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The Central New York community possesses a wealth of talented professionals working in nonprofits who display dedication, skill and passion for their work. They may serve in positions of management or hold specific program responsibilities. One hallmark of these individuals is the desire to go above and beyond their stated roles within their organizations. They are creative and great problem-solvers. Many of these individuals will be members of our next generation of nonprofit leaders. They will become executives, finance, or senior program directors and successfully lead our community’s mission-driven organizations. In order to ensure this group of emerging leaders is prepared for their future responsibilities, the Central New York Community Foundation is sponsoring a program of professional and personal development designed specifically for our next generation of leaders.

Our Goal

To support and develop the personal and professional leadership competencies of individuals in the nonprofit community who currently display the skills and passion that will position them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Intended Outcomes

  • Identification of strengths and areas of opportunity for growth with tools for professional skill development and effective self-reflection
  • Growth in communication skills (Conflict Resolution, Effective Feedback and Listening, Collaboration, Managing Relationships, and Presentation Skills)
  • A defined Individualized Development Plan (IDP) and demonstrated growth toward their individual goals
  • A defined peer network
  • Exposure to current leaders in the community and support in the development of mentor 

How to Apply

Submission Deadline: July 10
Interested individuals may fill out and submit an application electronically to Grants@cnycf.orgQuestions regarding the application and program may be directed to Danielle Johnson at djohnson@cnycf.org or 883-5554.


"The LeadUp CNY program taught me to be an active participant in my leadership journey and helped me to realize that leadership isn't as simple as being born a strong leader, but it is something that we are responsible for nurturing and growing. It pushed me to accept myself for both my strengths and shortcomings and to make short term goals that were measurable and achievable to help me reach more long term goals. I learned that the things we do behind the scenes and the investments that we make in ourselves are the ones that turn up in our leadership style with others, and my biggest take away from the program was learning that becoming a great leader isn't a destination but an ongoing process that really never ends."
Wendell Covell, LMSW, Preventive Functional Family Therapy-CW Supervisor, The Salvaton Army (2018)

"The LeadUp program gave me more than I expected. In addition to the guidance and content on leadership and management, I was delighted to find friends and colleagues across industries. The greatest benefit still continues in the connections I made with some pretty fantastic and brilliant people!"
Christine Corbett, Director of Philanthropy, David's Refuge (2018)

"LeadUp gave me the opportunity to take the goals I've had in my head, get them down on paper in an achievable format and finally execute on them! The networking with other local, like minded leaders was so valuable. That coupled with the individual coaching sessions made for one of the best professional development opportunities I've had to pleasure to take part in. I would recommend this to anyone looking to grow their networks, achieve new goals and sharpen their leadership skills!"
Kate Budlong, Regional Director, ARISE (2018)


LeadUP CNY Documents 


 Cover Page

Important Note: These forms are fillable PDFs. They are compatible with Adobe Reader. If you are using a Mac, please download Adobe Reader to fill out these forms. They are not compatible with the default Mac Preview program. Thank you!


Questions about the LeadUPCNY program may be directed to Danielle Johnson at (315) 883-5554 or email djohnson@cnycf.org.