Celebrating a Decade of Growth: 10th Anniversary of Leap Management Development Program!

by Desiree Tirk SARCAugust 8, 2023

“Congratulations SARC on the 10th anniversary of launching the Leap program, another fantastic training initiative developed for the disability sector. With the goal of advancing skills and providing resources to senior leadership and executive directors, this program has met the mark.  Like many in this sector or in management positions, I advanced from a direct support worker, to program coordinator to senior manager. Leap has been the perfect program to strengthen and enhance my skill set in managing and leading the organization. Today, 10 years later, I continue to reference my Leap resources on a regular basis. “ – Leap Graduate

In 2014, SARC launched a series of professional development sessions with the goal of supporting management staff skill development and succession planning. What started with that first group has resulted in over 300 executive director and senior leader graduates sharing their leadership journey together. Leap has become more than just a training program. It holds immeasurable value for committed leaders in the nonprofit sector to intentionally grow their leadership skills and strengthen their organization.

The benefits from taking Leap are priceless…. The instructors were well versed and rich in knowledge of all the different topics. I can testify that the teams I oversee have become more effective and work cohesively thanks to Leap.“ – Leap Graduate.

As we head into our tenth year, the Leap program has stood the test of time. The Leap program continues to stay up-to-date on trends and evolving best practices in the nonprofit sector and provides a forum for networking and learning from others’ experience. Regardless of whether you are a new ED or have been in a senior leadership role for a while, Leap provides valuable tools that enable you to become a more effective and influential leader.

The Leap program provided sector specific information regarding a variety of business topics such as human resources, governance, and finance. Despite having a business degree I felt the information was relevant and valuable for my role as executive director.” – Leap Graduate.

Leap is professional development specifically designed for senior leaders and executive directors in the nonprofit sector. Leap provides best practices to advance your skills in leadership, finance, governance, employee recruitment and retention, branding, and much more. Each Leap session is instructed by skilled facilitators with diverse expertise and experience. And the best part of all?  You gain valuable insight, different perspectives, and the opportunity to share your experience while learning from others in similar roles. The Leap program provides leaders the support and space needed to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and work collaboratively to identify new possibilities.

[The Leap] groups allow for more in depth conversations which lead to us getting more out of the class. I found that the other learners had past experiences which prompted questions that I would have never thought to ask.” – Leap Graduate.

By taking Leap, executive directors and senior leaders can challenge and encourage one another, share tips and experiences that can lead to making more informed decisions, adapting to the ongoing changes in our sector, identifying emerging opportunities, and positioning their organizations for success. Taken in-person or virtually, Leap provides opportunity to connect, collaborate, and learn alongside a network of other leaders who experience the same struggles and successes. Leap group discussions remind us that we are not alone in our leadership roles.  By taking Leap, leaders can improve performance and enhance their professional reputation while cultivating a culture of continuous learning within their organization.

10 years after taking the Leap program, I continue to reference the resources from the program on a regular basis.  Just this week when making a very difficult decision relative to HR, I commented that through Leap I learnt this was the best practice.” – Leap Graduate

The Leap program provides:

  • 54 hours of leadership training – that’s time dedicated for self-reflection and providing space to learn openly and freely, so you can strengthen your leadership skills.
  • Personal and professional growth that enhance your ability to communicate, motivate, and influence your team.
  • The tools necessary to gain knowledge, insight, and understanding of how to be a more confident leader in the nonprofit sector. And,
  • A variety of session topics, resources, and supports to strengthen your leadership skills and directly impact your organization.
“The [Leap] program complimented and enhanced the management and leadership skills that I currently have and provided me with additional information and understanding of the skills necessary to be a successful manager in the nonprofit sector….I have been able to use a variety of the skills that I learned through this program almost every day in my work.” – Leap Graduate.

Join us as we celebrate ten years of building leaders. Go ahead, take the ‘leap’.

Please note: SARC Members with COMPASS funding are eligible to register up to two of their senior leaders in Leap at no cost per fiscal year.


Please Note: The included information is for reference only, and SARC and its Members, their employers, officers, and Directors assume and accept no liability for any consequences arising from the use, non-use, accuracy, or legal compliance of any of the information, tools, or resources provided.

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