Financial Leadership Cohort

Financial leadership can be challenging and sometimes scary. You may not always feel like you have the knowledge or tools to confidently lead your organization’s financial management. Yet organizations that thrive are those whose leaders approach finance with confidence, even if they don’t have all the answers. The goal of the Financial Leadership Cohort is to develop the financial leadership capacity needed for nonprofits to be sustainable and financially healthy.

Check back for the 2020 Application Round

Applications are not yet open.

Cohort Details

Why apply for the Financial Leadership Cohort?

Through cohort sessions, you will become more knowledgeable, confident, and savvy about nonprofit finance. We’ll target results for your organization’s needs and help develop a culture of financial understanding at your nonprofit – and within the sector. You’ll gain:

  • Confidence in your ability as a financial leader
  • Increased knowledge of nonprofit financial management concepts
  • Progress on self-identified outcomes
  • Improvement in your organization’s financial position

What you’ll receive:

  • 6 monthly half-day learning sessions on topics including understanding business models, communicating financial information, and building relationships with staff and board around finance
  • Support and guidance to develop financial management tools (dashboard report, cash flow, action plan)
  • Free registration to the annual Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference
  • A peer network for support and sharing
  • One-on-one coaching with Propel Nonprofits’ finance experts

Eligibility & Cost

The ideal candidate is:

  • In the role of managing your organization’s finances without a formal finance background
  • From a nonprofit organization with a budget size between $500,000 and $3,000,000
  • Eager to grow professionally and use new tools to bring a positive change to your nonprofit and the sector


The cohort will be selected to reflect the diversity of Minnesota’s nonprofit organizations which could include different sectors, focus areas, populations served, and budget sizes. Participants will be selected to complement each other and create a dynamic peer learning group. Priority will be given to applicants who are available to attend the six scheduled half-day training sessions, and the Nonprofit Finance & Sustainability Conference. Cohort is limited to 12 participants


Contact Sara Wessling, Training Manager at or 612.249.6675.

Past Participants

“The cohort exceeded my expectations. A lot of time you feel lonely in the work you do as an ED of a nonprofit because everyone is moving quickly to get stuff done while wearing many hats. This leadership cohort gave me both financial skills and helped me build my confidence on a strategic level. It also gave me new relationships.” – Mary Uran, Girls on the Run

“I knew it would be valuable, but the ways it was valuable was more than I expected. I came away with a much clearer sense of how to look at financial leadership in our organization, which areas we were going well in, and which we needed to give attention. Going in, I was overwhelmed. The combination of training plus examples from others in the room really gave me a sense of where we were at, which helped me to prioritize where we wanted to focus resources.” – Stephanie Thompson, Ten Thousand Things Theater

“I think for many women in leadership roles, there can be a sense of imposter syndrome when it comes to finances. This has been both a good affirmation of ‘you really do know what you’re talking about’ while at the same time given me some good tools in terms of communicating.” – Lyla Brown, Grand Marais Arts Colony

“I would encourage people who come from backgrounds where money was a source of stress or conflict to really think about joining this cohort. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and, now that I’m in charge of an organization, I tend to be overly conservative because I am worried about overspending or making an inadvertent misstep. This program was a great opportunity to build my skills and confidence so that I can be a better steward of the organization’s resources.” – Summra Shariff, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice