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Inclusive Leadership Program

We believe when women from nondominant communities are properly invested in and supported, they will become more confident in their professional leadership, more effectively navigate power and privilege issues, increase their capability of bringing people into their cause, and adeptly utilize collaborative networks to raise funds and cross-pollinate the issues their organizations' address.​


It's Never Too Late To Supercharge Your Leadership Skills.
Join a cohort in 2024.


Who can participate?

Each cohort consists of five to eight BIPOC women (including nonbinary and gender-nonconforming women) who have worked in nonprofits for 5+ years and who have 1+ years of experience in their job role.

What are the cohorts?

Cohorts include:

Program Directors

Development Officers

Board Leaders

Executive Directors


Applicants are matched based on their job responsibilities. The curriculum focuses on the specific needs of each of these roles as well as nonprofit management tools to help participants grow into future leadership roles.

What is the cost?

The program fee is $3,600 a year which can be paid in full or in monthly installments. Talem subsidizes 50% of the cost for organizations with budgets under $100,000 (program fee: $1,800).

We encourage participants to work with their organizations to cover the cost as part of your professional development.

If you have a financial hardship please email us.

What is the program?

Participants are expected to participate in:

  • Once-monthly, three-hour work/education sessions

  • One-on-one support sessions

  • Private discussion space to share questions and receive support

What will I learn?

The curriculum includes skill-based learning while also focusing on long-term transformation to support women in leadership roles and processes.  

Our goals are to ensure women:

  • Feel empowered/supported to take on leadership roles

  • Are supported in their roles leading to an increase in retention

  • Have access to fundraising networks to support their initiatives

  • Can effectively collaborate and partner around issues important to their communities

  • Can address barriers to accessibility of leadership roles through collective power- and awareness-raising

  • Create a positive, visible model of powerful BIPOC women in leadership to encourage future leaders


Rachel Branaman and Saadia Ahmed, nonprofit consultant leaders
Rachel Branaman + Saadia Ahmed

Curriculum Topics

  1. Building a Culture of Public Trust through Confidentiality and Transparency: Understanding how confidentiality, transparency, mandated reporting, and public trust play into your organization's work.

  2. Your Personal Leadership Journey: Reflecting on each person's skillsets and natural work/learning preferences in order to support team development, effectively use employees, build strategic partnerships, and engage with your community.

  3. The Value of Maintaining a Diverse and Inclusive Board of Directors: Sharing the key roles and responsibilities of the governing board, relationships between the board and executive director, and understanding the power differentials at play in this space.

  4. The Power of Community: Ensuring nonprofits are effective, impactful, and working in collaboration with the communities they serve including partnership building and fundraising.

  5. Creating a Healthy Work Environment: Promoting an environment that attracts, cultivates, and retains the people that move your mission forward from paid staff to volunteers, including essential legal aspects of human resources.

  6. Harnessing the Power of Intersectional Identities: Building an organizational culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, belonging, and justice.

  7. Management Skills: Examining topics that are key to a successful organization such as understanding your organization's financials, building effective program metrics and evaluation, developing and executing culturally responsive fundraising strategies, incorporating community organizing and advocacy into the organization, and implementing strategic marketing and communications.

  8. Culturally Responsive Fundraising Techniques: Understanding cultural norms to successfully fundraise in communities of color, strategies for donor materials, monetary asks, and reaching new communities.

  9. Strategies for Self Care: Focusing on finding a work/life balance, setting boundaries, advocating for yourself and others, prioritizing spiritual/mental/physical/emotional health and growth, time management, and conflict resolution.

  10. Practical Wisdom for Leadership: Overcoming discrimination, microaggressions, and other barriers in organizations and communities that prevent you from thriving.

  11. Approaches to Leadership: As traditional, top-down management approaches are not always effective, this will look at culturally different management approaches (co-CEO, horizontal, intercultural/comparative, etc.).

  12. Strategic Planning for the Future: Examining proven strategic tools to assist in assessing and navigating your organization's course by looking at the theory of change, systems change to address systemic barriers, and methods to implement systemic change.

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