The Chief Executive Leaders Ascend Program (CELAP), backed by JP Morgan Chase and administered by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, has been instrumental in bolstering eight Black women-led nonprofits in southeast Washington, DC. Each organization received a $25,000 grant, which allowed participants to address immediate financial needs while supporting vendors, fostering community economic circulation. Additionally, funding facilitated vital capacity-building efforts like wellness sessions and program strengthening.

As we celebrate the achievements of the inaugural CELAP cohort, the final evaluation report serves as a testament to the transformative power of supporting Black women leaders.  Moving forward, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement remains committed to advancing equity and fostering inclusive leadership in the nonprofit sector, ensuring that all voices are heard and amplified to create lasting change in their communities.

To view the CELAP Evaluation Report, click here.

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The Center for Nonprofit Advancement proudly celebrates Black History Month, 2024. We honor the diverse spectrum of African American heritage and emphasize the critical imperative to safeguard and uphold the legacies of both contemporary and historical figures who exemplify black excellence.

While we rightfully commemorate the iconic leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, it’s equally important to recognize the unsung heroes and heroines whose stories often go untold. Bayard Rustin, a pivotal architect of the civil rights movement whose role in organizing the historic March on Washington deserves a prominent place in our collective memory. Fannie Lou Hamer, a fearless activist who valiantly fought for voting rights in the face of overwhelming adversity, exemplifies the courage and resilience from which we can draw inspiration.

As we honor the past, we also direct our gaze towards the present and future, highlighting individuals who are actively empowering the Black community today. Figures such as Ava DuVernay, a visionary filmmaker using her platform to challenge societal norms and amplify underrepresented voices; Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, an acclaimed author and scholar whose work on antiracism inspires critical dialogue and action; and Tarana Burke, the founder of the Me Too movement, whose tireless efforts have empowered survivors and transformed cultural narratives. These contemporary figures, among many others, exemplify the resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to progress that define the ongoing legacy of Black excellence.

As Black History Month comes to a close, the Center reaffirms its commitment to initiatives that reflect the values of black liberation and shine a light on those whose work empowers the black community. The inaugural Chief Executive Leaders Ascend Program (CELAP), sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, is a comprehensive initiative designed to empower and support Black women nonprofit leaders in District of Columbia Wards 7 & 8. The program is dedicated to grantmaking, enhancing individual and organizational capabilities, and promoting overall wellness. Additionally, the Annual Change Makers panel discussion serves as a platform to honor the accomplishments of women in color in the nonprofit sector, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and stories. 

As we bid farewell to this year’s Black History Month celebrations, let us carry forward the spirit of resilience, innovation, and progress exemplified by the countless individuals, both past and present, who have shaped and continue to shape the legacy of Black excellence. Together, let us continue the journey towards a future where every voice is heard, every story is valued, and every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

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Tis the season for indulging in all things cheesy
—whether it’s fondue, cheese platters, or delightfully cheesy holiday movies. Embracing this cheesiness plays a pivotal role in rejuvenating our holiday spirits – it’s an ingrained part of our festive experience, reminding us of the joy and warmth inherent in celebrations. And, every year, like clockwork, the Hallmark channel unveils its lineup of holiday movies, each weaving a narrative that beckons us to feel the enchantment of connection. While the mention of a “Hallmark movie” triggers varied reactions—from cringing to a heartfelt swell— it’s time to reconsider the essence of these classic holiday films. Without further ado, let’s uncover what these quintessential holiday films can teach us about embracing celebrations.

  • Embracing Emotional Intensity: Hallmark movies excel in portraying emotional intensity and familial or romantic drama. They offer a window into embracing the full spectrum of human emotions, showcasing how characters navigate highs and lows in relationships and life events. These films encourage us to acknowledge our own emotional journeys, appreciating that expressing our feelings adds depth and authenticity to our experiences, particularly in celebrating our achievements.
  • Confronting Challenges for Joyful Triumphs: A hallmark of these movies is the characters facing and overcoming challenges during the holiday season. This narrative arc teaches us the value of acknowledging and addressing difficulties in our own lives. It underlines the idea that the triumph over obstacles not only builds resilience but also intensifies the joy of festive occasions. By recognizing and conquering our struggles, we pave the way for a more genuine and fulfilling celebration of the season’s spirit.
  • Diverse Expressions of Celebration: Hallmark movies portray diverse forms of celebration, from grand communal gatherings to intimate moments shared between individuals. They emphasize that there’s no singular ‘right’ way to celebrate, encouraging viewers to appreciate and respect the unique ways people find joy during the holidays. This insight invites us to let go of comparisons and societal expectations, granting ourselves permission to celebrate in ways that truly resonate with our identities and desires.

In the spirit of honoring achievements and celebrating success, we’d like to invite our esteemed members to reflect on their organization’s proudest moments through our Holiday-themed Mad-Lib

Kindly complete the Mad-Lib, send it over to, and stay tuned for the upcoming post where we showcase these outstanding achievements.

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The Center for Nonprofit Advancement recognizes and commemorates the enduring legacy and contributions of Native Americans, especially in the ever-evolving landscape of 2023. Their historical struggles for sovereignty echo the resounding calls for recognition, justice, and equality reverberating through today’s movements.

As we strive to further define and strengthen our quest for justice, figures like Wilma Mankiller and Elouise Cobell stand out as guiding beacons. Mankiller’s pioneering leadership, notably as the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Cobell’s unwavering pursuit of justice in the Indian Trust Fund lawsuit, serve as profound examples of resilience and advocacy. Their stories serve as poignant reminders, emphasizing the pressing necessity to rectify historical injustices and steadfastly defend Indigenous rights in our contemporary era.

In navigating the complex landscape of our current challenges, the significance of actionable initiatives becomes increasingly pronounced. At the forefront lies the imperative to amplify voices and narratives advocating for inclusive education, underpinned by the genuine integration of Native American perspectives. This demands not mere representation but an authentic and comprehensive inclusion within educational frameworks, weaving Indigenous knowledge, history, and experiences into curricula.

Beyond this critical educational overhaul, fostering substantive and far-reaching dialogues continues to be a vital ingredient for progress. Emphasizing the profound significance of honoring treaty obligations stands as a foundational cornerstone, acknowledging the solemn commitments made and their enduring relevance today. Equally pivotal is the preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage, not as relics of the past but as living, vibrant facets of contemporary society. These dialogues are not merely acknowledgments of history; they are calls to action, driving forward a collective responsibility to safeguard cultures, traditions, and rights that remain under threat.

The Center proudly acknowledges the unwavering dedication of contemporary activists striving for equitable change within Native American communities. Figures such as Crystal Echo Hawk, whose advocacy for Native representation in media amplifies unheard voices; Nick Tilsen, spearheading the NDN Collective’s efforts in advancing Indigenous rights and championing climate justice; and Sarah Eagle Heart, a transformative force in philanthropy and community development, epitomize the relentless pursuit of meaningful progress. As we navigate the road ahead, these individuals and their endeavors stand as beacons of hope and catalysts for lasting change. Their efforts inspire us to continue seeking innovative ways to forge a more inclusive and just future for Native American communities.

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The Bowen Center for the Study of The Family was cited in an article from Psychology Today discussing the psychological concept of “cutoff” in family relationships and its potential impact.

An article from New Jersey Monitor discussing the impact of limited medical exceptions to abortion bans, particularly on mental health, quoted Isha Weerasinghe, a senior mental health policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

The Center for Nonprofit Advancement is hosting a class this Wednesday, November 1 – Getting productive: Intro to Risk and Change ManagementRegister now.

Don’t miss the chance to register for the Best Practices in Employment Law course, brought to you by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono CenterCenter for Nonprofit Advancement, and Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF).

The Washingtonian shared that tickets are now on sale for DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight, featuring a top chef cook-off at The Anthem on November 9.

Kelsye Adams, organizing director of DC Vote, was featured in a piece from the Washingtonian highlighting “Go-Go Alumni.”

Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), shared a quote about the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designating 483 community census tracts as Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ) to address the disproportionate impact of natural disasters on vulnerable communities. Read the full press release at US Politics Today – EIN News.

The First Lady Jill Biden spoke at the PFLAG National Convention, expressing support for the LGBTQ+ community and condemning book bans in the US. Learn more at PinkNews.

Reverend Larry Golemon, executive director of the Washington Theological Consortium, was recognized for his participation in the Friendship Dinner organized by the Turkish Cultural Center Pittsburgh. Learn more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Elizabeth Lower-Basch, deputy executive director for policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy, was quoted in an article from Inside Higher Ed discussing a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service that could result in colleges and universities in eight states losing between $970 million and $1.3 billion in scholarship funding.

Kate Akalonu, director of strategic initiatives at Everyone Home DC, was quoted in an article from Hill Rag discussing various ways individuals can contribute during the holiday season, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community.

The McLean Project for the Arts will debut the “MPA Inspires” art and jazz celebration on November 18-19. Learn more at FFXnow.

Leaders from the National Council of NonProfits are scheduled to participate in speaking engagements at the upcoming 2023 Upswell Summit, set to take place from November 15-17. Learn more at Dallas Innovates.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, was quoted in an article from NHPR discussing how despite earmarking millions for gambling treatment in Massachusetts, there is a notable lack of access to services, creating concerns among advocates.

Melissa Reinberg, founder and executive director of Negotiation Works, provided insights on conflict resolution in an interview with WUSA9.

The BayNet published a piece about the the annual Impaired Driving Law Enforcement Awards, a collaborative initiative by the Highway Safety Office of the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which took place on Saturday, November 4.

NBC4 Washington reported that the The White House Historical Association is planning to open a tech-driven educational center with an Oval Office replica in 2024.

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The Center for Nonprofit Advancement proudly embraces Hispanic Heritage Month in 2023, the vivid spectrum of Hispanic culture and its invaluable contributions to American society. With the theme “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America,” we are committed to highlighting the rich history and achievements of Hispanic leaders, underscoring their role in cultivating a more empowered society.

In commemorating this month, we draw profound inspiration from the remarkable legacies of trailblazers such as Ellen Ochoa and Cesar Chavez. Ochoa’s groundbreaking journey as the first Hispanic woman to venture into space stands as a testament to the heights of human achievement, serving as a perpetual beacon of inspiration for generations to come. Likewise, Chavez’s unwavering dedication to the advocacy of farm workers’ rights has etched an enduring imprint on the fabric of our nation’s history, resonating with communities far and wide, and serving as a potent reminder of the power of grassroots activism in fostering lasting social change.

A multitude of events and celebrations took place throughout this month, giving folks around the DC area an opportunity to engage with and honor the diverse heritage of Hispanic communities. The AFI Latin American Film Festival showcased Latin America cinema while  the Latino Book Festival at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library provided a platform for Latino stories. Additionally, educational and entertaining programs at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress shed light on the history and cultural significance of Hispanic Americans. These events collectively highlight the significance of Hispanic heritage and its profound impact on the cultural fabric of the nation.

As Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, it is imperative to acknowledge the importance of embracing diversity and taking the time to learn about Hispanic culture beyond a surface level. It is essential for fostering a more inclusive and connected society. Let us not only acknowledge the vibrant legacies and stories of Hispanic Americans but also commit to creating a space where every voice is heard, every culture is celebrated, and every individual is seen and respected.

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Has your organization ever had too many great opportunities they just couldn’t say no to?

Getting overwhelmed by a wave of events and programs happens to the best of us. And it’s happening right now to the Center. But you couldn’t tell, right? We seem so composed, right? Any assurance is welcomed, please feel free to DM us on Instagram (@centernonprof)!

