The Center for Healthy Nonprofits is offering a 9-session Survival Series for newer nonprofit EDs and CEOs. Hosted by Patti Caldwell and Paula Van Ness, both drawing upon decades of experience as nonprofit CEO’s, this Survival Series is designed to give a cohort of newer Executive Directors and CEOs practical information to help survive as an extraordinary leader of a successful nonprofit organization. The program will consist of nine two-hour sessions, including a one-on-one coaching session.

Facilitated conversations will cover the competencies and key relationships required of nonprofit executives including tips for effective management of your Board and staff, building and maintaining a culture aligned with your mission and values, problem-solving and decision-making, managing change, and healthier management of your time and your life. Each session includes opportunities to network with your counterparts, creating relationships for continued sharing of successes and challenges.

The Center for Healthy Nonprofits is a program of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona working to strengthen the nonprofit community by offering free and reduced cost capacity building workshops and training for nonprofit professionals and volunteers.

Applications for 2022 are now open. Fill out the form below to apply!


About Our Trainers

Patti Caldwell, MSW, is a successful, well respected community leader.

Over the past 30 years she has served in senior leadership and executive positions in not for profit organizations, including nearly half of that time as the full-time CEO of 3 different organizations in Tucson.

She currently works as an organizational development consultant and facilitator.  In that role, she has served as the Interim CEO/ED for 3 organizations during times of leadership transition.

Paula Van Ness, MS is a seasoned nonprofit executive with more than 40 years in CEO/Executive Director positions locally and nationally.  Previous she served in the top executive position for Family Planning Centers of Greater LA, AIDS Project Los Angeles, National AIDS Fund, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Make-A-Wish America and Connecticut Community Foundation.

She has a master’s degree in organizational development and currently manages the Center for Healthy Nonprofits at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.


Important Dates

There will be 9 two-hour sessions taught during this program. It is required to attend all sessions, pending emergencies. Please be sure the following dates will work for your schedule before applying.

Sessions occur from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. on the following dates:

  • January 6, 2022
  • February 3, 2022
  • March 3, 2022
  • April 7, 2022
  • May 5, 2022
  • June 2, 2022
  • August 4, 2022
  • September 1, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

Important Information

While majority of the costs for this series have been covered by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Tucson Foundations, and potentially other funders, there is a $450 co-pay to participate in the series. Please note that scholarships are available.


CEO/ED Survival Series

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