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Nonprofit Learning Institute 2019


Thank you for your interest in applying for the Nonprofit Learning Institute, presented by Bank of America and Philanthropy Massachusetts. 

Presented by Bank of America and Philanthropy Massachusetts, the Nonprofit Learning Institute is comprised of a series of technical assistance and capacity building sessions. Twenty nonprofit organizations from a broad cross-section of the nonprofit sector will be selected to participate.  Two organization representatives – senior management staff and board member – will be expected to attend all sessions.  Sessions will be led by experts from leading service organizations and/or consultants in each topic area.  In addition to the sessions, there will be a number of supplementary opportunities to meaningfully engage, network, and share experiences with your peer participants. 

The program was founded in 2011 and is sponsored by Bank of America. Over the last seven years, this program has increased the effectiveness of 153 nonprofit organizations from throughout Massachusetts.

Nonprofit Learning Institute Session Descriptions:

  • Launch of Nonprofit Learning Institute (January 8, 2019, 8:00am - 8:30am)
    This will be the orientation for the Nonprofit Learning Institute. During this orientation, we will go over goals and expectations for the program, as well as learn more about the organizations in the program.
  • Board Engagement & Development (January 8, 2019, 8:30am-12:00pm)
    This session will focus on engaging and developing a board; purpose, roles and responsibilities of the board of directors; opportunities for board leadership; and, strategic board recruitment.
  • Capitalization & Financial Stability (February 5, 2019, 8:00am-12:00pm)
    This session will cover the fundamentals of nonprofit finance including: how to read income statements and balance sheets and how to assess your organization’s financial picture, as well as a framework for understanding full costs. The focus will be on how to build financial strength over time to best support your mission and how to articulate your financial needs.
  • Communications & Marketing (March 5, 2019, 10:00 AM -2:00pm)
    This session will cover marketing and communication strategies designed to help nonprofit organizations communicate their organizations’ mission and story in the most effective way.
  • Development & Fundraising (April 9, 2019, 8:00am-12:00pm)
    This session will include a panel of fundraising specialists who will walk participants through best practices around strategies for building capital, soliciting major gifts, and creating a strategic development plan.
  • Scaling & Strategic Planning (May 7, 2019, 1:00pm – 5:00pm)
    This session will walk participants through what it means to be strategic; how an organization can do so; and a truly strategic plan should look like. In addition, the presenter will discuss methods of scaling and questions to ask when considering scaling your organization.
  • Closing Reception (May 7, 2019, 5:00pm - 7:00pm)
    This will be a closing reception celebrating the work put in by participants throughout NPLI with the opportunity to meet with other organizations who have participated in the Nonprofit Learning Institute.


  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in Massachusetts

  • Annual operating budget should be between $500,000 and $2 million
    (Budget size should not deter organizations from applying. Organizations outside this range will also be considered. See Application Form Question 7 for details.)

  • Organization must commit to having two representatives attend all sessions
    It is strongly recommended that the second representatives be a board member or senior staff member.


  • All sessions will be hosted at Bank of America (225 Franklin Street, 5th Floor, Post Office Square Room, Boston, MA 02110)

  • Food and refreshments will be served at each of the sessions

Application Timeline:

  • September 28, 2018: Application released

  • November 9, 2018, 11:59 pm: Deadline for application submission

  • November 26, 2018: Participants notified of application status

  • January 2019 – May 2019: Nonprofit Learning Institute Sessions    

Application Checklist:

  • Complete online application by 11:59 pm on November 9, 2018
  • Submit the audited financial statements for most recently completed fiscal year by by 11:59 pm on November 9, 2018, to: kartuso@philanthropyma.org
  • Submit the current fiscal year operating budget by 11:59pm on November 9, 2018, to: kartuso@philanthropyma.org

Additional materials may be required upon review of your application, including but not limited to:

  • IRS 501(c)(3) Letter of Determination


Contact:  If you have any questions or concerns about eligibility or timeline, please email kartuso@philanthropyma.org or call 617.426.2606 x138.

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606
© 2019 Philanthropy Massachusetts