Darden School of Business

First-Ever Scholarships for Nonprofit Leaders Announced by Darden’s Executive Leadership Program

Nonprofit leaders in Virginia face many of the same management and leadership challenges as their for-profit counterparts. That’s the premise behind the “Commonwealth Fellowships,” two just-announced scholarships that will be awarded this year to managers within the commonwealth’s not-for-profit arena to attend The Executive Program (TEP) at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

The fellowships will cover the full cost of tuition (approximately $40,000 value) for the 2023-2024 TEP class cohort that begins this fall. The six-month program consists of two in-person modules – one two-week session in the fall on the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville and a second in the spring on the School’s Grounds in the Washington, D.C. area, UVA Darden DC Metro. In a virtual intersession, participants receive coaching and support on their business challenge project.

“Darden is deeply committed to serving the commonwealth, and these fellowships will help strengthen the organizational impact of two deserving nonprofit leaders from Virginia each year,” said Ashley Williams, CEO and CLO, Executive Education & Lifelong Learning at Darden.

Applications from Virginia nonprofit leaders for the two “Commonwealth Fellowships” will be accepted online until May 16, 2023. A committee will select the two winners, who will be announced on June 6.

Darden’s TEP was cited by FORTUNE magazine as one of “10 executive leadership programs that should be on every business leader’s radar.” Participants will gain an enterprise perspective, a strategic vision for their organization and improve their mental and physical health with expert guidance. An immersive experience, TEP is led by Darden faculty and focuses on the whole leader.

That was certainly the experience of Kathy Rogers, Executive Director of the Penn-Mar Foundation, who was part of TEP’s 2021-2022 class.

“I think what you learn in these classes is just as applicable to nonprofit management as it is to for-profit management,” she said. “We still have to be fiscally responsible. We have to be strategic. We have to know how to lead – all of that.”

In addition to singing the praises of the Darden faculty, Rogers also credits her classmates – particularly the six other women in her cohort – in helping enhance the experience, even after graduation.

“We call ourselves the “magnificent seven,” and we’ve developed a friendship, a comradery,” she says. “We find ourselves talking about different opportunities and challenges that we each have within our organizations, and it has become a very safe place to help each other solve those situations at work. So, we have almost a little work group where we leadership coach one another.”

At the date of publication, this organization is a client of The Hodges Partnership.

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