Addressing the Complex Leadership Needs of Associations, Charities, Foundations & Other Nonprofits

Nonprofits today face a complex and shifting landscape — from shrinking endowments and dwindling donor bases to a growing demand for services. Now more than ever, creative leaders are needed to chart a path forward and turn challenges into newfound opportunities. The Nonprofit Sector at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) specializes in helping nonprofits build and sustain their creative leadership capacity. As a nonprofit ourselves, we understand the terrain. Our research-based executive education programs and services customized for a nonprofit audience can help you unlock your organization’s hidden potential, break down performance barriers and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Need more information?

Please contact:

Shera Clark
Manager, Nonprofit Sector


Phone: +1 336 286 4485

Nonprofit Challenge

Today’s nonprofit organizations work in a world of rising expectations and high-stakes accountability. Complex, interrelated issues make it difficult to navigate a single, predictable path and produce optimum results. Many nonprofits also face a growing talent shortage as leaders retire or transition to jobs in the for-profit sector. Who will fill the void and where will tomorrow’s leaders come from?

CCL’s Solution

CCL’s Nonprofit Sector can help your organization broaden its impact by developing the sustainable leadership capacity needed to carry it into the future. We blend cutting-edge research with innovative training, coaching, assessments and publishing to create a highly personal experience that delivers lasting impact.

Our unique and top-ranked educational solutions are based on a groundbreaking development model that helps you Assess where you are, Challenge your team to perform at new levels, and Support sustained progress. We prepare you to manage both the obstacles and the opportunities your organization faces with confidence and resilience.

Client Impact

CCL’s Nonprofit Sector supports many great clients who are working endlessly for the good of society. They serve the homeless, protect the environment, create safe neighborhoods, and provide education, healthcare and other social services that benefit our communities.

Examples include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the Leadership Academy of Memphis, Tenn., and the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy. Explore our case studies, client quotes and testimonials to find out more.


The Center for Creative Leadership is an educational institution that turns ideas into action and action into ideas. We teach from our research and learn from our teaching. We act on what we learn by developing new views of leadership, new assessment techniques, and new programs and strategies that respond to the evolving challenges faced by leaders and their organizations.

We believe self-knowledge is the most important factor in the practice of leadership. Becoming more acutely aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses is a type of “unfreezing” that leads to setting goals accurately and to taking action to improve. Rather than teaching how to manage, analyze or strategize, we help leaders “learn how to learn” from colleagues, their organization and their competitors. Most importantly, we help leaders learn from their own experience.

The Center’s leadership programs are built on a three-part “Assessment, Challenge and Support” developmental model.

  • Learning through feedback (Assess). Our programs use behavioral and psychological assessments, feedback from peers, staff and others to provide leaders in education with a comprehensive and accurate view of themselves. This self-awareness provides a context for setting development goals and working towards their leadership development.
  • Learning by doing (Challenge). Effective training provides opportunities to experience and practice new skills. Our breakout sessions and simulations replicate real-world challenges — without real-world consequences when mistakes are made. The result is creative exploration, insight and experiential learning that inspires leaders to revitalize and refocus their organizations.
  • Learning through the process of change (Support). Effective learning helps leaders to expand, improve and develop their own skills over time. We encourage each leader to reflect on their learning experience, identify areas they would like to change and develop realistic plans for self-development. Emphasis is placed on support systems to enhance self-confidence and on sensible, measurable goals and metrics that can be used to monitor achievement over time.


The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked global provider of executive education that develops better leaders through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL helps clients worldwide cultivate creative leadership — the capacity to achieve more than imagined by thinking and acting beyond boundaries — through an array of programs, products and other services. CCL established the Education and Nonprofit sector in 1988 to meet the unique needs of education and nonprofit organizations. Our objective is to help organizations build their leadership capacity and make a true, sustainable difference. The sector’s clients are organizations that impact the communities where we live and work, as well as broader society.

Recommended Resources:



 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Ladder to Leadership Program 

The first cohort of fellows graduated in December from a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that supports emerging leaders at community-based nonprofit health organizations.

