Facilitating a Leadership Circle

September 21, 2017

Periodically, we’ll be featuring a thought piece from one of our amazing CNE board members. We hope you’ll enjoy this chance to get to know them better and hear a bit of their story. This was written by CNE Board Member Dana Harris.

Each month, I have the great privilege to be the facilitator for a CNE Leadership Circle. I meet with a small group of nonprofit development professionals, and we spend two hours together. Some of our time is spent talking over a short, assigned reading based on a topic we have identified, but the majority of our meeting is spent going around the room with each person discussing and solving real-time problems with the group. These gatherings are confidential, and over time, a deep trust has developed between us.

In the last year, we have spent time working as a group through job transitions, compensation negotiations, work/life balance issues, managing yourself within a team structure, burn-out, event and database management, making the “ask” for a major gift, stewardship, workplace discrimination, research, and grant writing. We have covered many topics and sought the guidance and suggestions of our peers at every juncture. We have shared many laughs and even a few tears.

Nonprofits grow and change. Humans grow and change in those workplaces. Having a group of peers to listen to your ideas or concerns, to offer their support or suggestions, and to trust your conversations are confidential are the pillars of the CNE Leadership Circle. There are eight such groups meeting monthly at CNE, and some have been gathering as long as seven years. There are CNE Circles for Executive Directors, emerging leaders, and development professionals. Whether you’re looking to build your career, preparing for a new challenge or wanting to benefit from a peer-to-peer learning environment, CNE has a facilitated circle that is right for you.

CNE staff are currently looking to fill a few spots in existing Circles. Please show your interest by filling out the online form. If you have filled out the form in the past, please contact Mary Davis Hamlin to express your continued interest.


Dana Harris
CNE Board Member


We believe that nonprofit boards play an integral role in the success of an organization. Strengthen your nonprofit’s board and its individual members through CNE’s Board Academy later this year. To learn more, please contact Andrew Robinson.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2017
Designed and developed by Convoy

Contact Us

Center for Nonprofit Excellence
1701-A Allied Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
434.244.3330

Office Hours

Mon – Thurs: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM