Recommended Insights
Recommended Insights

Developing a New Generation of Leaders to Bridge a Talent Gap

American Express Leadership Academy
CLIENT:American Express Leadership Academy
LOCATION:Headquartered in New York, NY
SIZE:To date, the AELA has programs across 12 countries, training more than 4,300 nonprofit and social sector leaders.

Client Profile & Challenge

Not-for-profit organizations need to have more leaders in the pipeline. Emerging leaders in the sector need to be trained, retained, promoted, and supported to alleviate a serious leadership talent shortage. Factors fueling the shortage range from inadequate compensation to a shrinking pool of candidates as baby boomers retire. Compounding the problem, most nonprofits lack the resources needed to train and cultivate new leaders from within their own ranks.

As part of its strong commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism, American Express is tackling the talent crisis head-on. The company has teamed with us to train emerging nonprofit leaders in the skills they need to move up, take on new responsibilities, and lead their organizations into the future.

“American Express is known for growing great leaders, and we’re passionate about applying our skills and expertise to help nonprofits cultivate and advance talent within their own organizations,” says Richard Brown, vice president of philanthropy for the American Express Foundation.

Solution & Results

The result is the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy. It’s a program designed to address the special challenges nonprofit leaders face — from building coalitions, to leading volunteers, to managing limited resources strategically. Emerging leaders from nonprofits across the country are nominated for the program and compete for slots in each class. Those selected must hold a manager-level position, be dedicated to a career in the nonprofits, and show strong career momentum.

“We’ve found that individuals take great pride in being selected for this Academy that’s geared specifically to nonprofit leaders, which helps them to stay true to what they learn in the program,” says Shera Clark, manager of CCL’s Nonprofit Sector and the AMEX Academy’s lead faculty.

You can also find a summary of our survey findings from 10 years of partnering with AMEX on the American Express Leadership Academy

Partner With Us

We understand how community-led and community-based initiatives can help build a foundation for real change and greater transformation. We can partner with your organization to create customized leadership solutions that allow you to expand your impact and the meaningful work you bring to the world.


Subscribe to our eNewsletters to get the latest on cutting-edge, leadership insights & research.

Related Content

Please update your browser. requires a modern browser for an enhanced and secure user experience. Internet Explorer is no longer supported or recommended by Microsoft. The Center for Creative Leadership recommeds that you upgrade to Microsoft Edge or similar.