This is a challenging time for leaders…

Right now, with the multiple crises of Covid-19, racial injustice, and shrinking economy and employment impacting communities, leaders find themselves trying to understand and address challenging situations, uncertain outlooks, and difficult decisions.

CRE’s Leadership Caucus is a renowned and well-respected leadership development program started in 2005. Since its inception, we’ve trained hundreds of nonprofit leaders throughout New York City. Given the current challenges facing our communities and organizations, we’ve redesigned and refocused this year’s Leadership Caucus to help leaders during these difficult times.

Over the course of seven months, you will participate in a series of virtual sessions with a cohort of similarly situated nonprofit leaders to enhance the awareness of your leadership style and identity, strengthen your overall leadership capabilities, and provide perspectives and insights on the challenges facing our communities and organizations.


Main Components

The Leadership Caucus is designed around three core components:

1. Issue Discussions are experiential, workshop-style sessions with the full group of Leadership Caucus participants. These sessions will introduce concepts, skills, and tools to help participants understand, discuss, and address critical issues. There are eight (8) Issue Discussions scheduled over six (6) sessions.


2. Action Learning is focused on peer-sharing and peer-learning in smaller, assigned teams of 5-7 participants. These sessions will help you learn to coach and support one another on the challenges you identify as priorities, and to get practical advice and suggestions from colleagues about those priorities. There will be four (4) Action Learning sessions with your small team.


3. 360° Feedback and Individual Coaching will help you gain a 360 degree perspective on your leadership using feedback, and explore key insights and learning opportunities. With your assigned coach, you will have the individualized space to reflect on the knowledge, practice, and support you need to move your organization forward and to thrive as a leader.


Given the pandemic and the need to stay safe, all sessions will be virtual via video conferencing. We will require that participants have their video cameras on for all of the Leadership Caucus sessions so that we can build strong connections with each other and engage in meaningful discussions.

Schedule of sessions




December 3, 2020

9am – 12pm


December 17

9am – 3pm

Issue Discussion 1 (The Impactful Leader)

Issue Discussion 2 (Framing our Thinking & Perspectives)

January 14, 2021

9am – 12pm

Issue Discussion 3 (Managing Organizational Culture)

January 28

9am – 12pm

Action Learning #1

February 11

9am – 12pm

Issue Discussion 4 (Understanding DEIA)

March 11

9am – 12pm

Action Learning #2

March 25

9am – 12pm

Issue Discussion 5 (Understanding Our Financial Story)

April 8

9am – 3pm

Issue Discussion 6 (Risk Management)

Issue Discussion 7 (Innovation)

April 22

9am – 12pm

Action Learning #3

May 13

9am – 12pm

Issue Discussion 8 (Collaborating for Success)

May 27

9am – 12pm

Action Learning #4

June 10

9am – 12pm



Who Should Apply: 

The Leadership Caucus is designed for early-career executive directors and qualified senior leaders. If you are a new (or relatively new) executive director who is eager to explore and strengthen your leadership, especially during these difficult times, then this program is for you.  Or if you are a senior staff member with at least three years of experience in a senior management role (and perhaps a next step for you is an executive leadership role), then this program is for you.

It is expected that accepted participants will attend the majority of the sessions (and not miss more than two of the scheduled sessions).

How much does it cost?

The price per participant is $7,000. We recognize that the cost may be a barrier. Because of the challenging times we are currently in, all applicants will receive an automatic $500 discount, bringing the cost per participant down to $6,500.

We are working to secure support from different funders and hope to offer additional scholarships to accepted participants.

How to apply?

New application submission dates will be made available in February 2021

The total number of available spaces for the Leadership Caucus are limited. Our goal is to pull together an engaged, inquisitive, and supportive cohort of peers who will not only benefit from the sessions, but who will also contribute to the sharing and learning of all.  Your commitment to not miss more than two (2) sessions will factor into our cohort decisions.


Leadership Caucus FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Where will sessions be held?

