leadership institute

Leadership Institute

The world needs better leaders. But, what makes a better leader? 

The 2021-22 YNPN Leadership Institute is designed to answer this question with a simple premise: unlearning leadership. This four-part institute will challenge participants to uproot old habits of leadership that are grounded in white supremacy culture - hierarchy, individualism, scarcity, and destructive competition - and plant, nurture and grow a new leadership framework. 

Each large group session will focus on a different topic of leadership that will empower participants to change themselves and their sector. In between large group sessions, participants will do small group work with an intentional focus on application - participants will be asked to take risks and apply what they learn in their real-world lives. At the end of the 2021 Leadership Institute, participants will be equipped to lead differently - in ways that heal instead of harm.

Are you ready to challenge/change everything you know about leadership?

Then the 2021 Leadership Institute is for you! Like you, YNPN-TC is challenging itself to question the way that things have been done in the past. That’s why a few things are different this year. First, the application and interview process has been replaced by an interest form that can be completed online or verbally. The deadline to complete it either way is August 1st. Participants will be invited to join the 2021 Leadership Institute cohort by August 15th. We are seeking 20-25 participants; if more than that number of people apply, we will evaluate the online or verbal interest forms for the following qualities:

  • Commitment to dismantling oppressive and harmful leadership structures and rebuilding ones that heal, restore, resist, and catalyze change

  • Commitment to personal and professional growth

  • Commitment to the cohort and building relationships

The other change is the way that the Leadership Institute is financed. This year, there is no mandatory fee. There are suggested donations of $50 (if a participant is sponsoring themselves) or $100 (if an organization is sponsoring them). Donations will fund the teachers in each session.

The final change is that this year’s Leadership Institute is shorter (four months instead of nine) and will be hybrid - large group sessions will be delivered virtually and small group sessions can be either virtual or in-person - that choice is up to each small group.

Are you STILL ready? 

Then it’s time to tell us! You can fill out the online interest form here or you can request to complete it verbally by emailing [email protected]. If you would like to apply verbally, please let us know by July 23 so we can schedule time to talk to you before August 1. August 1 is the deadline for online and verbal interest forms to be completed.



Is there a fee to participate?

In 2021, the Leadership Institute will not have a mandatory fee. We are asking participants to make a suggested donation of $50 if they are participating on behalf of themselves or $100 if an organization, such as an employer, is sponsoring their participation. We encourage participants to speak to their organizations about funding their cost of attendance. Resources are available to help participants have this conversation. Please note though that no one will be turned away from lack of funding. Please email the Leadership Team at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Is there an age-limit for participants?

No. YNPN programming in general is geared toward individuals in their 20’s and 30’s. If what we offer resonates with you, we encourage you to apply. Also, feel free to contact us at [email protected] to talk things through if you still have questions.

Who should apply?

Emerging leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors looking for a “community of practice” to establish the habits, relationships, and support systems that will make our journeys -- in our work and communities -- sustainable.

This experience is aimed at encouraging exploration of the big career questions you’ve been asking and will continue to ask while doing some serious skill swapping and network weaving across the local foundation and nonprofit worlds.

We are seeking participants who identify as BIPOC or identify with other historically marginalized identities, or individuals who identify as allies and accomplices. Applicants must:

  • Be a member of YNPN Twin Cities (become a member here; it’s free!)

  • Be committed to the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors

  • Be prepared to be an active participant

  • Be able to commit to the program timeline

What is the time commitment?

This will be a 4-month intensive cohort program beginning in September 2021 and ending in December 2021. Each month, participants must commit to attending one large group session (approx. 2 hours) and one small group session (approx. 1 hour). Larger group sessions will be virtual and take place on the first Wednesday of the month:

  • September 1 at 6:00 pm

  • October 6 at 6:00 pm

  • November 3 at 6:00 pm

  • December 1 at 6:00 pm

Small group sessions will be scheduled by participants and can take place virtually or in-person. Participants will be connected in small groups by the Leadership Institute’s planning team and meet with those groups in between large group sessions.  

How will this experience benefit me?

Through this program, you will:

  1. Expand your network, building deep, sustained relationships with local nonprofit and philanthropic professionals.

  2. Practice useful habits of reflection, individually and in groups, to address the cyclical questions about your life, leadership and career.

  3. Actively participate in a shared leadership experience and build facilitation, presentation and collaboration skills by sharing around a topic of your choice.

  4. Conduct a career refresh or re-charge in a supportive and accountable environment.

How do I apply?

Complete our interest form - you can fill it out online or request to answer verbally in a virtual meeting with a Leadership Institute organizer. If you’re filling out the interest form online, you won’t be able to save your progress. We recommend typing your answers out first and then copy and paste onto the application. 

The application deadline is August 1, 2021. Our Leadership Institute planning team will be in touch with all applicants by August 15, 2021.

What are the selection criteria?

Participants selected based on their:

  • Commitment to dismantling oppressive and harmful leadership structures and rebuilding ones that heal, restore, resist, and catalyze change

  • Commitment to personal and professional growth

  • Commitment to the cohort and building relationships

Additional questions?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] with any additional questions, or if you’d just like to talk about how this unique cohort experience might align with wherever you find yourself on your own leadership journey.

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