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Executive Training Program

Helping nonprofit leaders make their organizations heard

Strong nonprofit leaders understand that communication is central to their success. They make communications work for them rather than the other way around. They are strategic and know which outreach activities will get results. They use resources effectively and make grant dollars go farther. Their voices get things done. 

For almost two decades, Spitfire’s Executive Training Program has given nonprofit leaders the opportunity to hone their skills and the strategies to effectively share their visions, inspire action and propel their work forward. 

At our Executive Training Program, nonprofit leaders benefit from: 

  • Hands-on, in-person workshops on strategy and planning, messaging, presentations, digital media, combatting disinformation, narrative change and new communication trends in the field and more; 
  • Access to a digital learning series that supplements the in-person training sessions, 
  • Exposure to top experts including high‐profile researchers, brand strategists, presentation gurus, storytellers and other stellar speakers; and 
  • Tailored one-on‐one follow-up coaching from top Spitfire strategists. 

The first in-person session starts on May 21, 2024 at the Presidio in San Francisco.  This gathering will allow the cohort to develop, begin their strategic communication planning and skills building.  This will set the groundwork for their progress over the course of the rest of the program. After the first 2.5 day in-person training, participants will have regular check-ins and work sessions with their coach to work through their specific communication needs and projects.  There will be learning cohort and skill-building webinars over the next eight months. For the participants with enhanced seats, Spitfire coaches will come to your organization to provide either training for your staff, strategy sessions or additional in-person work. 

The program’s second in-person session takes place in Washington, DC on September 10, 2024.  Another 2.5-day training will occur outside of DC in a peaceful setting where the cohort will come together for additional tailored sessions to take each participant’s communication skills to the next level.  The coaching program will conclude at the end of December 2024. 

"The Spitfire ETP was more helpful than anticipated and occurred at the right time in our organization's life cycle. Personally, the program increased my confidence, leadership skills and network of inspirational leaders driving social change globally. Professionally, I gained practical skills in storytelling, public speaking and strategic planning that will undoubtedly improve how we uplift voices in communities where work, and move existing supporting audiences to action."

"This Spitfire program embraces the power of social movements, community organizing, and people power in the non-profit world. Anchored in actual organizational capacity, it provides effective tools for powerful storytelling, restful leadership, strong communications, and impactful collaboration that are invaluable. I'm so grateful for the support, tools, resources, guidance and care from Spitfire—an opportunity most small non-profits never get to finally be able to tell the stories that can go on to change the world"



Key dates

  • May 21-23, 2024 – in-person San Francisco training
  • September 10-12, 2024 – in-person Washington DC training

Learn more by contacting Mark Dessauer at 919-451-1150 or


Spitfire’s Executive Training Program has helped more than 600 nonprofit leaders find success. These leaders and their sponsors consistently praised the experience as one of the best professional development trainings they’ve ever been a part of. 

  • “I’ve sent 35 grantees through the program in the past five years and it makes a big difference. If you have some young leaders in your stables who need a communications jump-start, this is the one to send them to.” 
  • “The training for me was relevant, timely, challenging and most importantly, transformative. Spitfire is outstanding, providing direct leadership training and promoting leaders. Expect me to step up and into my empowered role as an Executive Director.” 
  • “These training sessions have revolutionized our nonprofit and inspired me to teach to other groups in our area, where little capacity like this exists for nonprofits.”

Learn more by contacting Mark Dessauer at 919-451-1150 or