Strengthening Nonprofit Leaders

Dec 19, 2023

Pictured above: Participants gathered at Muse Paintbar in Milford for a Leaders of Color UNITE networking event, hosted by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence and sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Leaders of color are often uniquely qualified to help nonprofits thrive and fulfill their missions.

When serving predominantly Black and Latino communities, leaders of color can bring the value of shared lived experiences and local credibility to their roles. But too often, they do not have the same access to professional development tools and resources as their white counterparts.

To close this gap, the Community Foundation launched the Leaders of Color Capacity Building Program, which provides training and networking opportunities to help diverse leaders strengthen the nonprofits that are working to advance equity in our community.

The effort is part of the Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which has a history of partnering with equity-focused nonprofits to create peer networks, training programs, and other targeted resources for nonprofit leaders.

UNITE networking events offer connection, support, and celebration.

“We realigned our work to advance our strategic goals, and a big part of that is better supporting our colleagues of color,” said Rebecca Cordero, Manager for the Center of Nonprofit Excellence. “Our new strategic plan solidifies our commitment to fund this work and move forward with it more boldly.”

Program participants can engage with other Fairfield County leaders of color and take part in capacity-building workshops including Leading for Change (in partnership with Five Frogs, Inc.), Abundance Leadership (with Organizational Performance Group), Thoughtful Communication (with Winston Strategic Partners, LLC), and one-on-one coaching through Resilia. Through these programs, they can expand their self-knowledge, hone skills, and build confidence.

Wells Fargo, the program’s lead funder, has played a vital role in supporting the professional development workshops.

“We believe it’s essential to provide the resources, support, and guidance to empower leaders of color to reach their full potential and recognize and leverage the unique skills and experience they can offer.”

VP & Senior Social Impact Specialist, Wells Fargo

“This initiative also offers valuable networking opportunities to interact with peers facing similar challenges while also celebrating successes.”

Learn more: