Master Juggler Executive Institute

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Leadership development for foundation executives

AprilOctober 2017

Executive leaders at small-staffed foundations play a unique role in philanthropy. You are committed to serving your foundation, your board, and your community. You make it a priority to leverage the most from your time and money. And you often put others first, not always getting around to investing in yourself and your professional development.

With you in mind, we developed the Master Juggler Executive Institute, a carefully crafted 6-month program for those in the most senior staff role at their foundations. 

Program Highlights

  • A unique opportunity for executive directors/CEOs and the foundations they serve, combining world-class training, peer learning, and executive coaching
  • Wisdom from seasoned experts in leadership, organizational development, and philanthropy, plus the collective experience of fellow foundation executives. 
  • A small cohort that supports deep connections, real accountability, and a personalized learning experience for each participant.

Applications for the 2017 program are closed.

Core Components

Leadership Intensives
The program includes two dynamic in-person trainings led by outstanding faculty. They feature 25+ hours of instruction, practical application, powerful collegial connections, and opportunities to test new skills. 

Peer Coaching
Leading a small-staffed foundation requires the support, insight, and creativity that comes from authentic engagement with others who understand your work. You’ll be matched with a select group of peer executives to provide you with support and motivation via monthly coaching sessions and ongoing conversations.

Customized Learning
Whether you’re in your first year on the job or celebrating your 20th anniversary, each leadership situation is unique. You’ll work with faculty and peers to identify your priorities for growth and develop a personal learning agenda to take your leadership to the next level in the next year.

Support & Resources
You won't go it alone. You will engage with your peers through executive coaching circles, conference calls, and online discussions. Our seasoned faculty and staff will provide ongoing support and connect you with resources from Exponent Philanthropy and the field to help you fulfill your personal learning agenda.

Read about our learning modules.


Leadership Intensive I
April 5-7, 2017
Airlie Center | Warrenton, VA
The program will start at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday and wrap up by 3:00 p.m. Friday.

Leadership Intensive II
We will convene at a pre-conference to our October 2017 CONNECT conference, starting with an evening program and dinner followed by a full-day program. Participants are encouraged to stay for CONNECT (October 15–17) at a special rate. 


  • Leslie Sholl Jaffe, leadership development expert with 25+ years of experience

See faculty bio.

Applications for the 2017 program are now closed. 

“The positive impact the Master Juggler Executive Institute has had on our executive director is a delight to observe. Her self-confidence, willingness to take risks, skill in selling her ideas and being more strategic in assuring the foundation has lasting impact have all appreciably grown as a result of the program.”
—Board president of Master Juggler Executive Institute alum

Master Juggler Executive Institute
“I look forward to the experience and know it will be invaluable for the foundation I serve. Teaming up with Exponent Philanthropy has been nothing but positive information and learning.”

— Becky Foerster, Hagerman Foundation, 2015 Master Juggler 
Master Juggler Executive Institute

“The Master Juggler Executive Institute is a powerful investment. Our foundation is all about investing in human capital. It was time to invest in my own human capital – an investment that I am confident will pay off for our foundation, and for our grantees.”  

—Master Juggler Executive Institute alum

Master Juggler Executive Insitute
"As I see it, the Master Juggler Executive Institute is an opportunity for self-assessment and development with a group of peers who work in very similar situations to my own."

— Janis A. Reischmann, Hau`oli Mau Loa Foundation, Master Juggler Participant
“I came away with an entire sheet filled with ideas and action steps that I want to implement. I also came away with a list of colleagues with whom I will not hesitate to connect for questions, guidance, or feedback.”

—Master Juggler Executive Institute alum
“Leaders of small foundations are not only leading their organizations but also leading social change movements large and small. The issues are complex and change is never easy, so being aware of who we are as leaders, our skills and limitations is critical to doing our jobs well.”

—Master Juggler Alum