Project LEAP - Leaders Emerging through Ability and Potential

Project LEAP (Leaders Emerging through Ability and Potential) is a five-part leadership development program for individuals with three or more years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector. Participants engage in individual and group activities in each of the five sessions; one per month over a five month period.

Participants work within a learning circle cohort and learn from peers, as well as experts in the field, throughout the series.


As a Project LEAP participant, you will:

  • Gain insight into your leadership ability through DISC assessments and discussion.
  • Learn the dynamics of organizational structure through panel discussions and interactive cohort work.
  • Improve skills for running a nonprofit organization by attending additional complimentary classes.

2015 Session Topics Include:

  • Session #1: Leadership and Self-Discovery (Friday, February 20, 2015)
  • Session #2: DISC Assessment (Friday, March 20, 2015)
  • Session #3: Influence and Authority (Friday, April 17, 2015)
  • Session #4: Embracing Financial Leadership (Friday, May 15, 2015)
  • Session #5: Principles and Practices for Excellence (Friday, June 12, 2015)

This series is led by Lisa Burford, MNO. Buford has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including thirteen years as an executive and seven years as a consultant. Hardmon is former Executive Director of Public Allies DC and has held positions with the American Heart Association and the National Center for Nonprofit Boards (now BoardSource). Hardmon’s consulting work focuses on capacity building and training in board development, resource development, strategic planning and executive transition. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The American University and a Master of Nonprofit Organizations degree from Case Western Reserve University.

What Project Leap Graduates are saying:

“I am deeply grateful for this experience and really loved the group of people. The staff was amazing! I am thankful for all I was able to learn and discover through the classes and the chance to find support from others who are experiencing similar challenges. Thank you all!.”

“This course was a wonderful opportunity to learn about myself as a nonprofit professional and as a leader. It provided invaluable knowledge, experiences and advice I could not have gained elsewhere.”

"Project LEAP was extremely insightful and beneficial not only to me but for my organization. I gained an in-depth understanding of my behavior style tendencies and that of others.  This has enabled me to begin conversations on productive communication in the workplace and understanding the different behaviors to be more productive. Overall, great opportunity!

"The breadth of topics was great!"




Location: Center for Nonprofit Advancement
1666 K Street, NW, Suite 440
Washington, DC 20006
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on event days

$995 for Center for Nonprofit Advancement members
$995 OLA Grantees
$995 for YNPN DC members
$1195 for all others

Registration includes class sessions, lunches, books, testing instruments and a personal journal. The series is limited to 25 participants (only one person per organization). Executive directors are not eligible to participate.

Register online today!

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for the 2015 program. To apply for a partial scholarship, submit the following to Taylor Strange at by January 31:

  • Up to 250 word statement indicating how you would leverage your experience as a Project LEAP graduate to advance your organization and the region's nonprofit sector.
  • Indicate whether the balance of the series registration fee would be paid by your organization or yourself personally.
  • Include your name, organization, title, email address, mailing address and telephone number. If you are not currently employed, please indicate your most recent job title and organizational affiliation.

Due to dynamics of the program, refunds will only be provided to individuals who cancel in writing a full 48 hours before the first session begins.