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Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)

A foundation of our CVNL ACADEMY offerings is ELP. It’s a key program we’ve been developing and refining for years. We know our communities, and the nonprofits that serve them, are constantly evolving — and so are their leaders’ needs for skills and information. ELP addresses the core competencies needed to effectively manage organizations and complex programs, as well as the leadership skills one needs to be successful. Ultimately, our vision is to create a continuous stream of people who are better-equipped to be nonprofit leaders that are strong, smart, and motivated — and help assure vital causes have the knowledgeable talent they need to succeed.


Fall Schedule

Marin — Tuesday, August 28, Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday August 30; the cohort comes back together to complete the program on Thursday, September 27 and Friday, September 28All participants commit to five days; all days are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Napa — Contact Cinzia Perlingieri to learn more: or 415.448.0331.


e·merge (əˈmərj/) verb. Move out of or away from something and come into view; become apparent, important, or prominent.

CVNL believes that leadership is a process, not a role — and that the most effective organizations encourage all staff to influence and contribute, regardless of where they sit. Emerging Leaders focuses on cultivating the skills, knowledge, and confidence of nonprofit leaders — both new and established — so that they are more fully aware of their impact and better equipped to manage complex programs and services. For more information about our leadership approach, content, and curriculum, see below


$1,350 per person, CVNL Members
$1,650 per person, non-members
Group rates — please call to discuss (415.448.0331)

Tuition is non-refundable. Cancellations received 2 weeks prior to start date will receive credit equal to 75% of fee paid to be used toward future Emerging Leaders Program or CVNL Workshops.

This program is designed for first time Executive Directors, nonprofit managers who are preparing for, or pursuing, a leadership career track, and star performers who EDs/CEOs wish to invest in. The program is also appropriate for experienced corporate/government executives exploring a move into nonprofit management. Contact Cinzia Perlingieri to learn more: or 415.448.0331.

ELP is an intensive leadership development program that uses a cohort model. A group of 12-18 professionals are admitted each cycle of the program (offered each year in Marin and Napa in spring and fall) and complete sessions together. This creates a stronger sense of group membership which is intentionally fostered throughout the program: members have more opportunities to learn from one another and also establish professional ties that often last beyond the program itself. Such networks are valuable in terms of continued professional support and growth.

ELP combines a set of core methodologies, including teaching, peer learning, coaching, and experiential learning. To work at this depth, we engage outside experts and practitioners who share our commitment to leadership development within the nonprofit sector. To read more about our faculty, click here. This allows us to blend our own content with the best content of others in order to create a program that is relevant and responsive to the most pressing needs of nonprofits. 

We’ve framed the program around 10 core sessions, or competencies, that we believe are the most critical to success. We also recognize that people will engage in different ways with the content, bringing their own experiences and capabilities to the table. As such, we design each session differently, being sure to cater to different learning styles, aptitudes, and experience-levels. 

Through the course of the program, participants experience the following:

  1. They connect with their peers to problem solve and renew their passion and purpose in work.
  2. They build and/or refine fundamental understanding in the major areas of responsibility for executive directors and management, focusing primarily on practical soft and hard skills that are applicable to every day management functions.
  3. They grow confidence in the fundamental areas related to nonprofit management, gaining self-awareness around personal leadership practices to better lead themselves, organizations, and communities.
  4. They are exposed to principles of leadership through an equity lens,
    acknowledging equity at the intra-personal, inter-personal, and institutional levels.


