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New Leaders Council

Leadership Institute

The NLC Leadership Institute is the leading leadership development program for progressive young professionals across the country.

NLC Fellows learn from our faculty - experts in fundraising, new media, communication strategy, campaign management, policy, and more. The Institute Curriculum trains Fellows in the skills needed to run for public office, start a non-profit, or launch a business. 

In addition to the standardized national curriculum, each chapter tailors its Institute experience and training to the needs of the local community. What may be a pressing issue for one chapter may not apply to others, and the flexibility to address local issues is a core part of the NLC mission.

NLC Fellows are paired with a mentor who is a professional in their field. Through the mentorship program, Fellows are exposed to successful individuals who are committed to supporting the next generation of progressive leaders. 

Because of NLC’s commitment to recruiting and training outside of traditional power structures, the NLC Institute is free for all Fellows. This commitment is made possible by the support of NLC chapters, alumni and others from the progressive community.


Session 1: Personal Assessment and Entrepreneurial Goal Settings

Fellows begin their NLC experience with a leadership retreat. Through exercises reflecting on values, principles, opportunities, and goals, the cohort becomes a team supporting each other and creating an atmosphere focused on learning. By assessing where each individual is coming from and looking forward to goals to be achieved, the following skills based weekends are tailored to the needs and priorities of the Fellow class.

Session 2: Strategic Communications and Digital Outreach

Whether it is connecting in person or online, NLC Fellows receive a comprehensive communications training. From creating a compelling, values-driven personal narratives to understanding modern message framing for diverse audiences, every cohort with strong storytelling skills. Additionally as the world becomes smaller and more reliant on online outreach and organizing, NLC Fellows are trained in best outreach and campaign practices for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and initiatives. All of these sessions are conducted with a local focus and include trainings on working with the local media and understanding the dynamics of reaching beyond your own network.

Session 3: Economics, Finance, and Fundraising

Financial resources are critical to any effort or initiative in the progressive world. NLC Fellows learn the keys to fundraising – be it raising resources for a non-profit, starting or continuing a business, or funding a campaign. This knowledge is further leveraged by understanding the growing role of online and crowd-sourced fundraising for reaching a funding goal. Maintaining our focus on local impact, NLC Fellows are also briefed on their community’s economic drivers and challenges as well as opportunities to engage key leaders on these areas.

Session 4: Management and Coalition Building

Human capital is at the core of all our efforts. NLC Fellows learn the precepts of leading other individuals, from volunteer management in non-profit settings, managing employees or leading a political campaign at the local, regional, or state level. Moreover, NLC Fellows are exposed to the importance of coalitions and bringing varying groups together to solve problems. NLC is proud to collaborate with our partners in Labor to reach common goals. NLC Fellows receive Labor History 101 as well as organizing and recruitment training from both unions and other allied community partners.

Session 5: Progressive Policy

NLC progressive policy sessions are locally focused. Working with community partners, experts, and leaders, NLC Fellows are exposed to the policies and challenges most pressing to their community. Each Chapter work with their Fellows to focus on areas that have the highest interest and more importantly, areas that the Fellows may have the least exposure.

Session 6: Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion are a core value of New Leaders Council. NLC Fellows participate in exercises and dialogues touching on identity, intersectionalism, power, and privilege. These sessions spark important conversation on what it means to be a progressive, how to be an ally, and how to elevate diversity as America’s greatest strength.

Atlanta - Augusta - Austin - Boston - Broward - Capital District NY - Chicago - Cincinnati - Cleveland - Connecticut - Dallas - Denver - Des Moines
Detroit - Houston - Kentucky - Los Angeles - Louisiana - Madison - Maine - Maryland - Miami - Montana - Nashville - New Hampshre - New Jersey - New York City
North Carolina - Oakland - Omaha - Orlando - Palm Beach - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Rhode Island - Sacramento - San Antonio - San Francisco - Silicon Valley