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.


The long-term health of our sector – and every organization within it – relies on a strong continuum of leadership. Our NGen program is the sector’s premier program for leaders age 40 and under who want to enhance their skills, grow their networks, and prepare themselves to lead the sector into the future.

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John W. Gardner Leadership Award

Each year we recognize an American visionary whose work has empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, inspired movements, and improved communities.

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Tech for Common Good

Tech for Common Good is a cross-sector collaborative launched by Independent Sector to understand and advance tech adoption and utilization in the social sector. The collaborative is focused on generating awareness, improving tech literacy, and over time, showing the connection between technology and impact.

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Ethics & Accountability

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice reinforce a common understanding of transparency, accountability, and good governance for the charitable sector as a whole—not only to ensure ethical and trustworthy behavior, but equally important, to spotlight strong practices that contribute to the effectiveness, durability, and broad popular support for charitable organizations of all kinds.

Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising.

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Focus Areas

In response to our 2015 Threads community conversations, Independent Sector chose four critical sector challenges and engaged experts to identify a selective list of the best existing resources about how to address them.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The American population will look radically different in the coming decades, and with it, our workforce and the communities we serve. As a sector, we must address past inequities and embrace future opportunities if we are to live up to our missions to provide for the common good.

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Nonprofit Capital

Revenue sources for the sector are shifting, as are organizational strategies for securing capital. This focus area considers new sources of private capital for the charitable community, and who wins and who loses in this rapidly changing landscape.

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Organizational Relationships

This focus area considers the relationships between and among nonprofits, foundations, and the communities that they serve. We also explore effective relationship-building across silos – within the charitable sector and across charitable, for-profit, and public sectors.

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Model Partnerships for Impact

Throughout our Threads community conversations, one consistent impediment to meeting mission was raised: the strained relationships between grantees and funders. With this in mind, we set out to add knowledge and tell stories that that would help move grantee/funder ‘power dynamics’ in a more productive direction.

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