Philadelphia African American Leadership Development Forum

This new innovative program explores leadership development through the unique perspective of the African American nonprofit leader. This highly interactive program incorporates seven days of workshops that not only include classic leadership training blended with exposure to regional and national thought leaders, but also provide a safe platform for honest and hard hitting discourse about the achievements and challenges of African American Nonprofit Executives.

The Program is Designed to

Build greater capacity among African American nonprofit leadership and organizations to better serve the African American Community

Cultivate and align African American leadership to promote communication and information-sharing across sectors

Deepen relationships with the broader philanthropic community and public and private sectors in an effort to become less transactional and more transformative

Expose African American Leaders to promising research and best practices

The Urban League of Philadelphia has partnered with the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College (NELI) to develop this pilot program. It was created in response to the findings of the study funded by UWGPSNJ and conducted by the Philadelphia African American Leadership Forum, “How African-American-Led Organizations Differ from White-Led Organizations: Research Report on African American Nonprofit Organizations in Philadelphia.” (Find the results of the study at

More Details

  • Criteria for Candidates

    Applicants must be working in an executive-level position in the nonprofit, public, or philanthropic sector and have at least seven years of work experience. The professional must be part of the organization’s executive team or work extensively with members of that team on an organizational level.

    Potential participants may include but are not limited to presidents, CEOs, executive directors, COOs, deputy directors, vice presidents, CFOs, directors of strategic initiatives, and department or division heads.

    Organizations must have a minimum annual budget of $250,000 to participate in the program. Applications will be accepted from organizations throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. Preference will be given to applicants from human service, health, and education-related nonprofits.

  • Program Elements Will Include

    • Seven days of workshops and panel discussion on topics, such as:
    • The Essentials of the African American Leadership Experience (drawing on the PAALF report)
    • Leadership Preferences and The Impact of Leadership Preferences on Group Dynamics
    • Visibility, Networking, and Social Access
    • Strategic Thinking and Planning For Organizational Effectiveness
    • Staff Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention
    • Board Development and Governance
    • Effective Financial Planning and Management
    • Diversifying Funding For Sustainability
    • Internal accountability partner teams (minimum of 4 members per team)
    • Mentoring
    • Breakfasts or lunches with funders
    • Lunches or “meet-ups” with groups that may be potential sources for Board members, such as the Urban League, Leadership Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Economy League, the African American Chamber of Commerce, and the Forum of Executive Women

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