Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

BootCamp for New Nonprofit CEOs

July 31–August 2, 2024 at North Park University


Why BootCamp?

Leading an organization, engaging stakeholders, raising funds, and managing staff can be challenging. The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management invites you to participate in three eye-opening days of professional growth led by accomplished  experts. BootCamp is an exclusive opportunity for you to enhance your skills, network with colleagues, develop your “personal board of directors” and create a 90-day action plan to implement and effect positive change.

Executive directors and CEOs with three years or less experience in their roles are invited to apply.

Hear from expert speakers on a range of topics including:

  • Fundraising
  • Board governance
  • Strategic planning
  • Human resources management

Connect with other nonprofit executive directors from across a variety of subsectors for support and collaborative solutions to the challenges you wrestle with in your leadership role.

Applications are now being accepted. The deadline is July 3 at 5:00 p.m.

In order to be considered for this program, an applicant must:

  • Serve as the CEO/Executive Director (the highest position in the organization) or begin serving in this role by the first day of BootCamp (July 31, 2024).
  • Have been in the CEO/Executive Director position for three years or less
  • Be willing to participate in three full-day sessions

If you have a question about your eligibility, please contact us before submitting an application.

  • The fee for BootCamp is $995.
  • Program materials are included.
  • Applicants from organizations with an annual budget under $1 million are eligible for a $200 scholarship. (Note: this scholarship will automatically be applied to the fee if accepted into the program.)
  • Applicants are required to pay a $50 deposit when submitting their application. If accepted, this deposit is subtracted from the overall program cost.
  • Participants will be invoiced for the remaining balance prior to the start of BootCamp.
  • Payment is due in full by July 31, 2024.

We use an online application. Applicants are not able to save work and return later to complete this form. Please make sure you have the items in the checklist below ready before beginning the application process. Allow at least 30 minutes to complete. Applications are due by 5 p.m. July 3, 2024. After completing the application, please follow the Paypal link provided to pay the required $50 deposit. If you would like to pay by check, please contact us.

  1. Short answer responses
    • What are your organization’s mission, vision, and values statements?
    • Why do you want to attend BootCamp? What are your learning objectives?
    • At present, what is your most significant leadership challenge(s)?
  2. Current, detailed resume outlining your work and educational background
  3. One brief letter of reference in support of your application (e.g. from board member)*

*An applicant’s letter of support can be submitted directly to us via email.

BootCamp will take place on the North Park University campus, 3225 W. Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.

What Past Participants Tell Us About BootCamp

  • “Because of BootCamp, I feel empowered and focused in my executive director role.”
  • “I learned how to effectively wield the influence of my leadership for the benefit of the organization.”
  • “Great, easy to implement suggestions for leading and thinking strategically. Very engaging.”
  • “Excellent practical information, knowledgeable speakers.”
  • “Outstanding resource for future use—essential content.”
  • “What sets BootCamp apart is the time and opportunity to process and reflect, and walk away with a plan. Invaluable and amazing!”

If your application is incomplete by the application deadline, you will be ineligible for a refund. If your application is complete and you are not selected to participate in BootCamp, you will receive a refund of your application deposit by your method of payment. Any accepted applicant choosing to cancel their registration or withdraw from BootCamp will receive a refund of their program fee minus a $25 administrative fee. Notice of cancellation must be received by the Axelson Center by July 3, 2024, in order to be eligible for a refund. No refunds can be made after that date.


Please contact us.

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