About the Lab

With more than 4,000 active members, the Nonprofit Leadership Lab is the world’s best online program for board and staff leaders of smaller nonprofits who want to:


  • Gain deeper skills
  • Connect with other nonprofit leaders
  • Learn from world-leading experts
  • Stop reinventing the wheel
  • Build a thriving nonprofit

More About the Lab

With more than 2,000 members, the Nonprofit Leadership Lab is the world’s best online program for board and staff leaders of smaller nonprofits who want to:


  • Gain deeper skills
  • Connect with other nonprofit leaders
  • Learn from world-leading experts
  • Stop reinventing the wheel
  • Build a thriving nonprofit

What You Get Inside


Access to the Lab’s entire library. Go deep on fundraising, developing your board, building your audience, and scaling your organization.


Support and encouragement when you need it most. After all, it can sure be lonely at the top. Especially when everything falls on your shoulders.


A single expert seminar in the Lab is like an expensive private consulting session, one that most small nonprofits simply can’t afford.


Time is your most valuable resource. Lab members get exclusive access to time-saving resources that they can adapt for their own purpose.

What Members Say

I celebrated one of (if not THE) best board meetings I’ve had in my 8 years as ED. I owe it to this program. The videos on how to have great board meetings transformed the way I view our board, and I revamped the meetings with a stronger agenda, following Joan’s advice. Inspired. Enriched. Now they are ignited, possibly for the first time ever!
Deborah Walsh Dobbs

Executive Director, The Counseling Place

Initially I was quite skeptical… I couldn’t be happier I joined. The resources are incredible. I have done the ‘How to Select a Board’, ‘How to Run a Board Meeting’, ‘How to Create an Elevator Pitch’, ‘How to Improve Your Facebook Reach’. I have pages and pages of notes.

Dr. Tim Walbridge

Chairman/Founder/CEO, Lazarus Living

I was looking for mentorship and to learn from other leaders. I, myself, did not ‘grow up’ in the nonprofit arena. One of the best results I’ve gotten [from the Lab] is I’ve gone from a board of four members to a board of twelve, fully engaged. Our work has gone off the charts!
Aaron Saenz

President, San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center

There’s so much wisdom right there at your fingertips. You can post a question and within minutes other Lab members chime in with their knowledge. I know I have avoided some major mistakes being a first time Executive Director because I am part of this Lab. I feel like I have a personal mentor right by my side, teaching me the tricks of the trade. The classes in the Lab have been a game changer.

Adrien Stinnett

Executive Director, J 127 Ministry

I came across the Nonprofit Leadership Lab and jumped at the opportunity. Smartest thing I ever did. Read through the resources, listened to the Q&A live sessions, asked questions, learned how to build a board, how to fundraise. I actually serve on seven nonprofit boards. Oh, it’s a whole new ballgame and I’m so grateful for what I discovered in the Leadership Lab.

Barbara Ingraham

Board Leader, The Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse

My board chair and I took the Lab’s strategic planning mini-course and it totally changed our thinking about how to engage in strategic planning with limited resources. It was incredible. The value of this one course to us was far more than it costs to be in the Lab for an entire year.

Kim Leipham Freedman

Head of School, New Garden Friends School

An Outstanding Education

From fundraising to leadership to board building to strategy there is SO much to learn. In the Lab, you get full access to our entire library:


  • Masterclasses
  • Expert seminars
  • Quick wins
  • Downloadable resources
  • Live Q&As with Joan Garry and other experts
  • Member makeovers

And so much more, all designed to help you achieve something attainable and specific… something that will make a real difference for you and your nonprofit.

Here’s Just a Taste of What You’ll Learn

Build the Board of Your Dreams

  • Recruitment, Engagement, and Onboarding
  • Running Great Board Meetings
  • Board Fundraising
  • The Case for Term Limits

Bigger and Better Fundraising

  • How to Run a Successful Special Event
  • How to Ask People for Money
  • How to Write a Fabulous Grant Proposal
  • How to Return Lapsed Donors to the Fold

Grow Your Reach and Engagement

  • How to Get Press on the Cheap
  • How to Build Your Audience on Facebook
  • How to Tell a Story That Drives People to Take Action
  • How to Communicate Your Elevator Pitch

Personal Growth and Stronger Leadership

  • 90-Day Roadmaps for New Directors
  • A Strong Board Chair / Executive Director Relationship
  • Setting Roles and Expectations
  • Leading Difficult Conversations

Develop a Killer Strategy

  • How to Create a Theory of Change
  • How to Use Logic Models
  • Strategic Planning with Limited Resources
  • Surviving a Crisis

Scale Your Organization

  • Create a Budget Process that Motivates Your Organization
  • Build a Solid Financial Foundation
  • Develop an Outstanding Volunteer Program
  • Hiring and Firing When It’s Time to Grow

A Remarkable Community

It can be awfully lonely at the top. Especially when you lead a small nonprofit and so much falls on your shoulders.

The Lab community will become the peer network you always wished you had – there to offer expertise and resources. Being active in the community will hold you accountable and drive you further, farther, and faster.

And more importantly, you’ll get the encouragement, support, and advice that makes a real difference.

Unmatched Expertise

Not only do you get to learn directly from Joan Garry, who literally wrote the book on nonprofit leadership…

But Joan has also assembled a “who’s who” of experts in fields ranging from finance to fundraising to legal… From grant writing to marketing to self-care…

In fact, as one Lab member pointed out, a single expert seminar in the Lab is like an expensive private consulting session, one that most small nonprofits simply can’t afford.

Experts Assembled

Rob Acton

Rob Acton
On Leadership

Cause Strategy Partners

Sarah Beaulieu
On Workplace Harassment

The Uncomfortable Conversation, Inc.

Julia Campbell

Julia Campbell
On Social Media

J Campbell Social Marketing

Marea Chaveco
On Audits

La Marea

Sarah Durham

Sarah Durham
On Communications

Big Duck

Rachael Gibson

Rachel Gibson
On Succession Planning


Bridget Hartnett
On Accounting

Sobel Co

Heba Hasan

Heba Hasan
On Digital Strategy


Lindsay Hoffman
On Grant Writing

Nonprofit Leadership Lab

Kathleen Kelly Janus
On Scaling Your Org

Social Startup Success

Tobi Johnson
On Volunteer Management

Tobi Johnson & Associates

Beth Kanter
On Self Care

The Happy Healthy Nonprofit

Justin Kownacki
On Storytelling

Storytelling for Business

Chloe Louvouezo

Chloe Louvouezo
On Diversity & Inclusion

Gates Foundation, Comms Staff

Donald Miller

Donald Miller
On Storytelling


Rachel Miller
On Growing an Audience

Moolah Marketing

Mariana Moghadam
On Accounting

Sobel Co.

Tony Oommen

Tony Oommen
On Donor Advised Funds

Fidelity Charitable

Dan Osheyack
On Marketing

Joan Garry Consulting

Liz Page
On Special Events

Liz Page Associates

Scott Paley

Scott Paley
On Digital Marketing

Abstract Edge

Hilda Polanco
On Finance


Belinda Rosenblum
On Finance

Own Your Money

Brian Saber
On Asking for Donations

Asking Matters

Dr. Paul White

Dr. Paul White
On Team Culture

Appreciation At Work

Joan Wood
On Fundraising Strategy

Joan Wood & Company

Ben Wyskida
On Public Relations


Time-Saving Resources

Why reinvent the wheel? Inside the Lab you get access to dozens of downloadable checklists, templates, and the most comprehensive searchable database of nonprofit questions and answers available anywhere.


  • E.D. and Staff Evaluations
  • Weekly Agenda for a CEO / Board Chair Meeting
  • Sample Board Report
  • Financial Dashboard
  • Annual Board Fundraising Plan


  • Board Committees
  • Board Member Interview Questions
  • First-Rate Event Speech
  • Pursuing a Grant
  • Preparing for an Audit

Q&A Database

  • Access to hundreds of answers to common nonprofit leadership questions
  • Searchable and browseable by topic
  • New questions and answers added every month
  • Led by Lab experts, including Joan Garry

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Lab for? Is it really meant for Executive Directors?

The Lab is absolutely perfect for leaders of small nonprofits:

  • Executive Directors
  • Founders
  • Senior staff who report to the E.D.
  • Board chairs
  • Board committee leaders

Why the focus on small nonprofits?