Program fellows have pursued “action learning projects” to improve health and health care in their local communities. Projects range from producing a documentary film about the challenges facing people with mental health problems, to addressing issues related to end-of-life care, succession planning, human rights and care coordination.

The program, Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders, aims to prepare junior professionals to fill the shoes of more senior nonprofit leaders who are expected to retire en masse in coming years. The program will develop future leaders in eight targeted areas around the country. (more…)


Shera Clark
Manager, Nonprofit Sector

Dr. Shera Clark currently serves as the Manager, Nonprofit Sector for the Center for Creative Leadership.  Dr. Clark works extensively in developing the Center’s Nonprofit Sector.  Her experience includes business development, account management, and the design and delivery of customized leadership development solutions for corporate, education, and nonprofit sectors.  She has managed several multi-year and multi-session Leadership Development Initiatives involving hundreds of participants. In addition she has several years of group facilitation experience in leadership development initiatives, including Maximizing Your Leadership Potential, Leadership Development Program, the African-American Leadership Program, and a variety of CCL custom programs.  Dr. Clark is also a certified CCL Executive Coach.  She authored the guidebook “Feedback that Works for Nonprofit Organizations”.  Dr. Clark has written a chapter “Action Learning with Community-Based Nonprofits” which appears in the book entitled Experience-Driven Leader Development.

Dr. Clark holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Science in Adult Education, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies.

Michael DePass
Faculty Member

Michaels serves as a Faculty member in the Education and Nonprofit Group. He primarily works with leaders of K-12 schools and systems, and nonprofit leaders across all sectors.

Michael has served in various education sector roles including: principal evaluator, regional director, executive director, and new school developer. Prior to working in K-12 education, Michael was a management consultant for McKinsey & Company and held roles including Assistant Director and Chief Administrative Officer in inner-city and international development organizations.

Michael received his Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard University, Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from University of Virginia, and a second Bachelor of Theology degree from Hope Bible College.

Greg Cameron
Faculty Member

Greg serves as a faculty member for the Center for Creative Leadership. As a member of the Education and Nonprofit Group, he primarily works with leaders of K-12 schools and systems, and nonprofit leaders across all sectors.

Greg has an extensive background in education and nonprofit leadership effectiveness, appraisal, and program design, development, and delivery. He is an experienced K-12 educational leader and principal. He served as the Executive Director of the Center of Educator Effectiveness for McREL International and as a partner at Learning Crest before joining CCL. In these roles he was the lead developer of rigorously tested leadership programs and appraisal systems utilized by thousands of educational leaders in the US and Australia. As an ASCD faculty member, he has authored and co-authored over 20 educational leadership focused publications, including personnel appraisal systems, training manuals, articles, and books.

Greg received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado; a Master of Arts degree from the University of Denver; and completed two post graduate programs in education from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Jonnette O’Callaghan
Sr. Project Manager, Education/Nonprofit Sector

Jonnette O’Callaghan is a Senior Project Manager for the Education/Nonprofit Sector. As Senior Project Manager she handles all program logistics including budgets, client management, program materials and participant needs. Prior to coming to the Center for Creative Leadership, Jonnette taught history at Caldwell Academy. She has a Bachelors of Arts in History from The University of Texas in Austin.

Kristen Newman
Sr. Project Manager, Education/Nonprofit Sector

Kristen Gwaltney is a Senior Project Manager for the Education/Nonprofit Sector. As Senior Project Manager she handles all program logistics including budgets, client management, program materials and participant needs. Kristen has worked for the Center for Creative Leadership for four years in various roles and groups across the organization. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.

Emaya Rajasengran
Sr. Project Manager

Emaya Rajasegran is a Senior Project Manager with the Education/Nonprofit Sector. As Senior Project Manager she handles all project management responsibilities such as client management and relationship, program logistics, budgeting, program and coaching preparation and assisting participants with their program needs.

Before joining this team, Emaya worked as a Program Manager in the APAC office, located in Singapore. In her role, she handled both regional and global clients. Prior to rejoining CCL, she worked as an Intercultural Program Specialist in a global relocation consultancy, helping to organize cross cultural programs, both regional and global, for clients who relocate their staff.

Emaya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Oklahoma City University