Institute for Nonprofit Practice

The Core Certificate Program equips nonprofit leaders with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to make strategic, mission-driven decisions.

The Institute For Nonprofit Practice (INP) Core Certificate Program in Nonprofit Leadership is through Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, designed for current executive nonprofit leaders and emerging nonprofit leaders. The program is relevant for all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations.  

The Certificate Program has been offered very successfully in Boston for over ten years and been provided on the Cape for the last two years. The Donors Collaborativeas part of their capacity building initiatives, has worked with INP to modify the program to make it accessible to Vineyard nonprofit leaders by holding most of the seminars on the island. The MVNC has also worked with a group of local foundations and donors to subsidize the tuition fees so the program is financially accessible to all Island nonprofits. 

The curriculum combines traditional classroom learning in a monthly, full-day, intensive management seminar format on the Cape, with small group practice seminars that provide students with an opportunity to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills to their work environment through the support and guidance of their peers. Theses practice seminars offer experiential learning and will be held twice a month on Island for a cohort of 9 students, and they are facilitated by a Senior Nonprofit Executive from off-Island who has been trained in INP's curriculum.

This program addresses several issues. 

  The Island has been following national nonprofit trends, with retiring baby boomers creating leadership transitions in many organizations, and with the continued need to strengthen partnerships among nonprofits to increase efficiencies and impact, for the organization, the sector, and the community. 

  Most Vineyard nonprofits don’t have a large enough staff to provide succession from inside, and we are seeing a younger, less experienced generation of leaders emerging who could benefit from the actual and experiential learning this program offers. 

  To reduce the number of Island nonprofits or to improve their efficiency we need more partnering, collaboration, and merging, and these require bonds of trust and honest communication between currently siloed organizations. 

  Students build strong relationships of friendship and trust that last long after graduation with most grads on the Cape and in Boston continuing to network and seek help/advice from their fellow alums.

  Lack of access for Vineyard nonprofits to this type of program has been difficult due to the Island’s isolated location and expense to travel off-Island for class, plus the costs of these programs is typically to high for small nonprofit. 

As for the financial access issue, there other alternatives to INP. There are certificate programs that can be taken online, but they don’t include any experiential learning and the resulting bonding and networking, and they are also as expensive as attending in person. Online Certificate programs rated in the top 10 by The Best Schools, cost between $10,000 and $12,000 and only offer 5 or 6 core courses compared to INP’s 7. Tuition for the INP program is $7,600 but even that can be a budget buster for many Vineyard nonprofits. That is why the MVNC has put together a group of funders to subsidize this program so the tuition is only $3,500 and accessible to more Island nonprofits. Many will be able to get 50% of that tuition back, if their executive passes the course, from the State WorkForce Training Fund 

Classes run October through April and graduation is in May.

The impact

The real impact of this program will be felt over time as more and more Vineyard nonprofit leaders take this course. Better managers will lead to better nonprofits but the growing network of leaders willing to work together and collaborate will deliver an even more significant benefit to the Island. 

2018 Class

Nine employees from different Island nonprofit organizations will have the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills with the intention to apply their new knowledge to benefit the Island. The inaugural class is made up of:

Emily Armstrong, Island Grown Initiative

Kate Desrosiers, Vineyard House

Posie Haeger, Featherstone

Tom Hallahan, Hospice MV

Sam Hart, ACE MV

Amy Houghton, MV Community Services

Sarah McKay, MV Horse Center

Nevette Previd, MV Nonprofit Collaborative, Consultant

CJ Rivard, MV Camp Meeting Association

Made possible with the Support of:

Thank you to our 2018 supporters:

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Cape and Islands United Way

Cape Cod Five 

The Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative

Rotary Club of Martha's Vineyard

The Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard 

The Vineyard Fund for Board Education and Development (a special fund held and administered by the PEF).


Become a Cape and  the Island's INP supporter

INP 2018/19 Class: From left to right: Sam Hart, Amy Houghton, Posie Haeger, Sarah McKay, Emily Armstrong, Kate Desrosiers, Thomas Hallahan, CJ Rivard, (Nevette Previd is absent)




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P.O. Box 1018 West Tisbury, MA 02575  
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