Nonprofit Organizations & Foundations


As a nonprofit or foundation, you make change happen in the world. Your large-scale initiatives are ambitious, with the potential to create enormous social impact. This also means they have many moving pieces and multiple stakeholders. Add the issue of talent development, and the organizational challenges can be significant. At Wharton Executive Education, we specialize in designing programs that can enhance the success of foundations’ and nonprofits’ multi-year educational initiatives. We work as a trusted partner, creating the education and training piece that will support and complement your endeavor. In addition, we handle high-level talent development needs so that your organization will have the leadership pipeline it needs to excel in the future.


Our client services team and faculty members understand the unique nature of nonprofits and foundations and work with our clients to introduce, develop, and incorporate case studies and examples that are relevant to the nonprofit world. We draw upon our experiences in various industry sectors to bring additional relevant concepts and examples into the classroom. Nonprofits and foundations turn to us for assistance when addressing challenges such as:

  • Developing High-Potential Leaders
  • Capacity Building
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Team Building
  • Employee Retention
  • Partnering with Global Entities
  • Risk Management
  • Executing Short and Long Term Strategy

Thought Leadership

Wharton faculty members have worked with world-class foundations and nonprofits across the globe. To create a custom engagement, we may draw on Wharton resources, including:

Wharton Social Impact Initiative

The Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) brings Wharton's expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and vast network to bear on the complex intersection of business and social impact by fostering key social-impact initiatives throughout the school. By enabling the integration of learning, experience, and impact, along with the development of research, outreach and student-centered programs, WSII furthers the commitment to make Wharton a "force for social good." Visit the Initiative's website »

The Center for High-Impact Philanthropy

Established in the spring of 2006 by the dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and a small group of anonymous Wharton alumni, the Center provides independent analysis, education, and other decision-making tools for donors concerned with maximizing the social impact of their funds. To meet our goal of providing smart, practical guidance to donors who care about impact, we synthesize the best available information from three domains: research, informed opinion and field experience. We believe the most promising opportunities exist where the recommendations of these three domains overlap. Visit the Center's website »

Tools & Solutions

We have partnered with some of the world’s leading nonprofits and foundations to create a range of transformative executive education experiences. Some examples of tools and solutions:

Goldman Sachs Foundation

Created by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, 10,000 Women is a five-year, $100 million global initiative to help grow local economies and bring about greater shared prosperity by providing 10,000 underserved women entrepreneurs with a business and management education, access to mentors and networks, and links to capital. The Goldman Sachs Foundation sought out Wharton Executive Education as the trusted partner who could most effectively develop the business and management education component of this endeavor.

Wharton created educational programs for the women entrepreneurs and partnered with members of the network (which includes more than 80 academic and nonprofit institutions) to develop locally relevant coursework so that members could deliver quality business education on-site worldwide. The women selected for the program enrolled in customized certificate programs that ranged from five weeks to six months. Topics included marketing, accounting, writing business plans, and accessing capital. Students received mentoring and post-graduate support by partner institutions, local businesses and employees of Goldman Sachs.

The Wharton curriculum allowed the entrepreneurs to sustain themselves and their employees and persevere through the enormous political changes in the Middle East in recent years. The program continues to expand and help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Women’s World Banking

Women’s World Banking partnered with Wharton to develop a program that would allow its members to build a global understanding, increase strategic and critical thinking, and drive stronger customer-centric innovation. Fifty of the world’s top-rated microfinance institutions sent nearly 100 representatives from 14 countries to this advanced leadership program. The group included both veteran leaders with the mission of MFIs “in their DNA” and managers who are new to the microfinance industry.

Designing Leadership with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia

The five-session program, Designing Leadership, held weekly from March 19 to April 16, 2014, helped elevate the leadership skills of Philadelphia’s arts, culture and creative sector.

Wharton Executive Education worked with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia and other sponsors to enhance participants’ individual leadership styles and their competencies around collaboration, strategic sustainability and human capital. Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Director, Center for Human Resources for the Wharton School, showed participants how leaders manage their teams can reinforce the basic competencies that drive business strategy.

The program concluded with Wharton facilitating an expert panel of senior leaders throughout the Philadelphia cultural and arts community, who answered questions and shared their own leadership lessons and best practices.

CTI Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance

Fifty community development finance leaders participated in the 2014 “CITI Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance” that will conclude in June on Wharton’s campus. Organized by the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the premier national network of community development finance institutions (CDFI), the program brought together the country’s top emerging, mid-level and executive level CDFI leaders to engage and explore leadership and transformational change that they can apply to their organizations and to the industry as a whole.

CDFIs, which number more than 850 in the U.S. as of 2014, serve low-income, low-wealth communities who are underserved by conventional financial institutions. The program helped these leaders explore how their industry can continue to innovate and develop passionate leaders, so important to the CDFI industry having a greater impact on communities long term. Topics covered include the role of values in transformational leadership and high performance, leadership styles and communication skills, and how to build effective teams for transformational change. Throughout the program, Wharton faculty provide a conceptual framework for transformational leadership, with rich examples from both inside and outside of the CDFI industry that illustrate the impact and the conditions necessary to create it.


  • Peter Cappelli, DPhil

    George W. Taylor Professor of Management, Professor of Management; Director, Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Human resource practices, public policy related to employment, talent and performance managementSee Faculty Bio

  • Katherine Klein, PhD

    Edward H. Bowman Professor, Professor of Management; Vice Dean and Director, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Innovation and technology implementation, leadership, diversity, teams, and social networksSee Faculty Bio

  • Ian MacMillan, DBA

    The Dhirubhai Ambani Professor, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Entrepreneurship, new venture management, strategic managementSee Faculty Bio

  • Christian Terwiesch, PhD

    Andrew M. Heller Professor; Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics; Co-Director, William and Phyllis Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

    Research Interests: Analyzing operational performance, innovation management, R&D managementSee Faculty Bio