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Gaining the Skills I Needed to Lead

Fundraising, Branding, Outcomes, Evaluations, Reporting, Proposals, Lobbying, Event Planning- there are probably several other categories I am missing. If you are a non-profit leader, you too are very familiar with these skill sets. These skills are the toolkit of any viable organization's Executive Director. Taking time to research, learn, and ultimately achieve these skills can be unnerving.

In October of 2013, I was fortunate to graduate from the inaugural class of the Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI) Academy. PLI was developed by the Center for Urban Families, and is an 8-month, non-traditional leadership program designed to assist nationally diverse leaders in growing their network and expertise in the areas of responsible fatherhood, family strengthening, workforce development, and boys and men of color.

PLI connected my classmates and me to experts in the fields of philanthropy, branding, policy and other topics crucial to the success of families, communities and non-profits. I consider the most enjoyable aspect of my experience with PLI to be meeting my peers from around the country who do similar work. The work that we do is extremely challenging, but rewarding. Meeting inspired individuals who do the same type of work and experience similar challenges truly motivated me. The passion and knowledge displayed for our particular communities reassured me that our field of work is on the right track.

PLI was created to enhance and sustain practitioner capacity and to create stronger networks of support. The Academy certainly did that for me. I now have a network of peers with whom I can speak, exchange ideas and discuss what works and what doesn’t. PLI assisted me with prioritizing what next steps are needed for me and my organization to take our work to the next level. As long as I work in this field there will be Fundraising, Branding, Outcomes, Evaluations, Reporting, Proposals, Lobbying, Event Planning and lots more to do. PLI helped me think outside the box to address my organization's needs and to become better connected with a national network of my peers.

To learn more about the PLI Academy, visit cfufpli.org/the-academy.
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Alvin Barksdale SEPTEMBER 1 2015
Good morning I'm interested in the non-traditional leadership program and would like to attend the Practitioners Leadership Institute (PLI) Academy. I'm a senior level diverse human service leader and would like to further develop my skills and expertise in the areas of responsible fatherhood, family strengthening, workforce development, and boys and men of color locally and nationally.
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Jan 9
The Practitioners Leadership Institute Boys & Men of Color Academy is recruiting men & women who seek to build thei… https://t.co/fck6zF97ho
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