Competitive Nonprofit: Strategizing to Stay Ahead

Creating and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage

In this highly interactive program, leaders and managers of nonprofit organizations can expand their perspective on the markets in which they operate and learn how to secure their organization’s long-term impact through enhanced competitive positioning.

Guided by expert faculty, you’ll construct a map of the competitive landscape to help identify the strategic risks associated with achieving your mission and the opportunities of working with and learning from your competitors. You’ll leave with a clear understanding of what distinguishes your organization from others in the field, your competitive advantage, how the competition impacts your strategy, and the communication strategies needed for gaining the engagement and support required to enact change.

Center for Nonprofit Management

Strengthen your organization’s competitive advantage


Who Should Attend

  • Executive leadership teams of nonprofit organizations who want to set their organization apart and scale in the future
  • Nonprofit managers and program directors with a desire to identify where their programs fit in the broader nonprofit sector environment
  • Collaborative and progressive nonprofit, public sector and military leaders who want to define their niche

Key Benefits

  • Understand how well developed, smart strategic decisions can improve your sustainability
  • Identify and build sustainable competitive advantage
  • Identify and assess your organization’s competitors to determine potential opportunities, risks, and allies
  • Design a leadership communication process that facilitates organizational changes
  • Learn how to balance/rebalance for sustainability

Program Content

Competitive Advantage

  • Develop an analytical approach to your organization's strategy
  • Understand how your organization creates value
  • Discover how to utilize your organization's resources and capabilities to generate a competitive advantage

Strategic Stakeholder Engagement and Communications as Competitive Tools

  • Identify, prioritize and effectively engage key organizational stakeholders
  • Empower strategic and frontline leaders to stay ahead in their highly competitive industry by developing a deliberate and compelling stakeholder engagement strategy
  • Recognize the power of stakeholder mapping
  • Redefine your ideal service market and stakeholder map in light of the current landscape
  • Distinguish the value proposition by creating a communications plan
  • Lay out and prioritize the communication channels to maximize effectiveness for communicating to service markets and stakeholders
  • Deploy communications to ensure organization is visible, accessible and accountable

Scale-Up Challenge

Many successful nonprofits and social impact organizations have effective evidence-based programs. In order to make a social impact, they hope to scale those programs to more clients or regions. In this workshop you will:

  • Learn three key features of successful efforts to go to scale
  • Understand concrete design principles for scaling their own social ventures
  • Discover tactics to make a greater social impact


  • Learn to effectively create value in multi-issue integrative negotiations
  • Manage the tension between creating value and claiming value
  • Effectively craft package deals in integrative negotiations
  • Understand the distinction between compatible and integrative issues
  • Create effective 'scoring systems' to translate outcomes


Ernest Duplessis - Industry Lecturer, Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill School of Journalism; Former – SVP, Communications and Government Affairs, Mondelèz International; VP, Corporate Communications, Kraft Foods; Public Affairs Officer, US Navy

Nour Kteily - Associate Professor of Management & Operations

Michelle Shumate - Associate Professor, Communication Studies; Associate Faculty, Institute for Policy Research; Director of Graduate Studies, Master’s in Communication Studies; Founding Director, Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact

Michael Mazzeo - Senior Associate Dean of Curriculum and Teaching; Associate Professor of Strategy

Accommodations, Fees & Policies


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Scholarship Assistance

Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations. All applications are initially submitted at the full list price. Each is reviewed by our registrar and any scholarships granted will be reflected in the amount applied to your invoice or charged to your credit card.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.


Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.

Download Nearby Hotels List

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

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2021 Session

May 10-11, 2021

Start: May 10 at 8:30 AM

End: May 11 at 5:00 PM

Chicago campus


Scholarships Available

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208