Nonprofit Executive Institute

The Nonprofit Executive Institute (NEI) is an eleven-month leadership program designed to offer nonprofit leaders skills and strategies to enhance organizational sustainability and transform the communities they serve. This program focuses on capacity building seminars which develop:         

  • Organizational Leadership        
  • Prosperous Leadership         
  • Strategic Leadership              
  • Public Leadership
  • Program Leadership

The Nonprofit Executive Institute is intended for people in nonprofit leadership positions who want to expand their professional network and gain tactical skills. 

“Participating in NEI provided solid on the job training while giving me time to build relationships with and learn from other nonprofit leaders.”

     Michelle Zych
     The Sherwood Foundation

Applications open on/around July 5 of each year and remain open for 4 weeks.
Are you thinking about applying for NEI?
Review 2024 Class Application 

Note we receive a large number of applications, and for this reason we cannot guarantee staff will be available for questions or technical assistance close to the application due date.  We encourage you to consider submitting an application well in advance of the due date. If there are questions or technical issues this provides ample time to navigate them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who is the ideal candidate for NEI?

A. NEI is intended for nonprofit professionals who hold leadership positions and who wish to expand their network and enhance their tactical skills. The ideal NEI candidate has a demonstrated history of nonprofit leadership. 

Q. When are the NEI sessions held?

Review the application questions & other information to find the class dates. NEI sessions are 8:30am - 5pm. Optional networking lunches are held in between sessions.

Q. I applied to NEI in the past but I was not accepted. Should I apply again?

A. Yes, please do. There are many 'moving parts' to class selection and many different factors considered when determining the make up of each year's class. Due to our limited class size, many qualified people are not accepted. If you are interested in NEI and able to make the commitment to attend each session, you should apply regardless of past application status. 

Q. Where are the NEI sessions held?

A. All sessions are held at the NAM Training Room, located at 1111 N. 13th Street in Omaha, NE. While we hope organizational support for travel will be available for participants, a limited travel stipend will be available for participants traveling from outside of the Omaha area. Contact NAM for more information. 

Q. I am not a nonprofit executive [yet]. Should I apply?

A. If you currently or previously have held leadership positions and aspire to lead a nonprofit organization, you should apply. NEI is not appropriate for nonprofit professionals who hold or have held primarily entry-level positions. 

Q. I am new to the nonprofit sector but have held leadership positions in the corporate sector. Will NEI benefit me?

A. Yes. While there are similarities in the skills needed to lead in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, nonprofits are unique in many ways. NEI will help you become familiar with what you need to know to run a nonprofit and expand your network of nonprofit peers. 

Q. Just how competitive is the selection process?

A. Quite. Class size is limited and we receive many more applications than we have spots available. Each year we receive more applications than the year prior. We strongly encourage you to bring your A Game when filling out your application. Answer the application questions thoughtfully and carefully and make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated before sending it. 

Q. What if I need help with my application? 

If you experience technical difficulties or don't understand a question, reach out to NAM. Note we receive a large number of applications, and for this reason we cannot guarantee staff will be available for questions or technical assistance close to the application due date.  We encourage you to consider submitting an application well in advance of the due date, so that if there are questions or technical issues it provides ample time to navigate them.

Q. I want to apply but I'm not sure I can attend every session. Is attendance mandatory?

A. Yes. We take attendance seriously. Participants are expected to attend every regular NEI session. The strength of the cohort and the quality of the learning experience depends on your presence. Participants may miss one full session. Arriving late or leaving early counts as a missed half session. Participants missing more than one full session will be removed from the current class and invited to apply for next year's class. Refunds will not be given.

Besides, we miss you when you're gone. 

Q. Who selects the NEI Class?

A. The class is selected by the nonprofit rock stars that make up the NEI Leadership Team. This team consists of volunteers from across the nonprofit sector who are NEI alumni. The current NEI Leadership Team is:

    • Kim Armstrong, Mutual of Omaha Foundation
    • Liz Codina, Peter Kiewit Foundation
    • Andi Curry Grubb, Planned Parenthood North Central States
    • Sarena Dacus, ICS
    • Anne Hindery, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands
    • Ralph Kellogg, Lutheran Family Services
    • Lynne Lange, Mission Matters
    • Tahnee Markussen, Lozier Foundation
    • Melissa Mayo, Mentor Nebraska
    • Cliff McEvoy, The Collective for Hope
    • Beth Morrissette, Parlay Consulting Firm
    • Carole Patrick, VNA
    • Tegan Reed, Nebraska Diaper Bank
    • Keele Taylor, HR Minded Consulting Services
    • Susan Whitfield, No More Empty Pots

Q. What is tuition for NEI? Are there scholarships available?

A. Tuition for NEI is $1100 for NAM members and $2200 for not-yet members. Full payment is expected by the first session unless special arrangements have been made. Contact NAM to make payment arrangements if needed. 

Q. I'm ready to apply! What do I do?

A. Review the application questions and carefully prepare your answers. We suggest you prepare your answers in a separate document then paste them into the online portal. Then, when you're ready, submit your application. After you've submitted the online application, make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. Once all that is done, make yourself a snack. You deserve it. I suggest nachos

Q. I have more questions. Who can I ask?

A. Email NAM and we'll connect you to the best staff member