Leading Change in Nonprofits

Managing change and transformation in your organization

Previously Named: Courageous Leadership: Becoming a Transformational Leader

For experienced nonprofit leaders and executives responsible for leading change initiatives, large or small, in their nonprofit organizations, this program focuses on developing the skills essential in preparing for and leading change.

In this program, you will explore processes necessary to prepare your organization for change, learn frameworks from which to lead the change and understand tools needed to create an organizational culture that embraces change. Additionally, you will learn how to communicate the needed change to your key stakeholders. You will leave equipped and empowered to deliver maximum leadership value to your organization through organizational transformation.

Center for Nonprofit Management

VIDEO: Learn more from Professor Shana Carroll & Academic Director Elise Madrick

Who Should Attend

  • Senior leaders of nonprofit organizations
  • Senior public sector leaders, government leaders, educational institution leaders, leaders of faith-based organizations and NGO leaders
  • All forward thinking senior leaders

Key Benefits

  • Diagnose the need for change in your organization
  • Identify change management frameworks to support your transformational efforts
  • Develop a strategic approach to your organization’s change culture
  • Learn to communicate your vision and ideas, effectively, through visualization
  • Equip yourself with key tools for leading organizational changes in the future

Program Content

Leading Organizational Change: Transforming Org Culture

  •  Explore the barriers to transforming organizational culture in response to change and understand how to overcome resistance
  • Learn to create an organizational environment and culture that embraces change
  • Understand five key principles that help organizations pursue change and boost performance

The Secret to Change Success: Context Design

  •  Understand change management through the lens of habit change
  • Learn why changing habits is a context design problem
  • Encode new habits into the contexts that surround all human beings for the purpose of effectively creating new habits, driving culture change and improving performance at scale

Preparing for Change

  •  Define the role of a change leader
  • Envision and diagnose the need for change
  • Define and articulate why your organization is making the change

Influence without Authority

  •  Explore the ethical implications of influence as means of advancing your change initiatives
  • Develop new approaches to influencing others
  • Consider how to apply concepts to your current change initiatives  

Communicating for Change: The Science of Whole-Brain Persuasion

  • Learn how to assure that your ideas for the future may be communicated effectively, through persuasive presentation
  • Identify strategies for using compelling visuals, concrete stories and familiar metaphors to engage your stakeholders
  • Learn how to make your message stick and inspire action as a leader

Design Thinking

  •  Recognize innovation as a learning and knowledge creation process
  • Understand problem finding, problem selecting, solution finding, and solution selection phases of innovation
  • Discover the role of knowledge brokering in innovation in your nonprofit organization


Elise Madrick - Academic Director; Associate Director, Nonprofit Executive Programs

Bernie Banks - Associate Dean for Leadership Development; Clinical Professor of Management

Shana Carroll - Clinical Associate Professor of Management Communications; Associate Chair of the Management & Organizations Department; Co-Director of the Leadership Development and Communications Program (LDEV)

Steven Franconeri - Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Director, Northwestern Cognitive Science Program; Professor of Leadership, Kellogg School of Management (Courtesy)

Andrew W. Sykes - Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Loran Nordgren - Professor of Management and Organizations

David Schonthal - Clinical Professor of Strategy; Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at Kellogg; Faculty Director of Zell Fellows Program; Director of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice

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 scholarship requests are reviewed by our Registrar and any scholarships granted will be reflected in the amount charged to your credit card.


  • If you request a scholarship, your credit card is submitted upon registration and will be charged once your request is approved (allow 1-2 business days for review).
  • If you do not request a scholarship, your credit card will be charged upon application submission.

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.

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 two rollovers, after the second 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.

Approved By CFRE


Full participation in this Kellogg Nonprofit Executive Education program entitles you to 14 points in Category 1.B—Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Note: Participants who wish to apply for continuing education points on their CFRE application for initial certification and/or recertification will be able to access a tracking form on the course site, once they register for the program.

Create a vision for your organization’s future


Learn More

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

Participant Testimonials


2024 Session

November 5-7, 2024

Start: November 5 at 8:30 AM

End: November 7 at 5:30 PM

Format: In-Person on Chicago Campus


Scholarships Available

Kellogg School of Management

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