Our sector and the communities we serve are changing rapidly through events and advances both small and large.  In these extraordinary times of constant change, we need to be able to exercise effective leadership at all levels, in every organization, and throughout our communities.

Independent Sector is shepherding a major collaborative effort to transform investments in human capital and leadership development. The “Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership” is a cross-sector alliance that aims to elevate attention to leadership as a sector priority.

This effort was launched during the White House Forum on Nonprofit Leadership held on November 15, 2011, which brought together 200 cross-sector leaders to discuss the role of the nonprofit sector in our nation’s economic recovery and current challenges facing the sector. These leaders also came to work. Throughout the Forum's working sessions, participants were challenged to define actionable goals and to commit to viable high-impact strategies to achieve them.

Independent Sector's work to develop nonprofit leadership also includes the NGen: Moving Nonprofit Leaders from Next to Now program, an effort to strengthen the leadership skills and networks of nonprofit professionals age 40 and under. As part of this effort, the American Express NGen Fellows Program was introduced in 2009. To expand the commitment to cultivating young leaders, in 2010 the American Express Building Leadership Award was reframed to the American Express NGen Leadership Award which recognizes a transformational leaders age 40 or under. 

In order to expand the range of leadership development programs available, Independent Sector launched the C-Suite Track at the 2013 IS National Conference. This program, along with the CEO Track at the conference, brings together leaders at a similar career level to engage and discuss the unique challenges they face.

Each year, the John W. Gardner Leadership Award honors an outstanding American for mobilizing, transformative leadership with or in the nonprofit sector.

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