Core Program

The Core Program identifies current and emerging leaders and provides them training on best practices in nonprofit management and board governance, as well as issues-based community orientation.  The program provides leadership skill developmment that translates in the workplace and the boardroom, thus contributing to the economic vitality of the Greater Reading community.

Application and Tuition
Benefits of Participation
Class Instruction
Placement on a Nonprofit or Community Board or Committee
Service Learning Project

Ideal Participant

Demonstrates a passion to respond to community needs
Resourceful and innovative
Inclusive, compassionate and good citizens
Have a desire for life-long learning
Exhibit effective interpersonal skills
Interested in learning best practices in nonprofit management and Board governance
Willing to assume a nonprofit or community board or committee or board role

Application and Tuition

Applications for the program are accepted year-round. However since the program cycle runs Sept-June annually, the deadline for acceptance into a new cycle is August 31st. Tuition includes all session materials, meals, and overnight retreat accommodations. All participants are listed in printed materials by their sponsor.

Employer Sponsored Rate:  $2,815.00                           
Discount Rate:  $2,305.00
(The discount rate is available to self-sponsored applicants or employees of nonprofit organizations with an annual operating budget under $250,000.  Budget must accompany this application.)

Please note the party responsible for payment of the tuition will be noted as the applicant’s sponsor in all of Leadership Berks’ publications before, during and after participation in the program.

Offered from Sept-June annually and designed with the adult learner in mind, the main goals of the program are to: provide opportunities to build leadership skills; expand community leadership networks; teach best practices in nonprofit management and board governance; provide orientation to community assets and challenges; and provide connections to and placement with nonprofit or community boards or committees. Participants receive nearly 400 hours of classroom instruction over the course of the program. As designed, the program leverages classroom time with the skills of participants and instructors to provide over 1800 hours of skilled professional hours back to the community annually.


The four main program requirements for each participant, each program cycle:

Class Instruction (400+ hours)
A two-track format for each monthly session: best practices in nonprofit management board governance; and orientation to community issues. (In addition to class sessions below, participants are expected to attend post-session socials or events planned by the alumni council. These dates are made available after the program commences.)

  • Orientation Session
  • Overnight Retreat & Board Bootcamp
  • K-12 Education & Non-profit Reception
  • The Board's Role in Strategic Planning
  • Non-profit Finance 101
  • The Board's Role in Fund Development
  • The Board’s Role in Governance
  • Healthcare in Berks
  • The Annual Alumni and Recruitment Social
  • Service Learning Presentations & Mock Board
  • Graduation Luncheon & Awards Ceremony

Session topics, etc., may vary.

Service Learning Projects
(Sept.-May) 300+ hours
Program participants function as mini consulting teams by completing Service Learning Projects for Leadership Berks or community organizations.  This unique learning experience provides participants the opportunity to apply their expertise and professional skills as well as concepts learned in the Leadership Berks classroom to meet project goals and objectives.

For the 2016-2017 program cycle, participants’ efforts within this program requirement will benefit the nonprofit and broader community through targeted Leadership Berks initiatives.  Leadership Berks is excited about our plans for this year and are already fast at work on feature focuses that will build greater capacity and highlight our nonprofit and community partners.  More details will unfold over the 2016-2017 program year.  

In July 2017, Leadership Berks will resume regular solicitation of external project proposals from nonprofit and community organizations.
Placement on a Nonprofit or Community Board or Committee (500 hours)
(Identified prior to completion)
Personalized assistance to secure a minimum one-year nonprofit or community board or committee position.

Benefits of Participation

For Employers

  • Provides employees with increased organizational, leadership and problem solving skills
  • Expands network of professional contacts and builds relationships with key community leaders
  • Orients employees to community needs
  • Strengthens the employer's visibility in the community
  • Illustrates commitment to addressing community issues
  • Special discount packages for Graduate and other programs at Alvernia (to learn more, contact Toni Eckert)

For Participants

  • Creates opportunities for contact with influential leaders
  • Provides experiences in group dynamics, individual and team leadership
  • Allows experiential learning opportunities for professional and personal growth
  • Teaches leadership skills in effective community building and good Board governance practices
  • Provides knowledge and sensitivity about diverse populations and understanding about community assets/challenges

For Nonprofits and the Community

  • Prepares people with good governance practices to serve on boards
  • Expands the pool of people sensitive to our growing diverse population 
  • Produces citizens committed and prepares leaders to address community issues 
  • Encourages innovative partnerships between sectors
  • Ensures an exceptional local and regional quality of life
Leadership Berks