to the major nonprofit responsibilities and functions

The program is designed to guide participants through a logical and expert learning path. At the end of each day we share implementable tools and practical skills to apply immediately. Participants develop executive skills and a much deeper understanding of their executive responsibilities.

Who should apply? This program is designed for nonprofit leaders at the Executive Director and Senior Manager levels. Ideal candidates lead teams or manage individual contributors and are responsible for the overall health of the organization or a major function of the organization.

CVNL is pleased to offer partial scholarships to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and under-represented individuals who are nonprofit staff or volunteers serving in Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties.

These scholarships are made available by generous grants from the Peter A., and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, the Solano Community Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, and U.S. Bank. For more information on scholarships, please contact us at learning@cvnl.org.

View the Info Session for the Excellence in Leadership Program

Program Details

Sample Schedule

Exploring leadership styles and orientations.

Key aspects of organizational culture, how to define it, and how to lead an organization with it.

Strategies for donor prospecting and cultivation, tools for building a successful fundraising practice.

The connection between financial goals, marketing and donor acquisition, retention, and motivation.

The essentials you need to lead, ask the right questions, evaluate, and fiscally manage with confidence.

Roles and responsibilities of board members, decision–making, board continuity, and best governance practices.

Tools to maximize strategic impact and lead through organizational change.

Become familiar with the four skill sets to become braver leaders and develop a courageous culture.

Communication strategies to positively impact relationships throughout the organization.

Create an environment of community and a culture of belonging.

Program wrap-up.

Our Faculty

Our faculty members are experienced and working professionals, who combine strong theoretical frameworks and real-life industry knowledge.

Knigi Glee
Marketing Growth Strategies

Knigi is Founder and Director of Glee Growth Strategies, a consulting firm operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Knigi’s experience extends to supporting sectors in consumer product goods, non-profit, government, and health and fitness industries. She specializes in customer acquisition, activation, retention, and upsell strategies.

Knigi analyzes program data and organizational infrastructures and blends clients’ insights for a deep understanding of user needs, habits and perceptions in developing growth initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Knigi currently lives in Oakland, California. She is a board member of Girls, Inc West Contra Costa County and Call of the Sea. Being that Knigi is an avid sailor, she combined her support for youth development and sailing, creating an opportunity to take a group from Girls, Inc. on a week-long sail from the San Francisco Bay to Point Reyes. Knigi loves to read, hike, and travel the world.

Linda Jacobs 
Know Your Sector, Board Governance

Linda Jacobs has served as the Chief Executive Officer with Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) since 2002. With over 30 years of combined executive and nonprofit management experience, Linda frequently presents on issues and trends in the nonprofit sector and consults with nonprofit leaders on board governance, succession planning, and leadership development..

Cleve Justis
Nonprofit Strategy

An accomplished organizational leader in the environmental and entrepreneurial arenas for the past 20 years, Ceveland Justis is a principal at the Potrero Group. Cleveland has worked and consulted widely throughout numerous companies, nonprofits, and governmental organizations. Throughout his career he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs refine their visions and develop successful ventures.

Jonathan Kaufman
Values-Driven Leadership

Co-founder & Principal of Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies. In this role, Jonathan collaborates with nonprofits and social entrepreneurs all over the world, helping them expand and deepen their impact. He specializes in business and strategic planning, metrics development, community and millennial engagement, and impact assessment for a wide array of Third Plateau’s clients.


Tom Hayashi
CVNL Chief Capacity Building Officer

Tom comes to CVNL with over 20 years of fundraising, senior management, and consulting experience which represents direct engagements with over 100 organizations on an array of capacity-building projects and programming.

He proudly identifies as a cis-gendered gay Asian Pacific Islander, first-generation immigrant, former foster youth, and first in his family to graduate from college. He finds his passion for social and ecological justice in his personal background, cultural identity, mindful practices, and relationships with the community.

Immediately prior to joining CVNL, Tom served as the Chair and Program Director of the Department of Leadership and Management (DLM) consisting of graduate-level degree programs at Saybrook University, and Associate Professor of Human Resources of Bovard College at the University of Southern California (USC). Tom’s professional highlights include leading public policy and advocacy efforts in Washington DC during the Obama administration and serving as the Executive Director for OCA-APA Advocates a national civil rights organization representing the Asian Pacific Islander communities. He is often sought as a diversity, inclusion, and equity speaker, trainer, and consultant specializing in diversity readiness assessments, equity-oriented leadership development, and cultural humility programming.

