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Executive Circle for
Nonprofit Leaders


Executive Circle

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Executive Circles are small groups of seasoned leaders who meet every four months as a peer learning community. Together they help one another solve strategic issues or intractable problems, strengthen and stretch individual leadership capacity, and improve the performance of Circle member organizations and the sector as a whole.

Candid, focused discussions with other leaders helps to clarify issues and convert concerns and “wicked questions” into practical action. An executive coach/facilitator with experience in the nonprofit sector manages the sessions with an eye on producing the maximum benefit for each participant. The facilitator keeps the agenda on target and appropriately paced, and acts as a proactive contributor.

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Effectiveness of Peer Networks

  • Very Effective 35% 35%
  • Effective 57% 57%
  • Somewhat Ineffective 14% 14%
  • Very Ineffective 5% 5%


Executive Circle members form a supportive team of peers for clarifying complex issues, developing new ways to solve chronic problems, converting thoughts into action and providing peer accountability. Building a solid support network with other senior executives committed to excellence in their organizations promotes exploring opportunities to provide leadership in strengthening the effectiveness of the sector. Capitalizing on new ideas and opportunities. We offer encouragement and support when times are tough with SWAT conference calls held whenever a member has a hot issue and needs support in between meetings. Coaching is offered to individual circle members, as needed.

I would strongly recommend the Executive Circle to any nonprofit leader who wants to truly move their nonprofit organization forward through personal and professional reflection and the power of one’s emotional intelligence.
—Don Blanchon, Executive Director, Whitman Walker 


Circle Structure

Meetings are held approximately every four months. Each meeting is two days long with an overnight stay.
Meetings feature:
• Safe environment for confidential conversation
• Expert facilitation by master executive coaches
• In-depth dialogue on specific Circle member cases and issues such as:
— Succession planning
— Board relationships
— Creating culture
— Mergers and acquisitions
• Leading edge learning in leadership and topics of interest to the Circle
• Every member is expected to attend all sessions

In the company of this diverse and energetic group of leaders, I found a breeding ground for new thinking and fresh ideas, and a mutual enthusiasm for challenging ourselves and our sector to embrace change and growth in the service of advancing our critical missions.
—Schroeder Stribling, Executive Director, N Street Village


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