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Our Impact: Nonprofit Leadership Development

In 2020, The Cape Cod Foundation joined The Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership, a new statewide coalition of community foundations designed to help stabilize, strengthen, and advance the social sector in communities across the Commonwealth. The partnership, formed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is made up of 14 community foundation across Massachusetts. It goals are to strengthen the Massachusetts nonprofit sector to achieve greater impact, work collectively to lead on common challenges facing our communities, and improve the effectiveness of community foundations and their collective missions.

“While the geographic boundaries of these community foundations are distinct, the work we are all doing is complementary,” said Kristin O’Malley, President and CEO of The Cape Cod Foundation, “Through strategic planning and collaboration, we can leverage resources and maximize impact in the nonprofit sector across Cape Cod and the Commonwealth.”

As part of its early work, the partnership has co-funded a virtual series of technical assistance and capacity-building programs for nonprofit staff and board leaders. In addition to training, nonprofit participants will have the opportunity to network with peers, troubleshoot common issues, and exchange best practices. PRESS RELEASE


In 2015, The Cape Cod Foundation helped form its first-ever funder collaborative to bring an award-winning leadership development program from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice to the Cape and Islands.  More than 70 local nonprofit leaders will have completed the program by the start of its fifth year in our region in September 2020. To date, the Foundation has invested more than $400,000 in pooled resources to offset tuition costs. In addition, because of our local funder collaborative and the Tomorrow Fund, an INP initiative, tuition for all students, including the Cape and Islands cohort, will be free for the 2020-2021 session.

Our nonprofit leaders take on our community’s biggest challenges and work for the greater good. While they are highly skilled, they often lack the resources to develop those skills and the framework to assemble a powerful network of support.  In 2015, the Foundation helped form its first-ever funder collaborative to bring an award-winning leadership development program from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice to the Cape and Islands.

Seventeen area funders, who believe in strengthening the nonprofit sector through education, have continued to underwrite the tution costs.  They are: Arts Foundation of Cape Cod; Bilezikian Family Foundation; Cape and Islands United Way; Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation; The Cape Cod Foundation; Cape Cod Healthcare Community Benefits; The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod; Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation; Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative; Gerald Jones; Lynne Kenny; MVY Radio; Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard; Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard; The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation; The Vineyard Fund for Board Development and Education; and Don Wilks.

There is nothing comparable to this program on Cape Cod or the Islands. There may not be anything comparable to it in the country. Its President and CEO, Yolanda Coentro, has been selected as a Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum and featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of 15 People Changing the Nonprofit World.  INP’s intensive program focuses on individual development, group problem-solving, and building a local peer network that will continue to support and strengthen the leaders long after the program ends.

By September 2020, more than 75 local nonprofit leaders will have completed the program, which will then enter its fifth year.  Upon graduation, participants receive a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. They also take away:

  • A concise and compelling ‘story’ about the organization – its mission, vision and strategy, strengths, challenges, impact, and future
  • The skills to more effectively manage the financial and human resources of the organization
  • A stronger and distinctive voice to confidently lead the organization


The Cape and Islands Partnership for Nonprofit Advancement is a regional collaborative.  Its goal is to effectively coordinate and expand training and educational opportunities for nonprofit professionals on Cape Cod and the Islands.

In 2015, The Partnership surveyed a large cross-section of the nonprofit community and received 405 responses from nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers across the Cape and Islands. The data revealed four top training needs for organizations of all sizes: Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, Executive/Leadership Training, and Organizational Strategy. SUMMARY OF THE SURVEY DATA  

The Partnership’s ongoing initiatives include:

  • Coordinating a centralized regional calendar to share training and educational opportunities with the nonprofit community.
  • Establishing collaborative programming and co-sponsoring events and workshops

Members of the Partnership Include:
The Cape Cod Foundation (facilitator), Amplify POC Cape Cod, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, Bilezikian Family Foundation, Cape and Islands United Way, Cape Cod Community College Center for Corporate and Professional Education, Cape Cod 5 Foundation, Inc., Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, Cape Cod Technology Council, Cape Cod Young Professionals, Community Foundation for Nantucket, Gestalt International Study Center, Kelley Foundation, Leadership Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, Martha’s Vineyard Nonprofit Collaborative, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Philanthropy Massachusetts, Philanthropy Partners of the Cape and Islands, SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands, The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, and The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.

Create your own fund. Donate to an existing fund. Support the Foundation’s Civic Leadership Initiatives.

Together, we have invested more than $90 million in grants and scholarships in the Cape Cod Community. For good.

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Cape Cod Foundation
261 Whites Path, Unit 2
South Yarmouth, MA 02664

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