Nonprofit Executive Leaders’ Institute: Testimonials

Hear what past participants have to say about this special program for Nonprofit Executive Directors.

The Nonprofit Executive Leaders’ Institute (NELI) is an intensive retreat exclusively for seated nonprofit CEOs/Executive Directors who have served in their roles for 5 years or less. NELI is designed for first-time Executive Directors who were hired to lead organizations because of their field expertise, vision and leadership, but who may feel less than fully prepared for the day-to-day management activities that come with the job.

NELI offers leadership training and connects executive directors, building a supportive network among Greater New Haven nonprofits. Read more about collaborations among past NELI participants here.

Click here for a full description of the program and application deadlines.

Hear what participants from the 2023-24 cohorts have to say about the program below:

I have taken many trainings throughout my career, but NELI was the most engaging and interactive leadership program. It was an intensive three days filled with essential information to improve leadership techniques, self-analysis, and decision-making. A substantial bonus of the program was spending valuable time with other community leaders, which allowed me to expand my network and build new and stronger relationships in the community.

Giselle Carlotta-McDonald
Executive Director, Project Access-New Haven

The NELI retreat was an unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to learn from professionals and my peers. The tools that I walked away with have enabled me to grow personally and professionally. Beyond the learning I have made professional connections that are still going strong to this day.

Tanaya Henry
Executive Director, Traveler on a Mission

NELI was one of the most impactful professional development opportunities that I participated in this year. The knowledge, awareness, and insight into some of the most critical areas of executive-level leadership were provided by various experts who engaged the group by meeting each of us where we were in our leadership and professional development. The networking and relationship-building were intentional and continue to be the most rewarding of my NELI experience.

Shirley Ellis-West
Executive Director, Urban Community Alliance

NELI was an incredible opportunity for me to spend uninterrupted time learning from leaders and teachers on areas that I never learned about in a structured environment, but that inundate the nonprofit landscape. Like engaging and leading a Board of Directors, mission-driven marketing, and developing meaningful relationships with donors. Maybe most valuable, though, were the people that I met in the process.

Sarah Taylor
Executive Director, Huneebee Project

Attending the NELI retreat was a transformative experience for me and our organization. The retreat provided an invaluable opportunity to connect with fellow nonprofit leaders, share insights, and gain fresh perspectives on the challenges we face. The well-curated workshops and discussions were not only insightful but also directly applicable to the challenges faced by nonprofit organizations today. The serene retreat setting allowed for reflection and strategic planning, enabling me to return to my organization with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. I highly recommend this retreat to any nonprofit leader seeking inspiration, connections, and practical tools to elevate their organization's impact.

Yvonne Jones
Executive Director, D.E.S.T.I.N.E.D. to Succeed