Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders is an interactive and innovative program that prepares younger professionals from across all sectors to serve as nonprofit board members, committee members, and/or skilled volunteers.

Program Goals

  • Create a network of resourceful young leaders. Participants establish strong and lasting relationships that are personally and professionally beneficial and founded on a shared commitment to the common good.
  • Prepare young professionals for board, committee and skilled volunteer positions with local nonprofit organizations. Research shows that younger leaders are underrepresented on nonprofit boards, and boards report challenges in identifying and attracting young leaders. Over the past nine years the program has connected more than 200 young professionals with more than 100 community organizations!
  • Develop young professionals’ sustained commitment to their communities. Studies also show that young leaders who are actively involved in their communities are two to three times more likely to stay and contribute to the economy and well-being of our state.
“Regardless of whether you were familiar with the nonprofit sector or had served on a board, it was an empowering experience that made me (and everyone else I spoke with) feel prepared to serve in a board capacity. Beyond that, the opportunity to meet and collaborate with such an impressive group of peers was amazing and filled me with optimism for the future of local nonprofits and our community.” -Emerging Leaders Graduate, 2016

Congratulations + Welcome 2021 Emerging Leaders Class

2021 Emerging Leaders on Cow Island (Missing are Miranda Dolph and Stephanie Daggett)

Mana Abdi, Bates College
Aleena Blankenship, Gateway Community Services
Alexus Bond, L.L.Bean
Melia Coletta, 317 Main Community Music Center
Stephanie Daggett, MaineHealth
Miranda Dolph, Martin’s Point Health Care
Jackson English, Consigli Construction
Lindsey Freeman, University of Southern Maine
David Gagnon, Consigli Construction
Ninette Irabaruta, United Way of Southern Maine
Laurie Jevons, Fearless Futures
Patrick Kambu Mbenza, Spurwink Services
Travis Kirby, Consigli Construction
Kathryn (Katie) Krott, Broadreach Public Relations
Austin Moore, Zachau Construction
Morgan Outing, WEX
Alana Shapiro, Habitat for Humanity York County
Adelaide Taylor, ReVision Energy
Michaela Veillette, Keller Williams Realty
James Whelan, Martin’s Point Health Care

Program Format

Each year approximately 25 applicants are accepted to complete the program, which takes place between September and December and includes mix of program formats. Led by skilled facilitators, guest experts, and leaders in the nonprofit field, the curriculum weaves together leadership skill development, training on board roles and responsibilities, and connections to service opportunities within Maine’s diverse nonprofit community.

“The Emerging Leaders program reshaped the way I contribute to my community and to my workplace. The program not only showed me how I could make a difference as a board member of a nonprofit organization, but it also connected me with a network of inspiring, civic-minded peers. I am so grateful for the knowledge I gained, the leadership skills I built, and the friends I made during this program.”  ~Emerging Leaders Graduate, 2019

Be a Nonprofit Match

By 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. Younger nonprofit board and committee members add vital diversity to nonprofit boards. They bring different perspectives, ask fresh questions, and can provide new skill sets. Yet, according to BoardSource, younger leaders are often underrepresented on nonprofit boards. Emerging Leaders is focused on reversing that trend.

The Emerging Leaders Program has traditionally included a board matching component. In 2021, MANP is piloting a new approach to facilitating connections between Emerging Leaders graduates and board or committee service. Rather than MANP selecting a limited pool of organizations as potential matches, any member organization can promote their openings through our new Board Explorer service, which will be promoted to Emerging Leaders participants, Emerging Leaders alumni, participants of our So You Think You Want to Be on a Board session, and other individuals who reach out wanting to explore board service.

Learn more about Board Explorer!

Thank You to Our Sponsor

The 2021 Emerging Leaders program is generously sponsored by Wright-Ryan Construction.


We welcome the support of corporate and philanthropic partners, who make it possible to keep program fees affordable and to provide scholarships to ensure cost is not a barrier to participation. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to MANP’s Marketing + Development Manager, Kelly McCormack, at kmccormack@nonprofitmaine.org.

Program History

Emerging Leaders launched in 2010 as Young Emerging Leaders and was seed-funded by Norton Insurance and Financial with WEX sponsorship. The Emerging Leaders program has now connected more than 200 young professionals with more than 100 community organizations in Maine. After eight years with Lift360, the Emerging Leaders Program moved to MANP beginning in 2018.