Foundations of Leadership

  • Trends in the sector
  • Clarifying and affirming personal leadership values

Nonprofit Compliance

  • Nonprofit law
  • Human resources
  • Managing the IRS Form 990 and Audit
  • Internal controls

Board Governance

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Building strong board relationships

 Nonprofit Finance & Accounting 

  • Reading financial statements
  • Interpreting financial information

Strategic Planning

  • Principles of business strategy
  • Implementation and measurement


  • Defining what brand is, and how nonprofits describe their donor audience
  • Understanding the importance of brand and role it plays
  • Understanding how to translate insights into a brand platform

Effective Supervision

  • How to tailor your supervision approach to meet staff/volunteer needs, skills, and roles
  • Practice identifying solutions to increase your comfort around common supervisory challenges

Fund Development

  • Building and sustaining relationships
  • Fundraising as a relationship story – including relationship types (individual donors, sponsors, foundations)
  • Building an effective fundraising plan
  • Fundraising channels and best practices

Equity & Inclusion

  • Tools and resources that help them think about how they can specifically implement equity into their work
  • Tools and resources to lead conversations around equity
  • Practice evaluating equity within attendees’ own organization, and applying an equity framework to inform work plans

*Please note: we are constantly refining our program! As such, some sessions may change between cycles. 

ELP Faculty

cutmypicjackroundJack Alotto, MA, CFRE
Fundraising Consultant/Educator/Interim Development Director
Session led: Fund Development

Jack is involved in all aspects of philanthropic support for nonprofit organizations, and a strong believer in stewardship and cultivation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Golden Gate Chapter. Founded in 1971, AFP Golden Gate provides professional support, education, and career enhancement opportunities for Bay Area fundraising-related professionals. He also coordinated the CFRE Review Class and taught the planned giving module sections on marketing and communications for planned gifts and capital campaigns. As of July 2016, Jack serves as Interim Executive Director at St Vincent de Paul Society in San Francisco. He consults for WildCare and CVNL.

cutmypicjuancarlosDr. JuanCarlos Arauz
Founding Executive Director, E3: Education, Excellence, Equity
Session led: Equity & Diversity

Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz specializes in areas related to immigration, youth, and education. He completed his Ed.D. at the University of San Francisco in the Department of International and Multicultural Education. His dissertation research focused on the racial identity development of undocumented Latino youth. He is bilingual in Spanish and English, was born in Brazil to Nicaraguan parents and immigrated to the United States, which has provided him with exclusive insight into many of the issues that educators face today. He has traveled around the country as a keynote speaker, provided cultural competency trainings for educators and organizations, and has been featured in a documentary that focuses on contemporary civil rights activists.

cutmypicrobynRobyn Bramhall
Human Resources Management Consultant
Session led: Compliance/HR

With over 30 years of experience as Board member, staffer and volunteer for San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits, Robyn Bramhall is a human resources professional who shares your passion for “doing good.” She can help ensure that your people-related policies and practices match your organization’s mission and goals. As past Board President of the New Albion Brass Quintet and The Women’s Philharmonic, Robyn Bramhall has been involved in strategic planning, governance and fundraising. Robyn begins each project by asking about the organization’s mission, goals, and values. By looking at HR issues from a values viewpoint, she can help transcend legal compliance and create a workplace that allows each employee to thrive. She has held the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification since 1997, and has been an independent consultant since 2006.

cutmypicemilyEmily Chan
Associate Attorney, Adler & Colvin
Session led: Compliance/Legal

Emily is an associate attorney with Adler & Colvin where she advises nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations on corporate, tax, and governance issues. Emily is a former recipient of the Outstanding Young Attorney Award from the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association for her contributions to the nonprofit sector and development of nonprofit law. Emily frequently writes and speaks on nonprofit legal issues for local and national organizations. She contributes to the Nonprofit Law Matters blog and her authored works have been featured by publishers such as the American Bar Association, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Nonprofit Quarterly. Emily holds a law degree (J.D.) from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration (B.S.) and Rhetoric (B.A.) from the University of California, Berkeley.

cutmypiclisaLisa C. Doran, CPA
Doran & Associates
Session led: Compliance/Audit & Form 990

Lisa C. Doran, CPA is licensed in the State of California, with more than 20 years’ experience auditing nonprofit corporations, especially 501(c)(3) organizations, and affordable housing partnerships.  Her areas of expertise include performing audits in compliance with Government Auditing Standards and OMB Circular A-133 (Single Audits), consolidations, and internal control studies.  She also has performed numerous audits in compliance with HUD and CalHFA requirements, as well as cost certifications for submission to the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. She is a member of CalCPA and the AICPA, as well as a member of the Marin Discussion Group and the Not-for-Profit Discussion Group of the San Francisco Chapter of the CalCPA. 

