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ASU receives grant to help expand leadership development program

By

Heather Beshears

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation received a $170,000 grant from the American Express Foundation to further develop and fund the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy (GenNext).

Building on their investment over the past six years, this new grant will allow the highly-effective leadership development program to expand from a cohort size of 25 participants to a robust and diverse 30 participants. GenNext is a cohort of the Valley's top emerging nonprofit leaders, chosen to participate in a nine-month training program that provides them with the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit community. The program is comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits that include renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU, as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.

"Our center’s pivotal role in developing leadership in and for the social sector is validated by this latest investment," says Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. "We are appreciative of the American Express Foundation and our many community partners who invest in our efforts to advance ethical leadership and effective practice.”

The two-year grant will allow for several programmatic enhancements, which will include 360-degree feedback assessments, as well as one-on-one executive coaching. These new elements bring the GenNext Academy in alignment with the other nonprofit leadership academies that American Express supports across their country as part of their strategy to expand programming for nonprofit leaders both nationally and abroad.

“Building on the incredible success of the past six years, we are honored that American Express has made this investment which will be the catalyst for the leadership development of these executives. The programmatic additions are elements of leadership training that few nonprofits are able to afford for their team,” says Cassidy Campana, ASU Lodestar Center program manager for the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy. “American Express’ commitment to developing the nonprofit leaders of tomorrow creates a more prepared, sustainable pipeline of executives to ascend into new positions.”

Additional thanks to Salt River Project for their continued support of the Generation Next Nonprofit Leadership Academy.