We’d like to use this post as an opportunity to share a condensed list of our top three FREE events you don’t want to miss…

1. Nonprofit Capacity Building Townhall: Join us for a full day of content focused on creating effective, efficient, and sustainable organizations.
Date & Time: Tuesday, September 26, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Location: The ARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue Southeast Washington, DC 20020

2. Art All Night: The Parks Main Street (TPMS) is excited to bring to the communities of Riggs Park and Manor Park “Art All Night”, a live end of summer celebration.
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 5:00 – 10:00pm
Location: Riggs Park and Manor Park

3. Changemakers Panel: Our 5th discussion is set! Hear from our region’s top leaders of color sharing their expertise, journeys, strategies, and vision. Join us as we discuss innovative tips and strategies that reflect lessons learned from our recently released comprehensive report assessing the resilience of DC area nonprofits amidst the challenges of the 2020s.
Date and Time: Tuesday, October 3, 9:30 – 11:00am
Location: Virtual Platform, link provided at registration

*Although these events are free to attend, registration is required*

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Pink Barbie Movie Blog Title

Timing can be serendipitous. In the midst of Summer 2023’s nonprofit sector challenges, finding solace can be tough, leaving little room to savor a vacation break (if one was taken at all). Enter the Barbie movie, a surprising balm for these times. Beyond being a mere excuse to relish the cool, popcorn-scented air of cinemas, this film acts as a guide for nonprofit professionals to reclaim their peace. Intriguing, isn’t it, to think that a children’s doll movie might serve as a prompt to embrace life’s warmth and leisure? With that intriguing thought, let’s delve into how Barbie’s world provides insights into the path toward a self-acceptance that allows for and empowers our moments of rest.

  • Navigating the Ambiguity of our Roles with Resilience: Amid the Barbie and Ken universe, each character holds a role, distinct yet ever-changing, just like our own in the nonprofit arena. From President to the more whimsical “Beach,” roles span the spectrum. Yet, Barbie, despite her remarkable qualities and valiant actions, grapples with a less defined role. Through her journey, we witness her acceptance of the unknown. This resonates with nonprofit professionals grappling with broad goals but unsure paths. Barbie teaches us to face ambiguity with courage and self-compassion, unveiling hidden strengths in the process.
  • Balancing Self-Care and the Pursuit of Lasting Legacies: Hidden within Barbie’s layers is the profound truth of human transience. Amid the fervor of creating everlasting legacies, we tend to overlook our own impermanence. The nonprofit world’s all-consuming nature often leads us astray, dedicating ourselves tirelessly to our missions while neglecting our personal well-being. In acknowledging the fleeting nature of life, the film nudges us to pause, stretch and relish each moment. These simple acts become integral, a gentle reminder that nurturing ourselves complements our noble missions.
  • Embracing Imperfections and Learning: Barbie’s reflective journey addresses her role in shaping harmful body images among young girls in spite of her intended feminist-idol role. A mirror to the nonprofit sector, her realization resonates. Amidst our well-intentioned endeavors, mistakes are inevitable. Acceptance and learning from them propel us forward. Barbie’s example demonstrates the importance of facing missteps with grace, encouraging renewal and growth. Embracing our imperfections with dignity fosters respite, recharging us for future challenges.
  • Discovering Intrinsic Worth: Ken’s journey of self-acceptance can resonate deeply with nonprofit professionals. As he learns that self-worth transcends external validation, we too must acknowledge our intrinsic value. Nonprofit professionals can possess please-pleasing tendencies, and when we learn to shed the weight of others’ perceptions, we can empower ourselves with a sense of worthiness and show up with authenticity. Applied to the nonprofit landscape, this notion bolsters confidence, allowing us to face challenges secure in the knowledge of our inherent worth.

Unexpectedly, the Barbie movie illuminates many invaluable lessons for the nonprofit world. In the midst of uncertainty and challenges, embracing ambiguity, practicing self-care, learning from missteps, and acknowledging our worth can revolutionize our approach. Just as Barbie’s narrative encourages us to slow down, enjoy our vacation time and relish the warmth of life, nonprofit professionals can integrate these lessons into their journey, fostering resilience and grace for the expected and unexpected adversity we will inevitably face.

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