cutmypiclindaLinda Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer, CVNL
Sessions led: Nonprofit Trends & Board Governance

Since 2002, Linda has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL). With over 30 years of experience working with both local and national organizations, Linda speaks frequently on issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. Linda consults with nonprofits on board governance, executive transition, and leadership development and serves as a facilitator for a diversity of groups. Linda serves on the Board of Directors for the School to Career Partnership, Marin Economic Forum, and the Points of Light Affiliate Assembly.  She is the former Board Chair of the California Association of Nonprofits, a former appointee to the Marin County Women’s Commission, past President of the Marin National Organization for Women, and a former member of the Marin Independent Journal Editorial Board. Linda was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011, and in 2013 she received the “We’re All in this Together, Community Building” North Bay, Leadership Council Leaders of the North Bay Award and was recognized by the North Bay Business Journal with a Nonprofit Leadership Award. 

cutmypiccleveCleveland Justis
Principal, Potrero Group
Session led: Strategy

An accomplished organizational leader in the environmental and entrepreneurial arenas for the past 20 years, Cleveland Justis is a principal at the Potrero Group. A noted expert on social and environmental entrepreneurship, Cleveland has worked and consulted widely throughout numerous companies, nonprofits, and governmental organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency, The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, National Park Service, and many leading corporations. He has taught and lectured at top universities including UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Cleve studied biology and environmental sciences at Swarthmore College and the University of California, Berkeley. He received his MBA in strategic management and finance at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and is pursuing his Ph.D. in Social Entrepreneurship at UC Davis.  Cleveland currently serves as a trustee of the Marin Community Foundation.

Sarah Moore
Director of Brand Strategy, Mission Minded
Session led: Brand 

Sarah joined Mission Minded in 2011, after several years of independent nonprofit consulting. As Director of Brand Strategy, Sarah is responsible for setting brand direction for a variety of nonprofits, from arts organizations to foundations to social service agencies. She was drawn to Mission Minded because of the collective drive of her colleagues to make every nonprofit more effective in its communications. Until 2005, she was a senior executive at some of the world’s largest advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Foote, Cone & Belding, and DDB Worldwide, where she rose to the roles of Director of Account Management and Management Director. Her volunteer service deeply informs her practice, and she is honored to have served on several nonprofit boards. Currently she is Board President for Mentis of Napa Valley, which provides affordable mental health services to residents of all ages and incomes.

cutmypicannieAnnie-Rose London
Executive Director, Berrett-Koehler Foundation
Session led: Equity & Diversity 

Annie-Rose draws together the fields of sustainable design, community arts, and youth empowerment through education, coaching and non-profit management. Annie-Rose works with non-profits, grassroots community organizations and organic farms throughout North America to develop empowering educational experiences and effective organizational structure. She has worked with non-profit organizations such as Eden Village Camp, O.U.R. Community Association and Ecovillage, and CityArts! For Youth, and founded the community art organization BUME (Brown University Movement Experiments).  As a certified Empowerment Life Coach, Annie-Rose works with young change-makers to lead balanced, visionary and integrated lives.  In addition to her work at BK Foundation, Annie-Rose serves as a lead mentor with Wilderness Torah in Berkeley, Ca.

cutmypicsteveSteven Tulsky
Principal, Benemetrics Consulting Group
Session led: Nonprofit Finance & Accounting

Steven H. Tulsky, Principal of the Benemetrics Consulting Group, 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 internal organizational positions have included roles as Chief Financial Officer, Director of Finance, Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurer of large, medium, and small public and private firms. Mr. Tulsky has taught Nonprofit Finance to graduate and undergraduate students at a San Francisco Bay Area adult education university, and to attendees at various social-sector workshops. He currently serves on the boards of five nonprofit organizations, and has been an active leadership volunteer with the local chapter of a major national social service agency for over fifteen years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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