Tom has earned his doctorate and a master’s degree from Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organizational Systems, a master’s in Education from California State University East Bay, and a bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Thomas Edison State University. His past and present professional credentials include Certified Management Consultant through the Institute of Management Consultants, Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation, Certified Master Coach from the Center for Coaching Certification, and Certified Fundraising Executive from CFRE International. He is an active member and contributor of the American Psychological Association, Society for Human Resources Management, the Nonprofit Consultants Network of the Institute of Management Consultants, and the Organizational Development Network.

Elliot Levin
Strategic Fund Development

Elliot Levin, Founder and President, Partnership Resources Group (PRG)

Elliot Levin established PRG in 1990, to assist nonprofits with capital fundraising and financial development. As managing partner, Elliot serves as senior counsel on PRG’s projects and assembles the best team to meet the requirements of each individual project. Elliot draws upon his extensive background in public-private partnerships to assist organizations with growth and the funding necessary to achieve expansion. “ This often involves our getting into the client’s head, seeing things from their perspective and problem solving, before we move ahead,” Elliot says. When measuring financial opportunities, assessment comes first. Elliot adds, “ I enjoy the strategy and planning involved in large capital development, the creation of endowments and funding feasibility assessment.” Prior to founding PRG, Elliot managed nonprofits in Chicago, L.A. and San Francisco. His last position was CEO of one of the Bay Area’s largest, United Jewish Community Centers. Elliot is joined by PRG’s experienced team or professionals lending their energy, passion and expertise to every project. “ We also rely on a network of proven specialists who make themselves available,” says Elliot. “ We know how to get things done.”

Ana Estrada Daniels
Dare to Lead Facilitator

With over twenty years of experience, Ana works with individuals, teams, and organizations to develop their capacity to lead and influence at all levels. The drive behind her work is a desire to create equitable environments where all people have the opportunity to belong and thrive. Ana is trained in a variety of tools and facilitation methods including as a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator by Dr. Brené Brown. This work provides tools and mindset shifts to create braver leaders and more courageous cultures. 

Ana specializes in executive and team coaching, leadership development, and facilitation. She has worked with clients such as the Association of California Colleges and Universities, Talking Talent, Surge, University of Southern California, and California Department of Social Services. Her coaching certifications include International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach (ICF ACC), Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from the Co-Active Training Institute, and European Mentoring Coaching Council Global Individual Team Coaching Accreditation (EMCC ITCA). She was an Annie E. Casey Foundation participant from the Social Sector Talent Pipelines Strategy & Learning Lab focused on results-based accountability/ facilitation, adaptive leadership, and racial equity. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Ana lives in the Bay Area with her family. She enjoys distance running, yoga and road trips with her family. 

Steve Tulsky Strategic Fund Development

Principal of the Benemetrics Consulting Group, Tulsky has over thirty years of experience as a financial professional. As a consultant, he has advised clients in both the nonprofit and commercial sectors on financial planning, analysis, information gathering, capital formation, and transactional matters. His current consultancy specializes in providing contract Chief Financial Officer advisory services to medium-sized Bay Area nonprofit agencies.

Ines DeLuna
CVNL Manager, Volunteer Engagement & Disaster Services

Born and raised in the Napa Valley, Ines DeLuna has been very involved in community empowerment and education throughout the State of California, and has over 20 years of experienced leadership.

Ines took her first leap into public office in 2003 when she was elected to the Saint Helena School Board and served our students and educators for nearly a decade. In 2011, she continued her service as a community representative at the Napa County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Napa Valley Vine Trail Board, and the Mexican-American Vintners Association. 

Fast forward to today, she continues her spirit of service as a board member of F.I.E.L.D by Cesar Chavez, President of the Napa County Latinx Democratic Club, and the elected Area 6 Trustee for the Napa Valley College. Ines holds these family values close, and brings them to every activity she is engaged with: courage, hard work, service, unity, and compassion. 

Ines has also accumulated decades of public service focused on local businesses, education, and making her community a welcoming place for people of every background.

In her free time she likes to spend time with her two adult sons and her fur baby Churro. 


Sponsored in part by:

If you have any questions about the ELP or other CVNL training opportunities, contact:

Tom Hayashi at thayashi@cvnl.org

Cancellation policy: If plans change and you are no longer able to attend, we will transfer your enrollment and payment to the next program cycle. Funds must be applied and used within a 6 (six) month period. We do not offer refunds.