Given the Covid-19 pandemic, all Leadership Caucus sessions will be held virtually to keep everyone safe. As such, participants will need access to a computer with Internet access and video/camera capabilities. We expect participants to keep their video cameras on during the sessions so that we can all see each other and build a deliberate learning community.

The Leadership Caucus will utilize the Zoom platform for all Leadership Caucus sessions. A free, basic Zoom account is all that is needed (you do not need to have a paid Zoom account to participate).


Will I receive certification for this training and when?

You will receive a certificate at the end of the entire course indicating the topic discussions and the number of hours you have completed.


What is 360 Feedback?

We work with a company to administer feedback surveys to your colleagues (i.e. your supervisor, peers, and direct reports) so that you can gain a 360 degree view of how they see you exhibiting leadership behaviors. We don’t show up the same way to everyone and this 360 feedback tool helps us form deep insights about our leadership.


Do I need to attend every session? 

The short answer is Yes.  It will be a richer experience if you attend every session.  In addition, if you receive scholarship support, your funder has invested time and energy into your participation and expects you to be at every session. Since a primary goal is to increase your personal knowledge and skills, participation is non-transferable.  

Each participant is permitted a maximum of two absences in order to meet the requirements for completion of this program.

Please be mindful that this is a selective program and that your acceptance of a seat in this cohort means someone else may not have a chance to participate.


If I can’t attend a session, can I send another staff person in my place?

Since a primary goal is to increase your personal knowledge and skills, participation is non-transferable.


My organization can’t pay the entire amount for me to participate. Should I still apply?

If you are interested in participating in the Leadership Caucus, please complete an application. We will do our best to help find resources to help all participants who need financial support.  However, we can’t guarantee scholarships for everyone and sadly there’s a possibility that there may not be enough financial support for everyone who needs it.  But it is important that you submit an application to get the whole process started. Try not to let the financial concerns stop you from applying.


How do you determine if I am eligible for a scholarship?

In your application, if you answer that you may need a scholarship, we will try to match you with a funder offering a scholarship. First, we will ask you if you receive funding for a DYCD program you run. We will also ask for a list of your private foundation funders to see if any of those align with the funders we have or know. And we may ask you to reach out to some specific funders to see if there are support opportunities.

Scholarships are not guaranteed for every participant but we will work with you as best we can to make sure that if you are accepted into the Leadership Caucus, that cost is not a prohibitive factor.

The maximum scholarship that our funders have provided in the past is $6,000. That means if you are accepted into the program and you get a scholarship, your organization would be responsible for whatever balance that the scholarship does not cover.


How do I know if I qualify for a DYCD scholarship?

To be eligible for a DYCD scholarship, your organization must have a current contract with DYCD to deliver program services. All decisions for DYCD scholarships are made by DYCD after we (CRE) recommend to them a list of potential participants who meet eligibility and other application guidelines, and who we feel will contribute to the overall cohort experience.  


Since all sessions will be via video conferencing, do I need to keep my camera on all the time?

Given the pandemic and the need to stay safe, all sessions will be virtual via video conferencing. We will require that participants have their video cameras on for all of the Leadership Caucus sessions so that we can build strong connections with each other and engage in meaningful discussions.

Understanding that many of our meetings and interactions are via video, we will do our best to keep you fresh and engaged while on screen (e.g., we’ll schedule breaks to step away from the computer).


How many people will be in my cohort?

Generally, we try to keep cohort size between 18 and 26 participants


What is the time frame of the cohort?

The Leadership Caucus starts with an Orientation session and ends with a Closing session. In between, we will have sessions mostly scheduled every two weeks (with a couple of exceptions). Please refer to the Leadership Caucus schedule.


Will I get my money back if I don’t finish the program?

Sorry, we do not offer refunds if you don’t finish the program. However, we are willing to listen if there are extenuating circumstances.

Please keep in mind that if you receive a scholarship and do not finish the program, you may be required by the funder to return part or all of the scholarship.


What are the payment options/schedule?

Once you are accepted into the Leadership Caucus and you agree to final costs (including whatever scholarships, if any, you get), we’re willing to work with you on a payment schedule that fits your requirements and constraints.

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