Greater Charlotte Area

Third Sector Leadership Program

About TSL

As a nonprofit leader, you’re already making a big difference.

You also know that leading nonprofit organizations is not getting any easier. In fact, its challenges are growing more complex every day.

If you’re a leader ready to face those challenges with a new set of leadership skills and perspectives, along with a cohort of supportive peers, the Third Sector Leadership Program is here for you.

Now entering its fourth year, this progam provides nonprofit leaders throughout our region with a unique, nine month leadership development program that includes a series of eight leadership workshops combined with individualized executive coaching sessions offered by the region’s top leadership coaches with professional credentials from the International Coach Federation.

Participation in the Third Sector Leadership Program is limited to 12 nonprofit leaders each year. So, apply now.
The application deadline for 2019 is December 15, 2018.


Program Highlights

In addition to the professional coaching program participants receive, they benefit from eight, three-hour leadership development workshops spread out across nine months. Sample topics include:


Finding Your Edge as a Nonprofit Leader and Charting a Successful Path Forward.


Maintaining Your Leadership Balance & Resiliency While Leading Change


Mastering the Unique Challenges of Nonprofit Leadership and Coaching Others to Succeed


Creating a Leadership Legacy for Your Nonprofit Organization Through Succession Planning

This investment in your development requires an investment of your time

Overall financial support for the program is provided by area foundations and corporations, along with in-kind contributions from TSL leadership coaches.
Participant costs are determined on a sliding scale based on their nonprofit’s annual operating expenses: $1,000 for budgets less than $1 million, $1,500 for budgets greater than $1 million and less than $5 million, $2,000 for budgets greater than $5 million.
Cohort meetings are held monthly at the Duke Mansion March through November.

Cohort 2016

Karen Parker, President/CEO- Safe Alliance
Amanda Prothero, Executive Director – Jimmie Johnson Foundation
David Jessup, Founder/CEO - Digi Bridge
Sonja Gantt, Executive Director - CMS Foundation
Sharon Harrington, Executive Director – Reading Partners
Kelly Rogers, Executive Director – Harris YWCA

Cohort 2017

Jimmy McQuilkin, Executive Director – Urban Promise Charlotte
Mallory Walsh, Executive Director – 24 Foundation
Kim Lanphear, Executive Director – Apparo
Devlin McNeil, President/CEO – Community School of the Arts
Shelly White, Executive Director- Children & Family Services Center
Kristina Cruise, Founder/ED – Promising Pages
Jim Warren, Executive Director – Carolina Raptor Center
Aisha Strothers, Executive Director – Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund

Cohort 2018

Katie Page, Executive Director - Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County
Patrick Larkin, Executive Director- Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Blake Bourne, Executive Director - Veterans Bridge Home
Vincent Wong, Director of Community Development & Innovation - City of Gastonia, Keep Gastonia Beautiful & Sister Cities
William H. “Mack” McDonald, Chief Executive Officer - Renaissance West Community Initiative
Libby Safrit, Executive Director - Teen Health Connection
Lonnie Davis, President & CEO - Jazz Arts Initiative
Bronica Glover, Executive Director - Greater Enrichment Program, Inc.
Terri Bowles, State Director - Bethany Christian Services of North Carolina
Barbara Caldwell, Executive Director - Teaching Fellows Institute

“I’ve been a working in nonprofit organizations for 40 years, and this program was simply transformational. The coaching and cohort workshops gave me new ways to see myself and understand how others see me, as well. I’m a better leader now, and I’ve put an employee engagement process in place that is helping me lead a better organization.”

Jim Warren
Executive Director
Carolina Raptor Center

“For me, one of the program’s most impactful workshop sessions was the one on change management. It helped me understand the strengths and weaknesses associated with different approaches to managing change. I was able to think through the strengths and weaknesses we all bring to change--and the conflicts that change often brings. This was particularly useful as I worked with the senior staff in planning a major change effort.”

Devlin McNeil
President & Executive Director
Community School of the Arts

“The cohort experience was invaluable. It’s incredibly lonely at the top. For some issues you can’t go to your board, and you can’t go to your staff, but with the cohort you don’t feel alone. You can bring up anything knowing you are part of a group that has your back. We’re not meant to be alone, or be a leader alone, making these deep, meaningful connections was wonderful. It rejuvenated my leadership soul and saved me from a lot of burnout.”

Kristina Cruise
Founder and CEO
Promising Pages

“The 360-feedback allowed me to improve my relationships with my board and staff, and our programs improved as a result. The 360 was more than eye opening. My perception of myself was not at all what other people were seeing. I became aware that I was going into most meetings with preconceived notions. The feedback allowed me to become more curious about what others were thinking, to become more collaborative. I am so grateful for that experience.”

Mallory Walsh
24 Foundation

Are you ready to join us?

Board of Advisors

The program is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of representatives from the coaching community, our region’s non-profit leaders and our funding community.

Melissa Buchanan

Senior Vice President, Global Volunteerism Manager, Wells Fargo

Eric Law

Former Executive Director, HandsOn Charlotte

Ryan Taylor

leadership Development Executive for GT&O/Staff Support, Bank of America

Susan McConnell

Director of Higher Education/Director of Human Resources, The Duke Endowment

Sarah Hyche

PCC, Leadership Coach & Consultant, Executera, LLC

Chrystal R. Joy

Director, The Lee Institute

Lee Keesler

CEO, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Mary Howerton

PhD, PCC/BCC, Principal, Mary Howerton Consulting, Inc. (Board Chair, 2017-18)

Patrick Vaca

MA, ACC Patrick Vaca Consulting, LLC

Alanson Van Fleet

PhD, ACC, President, The Van Fleet Group, LLC (Founding Board Chair, 2016-17)

Our Partners and Sponors

The Third Sector Leadership Program would not be possible without the partnership of The Lee Institute, the generous support of the Chapter's participating coaches and the financial support it receives from

For more information, please send your queries to

Duke Mansion, Charlotte