Perhaps one of these situations sounds familiar?

  • An Executive Director who can’t possibly take a vacation – ever – because if she missed a week all the work would literally stop.
  • A sole staff member that could have oh-so-much more impact if only there was remotely adequate funding.
  • A board chair who often bickers with the Executive Director and is frustrated that board members don’t raise nearly enough money.

Nonprofits are messy. They’re hardwired that way.

There’s rarely enough money, too many cooks, and an abundance of passion. Messy.

As the leader of a nonprofit – especially a smaller one – this messiness makes you feel exhausted and overwhelmed a lot of the time. You’re being pulled in a million directions and sometimes you feel all alone.

Wouldn’t it be so nice to have a board with deep pockets? A large staff? A brand everyone has heard of?

Sure. Big nonprofits have some nice advantages. Though many of these challenges can happen at big nonprofits too.

In many ways smaller nonprofits have it tougher.

Why? Because larger, well-funded nonprofits have the capacity to get outside help. They can hire consultants, fundraising experts, have their board get expensive ongoing training, spend for professional development opportunities or expensive donor software.

That’s a big advantage.

But at a smaller nonprofit like yours? Not a chance.

It’s a big problem. And one we aim to fix.

Is the Lab good for people who haven't started their nonprofit yet?

While our focus is on helping existing small nonprofits thrive, there are certainly members of the Lab who joined so they can get their nonprofits started the right way, right off the bat.

What does the Lab cost?

We get it. Most small nonprofits don’t have a budget for professional development. It’s very possible this is coming out of your own pocket.

So we know how important it is to keep this as affordable as possible. The Lab should not be a burden.

Since the price may change each time we open the doors to new members, we don’t publish the price until the doors are open. That said, we can assure you that the monthly cost of the Lab is less than:

  • You spend on coffee each month
  • That gym membership you rarely use
  • 3 movie theatre tickets per month (or 2 in New York City)
  • Your internet connection

In other words, we offer everyone the “small nonprofit rate”.

Will you ever increase the price?

As long as you keep your membership active, you’ll be grandfathered into your price. Even when new members come in and pay more, you’ll get to keep your lower price.

Do most members pay themselves, or do their orgs pay the membership fee?

It really is a split. Many Lab members do pay for this out of pocket. Many others have their organizations pay for the Lab out of a professional development budget. 

Can I cancel any time I want?


Monthly members pay for the Lab just one month at a time and can cancel any time you want. 

Once you cancel your account you will retain access to the Lab until your current monthly subscription period ends. You can, of course, rejoin during any future open registration period at whatever the current price is at that time.

Can I share my membership with someone else in my organization?

The entire goal is to help you build a thriving nonprofit so clearly you need to be able to share some of the material to do that. For example, if there is a template or checklist or something like that and you want to copy it and use it internally with other folks at your organization, that’s expected and entirely fine. Our policy is one account = one person. So, while you’re welcome to bring people in to watch a video course together, we do ask that you not share your login. Additionally, only you would have access to the Village.

I'm busy! How often is new content released?

Roughly once per week and our goal is to keep it easy and non-stressful to consume.

Time is the most valuable resource we have. So we can understand why you might be wondering if you have enough time to fully participate in the Nonprofit Leadership Lab and get everything you possibly can out of it.

The good news is that once you join, the Lab is available 24/7. So you can learn when it’s most convenient for you. If something comes up and you miss a few days or even a couple of weeks, it’s not a problem. You just pick up where you left off.

How much time it will take to go through the materials depends on you. Many weeks you should be able to get through the material in 30 minutes or less. That’s it. The key is to intentionally schedule some time on your calendar specifically for your personal leadership growth.

And, of course, you’ll definitely want to spend time with the community.

We know how busy you are!

I'd like to hire Joan Garry for a one-on-one engagement. How can I do that?

Joan Garry offers one-on-one consulting and coaching engagements for those times when you have a particularly knotty situation to untangle.

Joan specializes in working with organizations in transition, developing sound strategies, and crisis management.

Joan is also available as a keynote speaker for larger nonprofit events.

Details can be found here.