PMA’s Mastermind Programs

August 2020

 Click Here to Apply


What are PMA's Mastermind Programs? 

The need for agile nonprofit leadership has never been greater. Unfortunately, individuals in the nonprofit sector so often do not receive the professional development they need to advance towards their leadership goals. 

PMA is committed to responding to this need for targeted leadership development coaching and training; as a result, we are launching PMA's Mastermind Programs to accelerate Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. 

During a four-month period, participants in our three Mastermind Programs (Emerging Leaders, Senior Professionals, and Nonprofit Explorers) will join seven virtual sessions that combine the advantages of one-on-one coaching with the accountability of a small group of motivated peers. 

Although each Mastermind Program is customized to fit the needs of our three different leadership paths, some highlights across all programs include: 

Designing a Personal Planning Retreat 

Developing a personalized Vision Framework to guide Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership for the next 1, 3, and 5 years 

Assessing your 10 Essential Skills and Experiences for nonprofit leadership 

Receiving a Curated List of Resource Material designed to guide your professional development curriculum 

Identifying and recruiting your Personal Board of Directors 

Who are PMA's Mastermind Programs for? 

PMA's Mastermind Programs are designed for three different leadership paths. A cohort in a Mastermind Program will consist of 6-8 participants. This small group size ensures that participants receive adequate individualized coaching, while also expanding their network and increasing accountability/feedback during the program. 

The Emerging Leaders Mastermind Program is reserved for individuals who are new to the nonprofit field (less than 5 years experience) but are serious about advancing their leadership skills in the sector. 

The Senior Professionals Mastermind Program is reserved for experienced nonprofit professionals (5+ years in a senior leadership role) who are currently in Executive Leadership roles and/or are seeking CEO-level opportunities. 

The Nonprofit Explorers Mastermind Program is reserved for individuals currently in for-profit professional settings but are contemplating the nonprofit sector as a career path. 

How are PMA's Mastermind Programs organized? 

Facilitation of all three of PMA's Mastermind Programs (Emerging Leaders, Senior Professionals, and Nonprofit Explorers) are based on the seven pillars of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, which will come out in book form, authored by Patton McDowell, at the end of 2020 (Advantage/Forbes Book Publishing). 

During the seven 90-minute virtual sessions, Patton will coach participants through the pillars and provide information for each pillar that is customized to fit the needs of each leadership path. To assess the needs of each cohort, participants will complete a pre-program assessment; in addition, Patton will conduct a preliminary one-on-one session with each participant to ensure we are customizing the subsequent group sessions appropriately. 

Examples of the seven pillars include: 

Sharpen Your Vision - this first pillar involves setting a proactive direction for Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. Highlights include: 

o Scheduling a personal retreat to reflect on personal and professional goals

o Writing your personalized Vision Framework 

Get in Shape - one of the needs we consistently hear from clients is maximizing productivity given the demands of the nonprofit sector. Highlights include: 

o Learning about rituals and systems, based on best practices from productivity research, that maximize the ROI for your time
o Developing your Big Three Scorecard to increase your effectiveness 

• Build Community - nonprofit professionals often hear about the need to "build a network," but what does that really mean? With this pillar, we will cover the specifics of strategic networking and what that should look like for each individual. Highlights include: 

o Establishing a Personal Board of Directors
o Targeting specific mentoring/coaching opportunities that fit your needs 

Other specific topics we will cover include how to effectively lead your team (including conducting effective meetings), maximizing data for nonprofit success, and building a culture of philanthropy. 

Who facilitates PMA's Mastermind Programs? 

Dr. Patton McDowell will be the primary facilitator for all of PMA's Mastermind Programs. Patton founded PMA in 2009 and has 30 years of nonprofit experience; he and his colleagues have worked with over 220 nonprofit organizations in a wide range of sectors. Patton has extensive experience coaching staff, board members, and leaders in nonprofits. His podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership has over 50 episodes and his book on the same topic is forthcoming by the end of 2020. 

While Patton will be the primary facilitator and coach, we will also bring in carefully-selected guest speakers (such as other PMA consultants and/or nonprofit leaders who have been guests on the podcast) for certain topics and for bonus content to maximize your exposure to nonprofit leaders. 



What criteria will be used to put together each cohort? 

Application to PMA's Mastermind Programs is open to individuals working in nonprofits (< 5 years for the Emerging Leaders Mastermind Program and > 5 years in a senior leadership role for the Senior Professional Mastermind Program) and also those working for for-profit organizations who are looking to make a career change to the nonprofit sector. Due to the fact that sessions take place virtually, we do not have geographic restrictions for applicants. 

PMA is committed to having a diverse and dynamic membership for our Mastermind Programs. We seek to have representation from a cross section of the nonprofit community including different sectors, ethnic/minority groups, and genders. 

In reviewing applications, PMA's Selection Committee looks for potential participants who demonstrate the following: 

Commitment to advance their career in the nonprofit sector 

Motivation to participate in extracurricular professional development 

Ability to make the time commitment required by the program 

What kind of commitment is required? 

The value of the "cohort model" is reliant on every member in the group being committed to advancing on their Path to Nonprofit Leadership as well as providing support and feedback to other participants in the cohort. 

Participation in PMA's Mastermind Programs requires a commitment of both time and energy during the seven 90-minute sessions as well as between the sessions; we will ask that you complete carefully selected, manageable 'assignments' in the 3-4 weeks between sessions to maximize the return on your time investment. 

Since the success of the program depends on the full commitment of each participant, we ask that all participants be prepared to attend all seven sessions, arrive at the virtual session on time, and participate fully. Since there are only seven sessions, missing "just" two sessions would mean that participants have missed out on 30% of the program; we recognize that emergencies do arise, but we expect participants minimize "unexcused absences." 

When will this program start? How long will it take? When will the sessions take place? 

The first cohort for each of PMA's 3 Mastermind Programs (Emerging Leaders, Senior Professionals and Nonprofit Explorers) will launch in September 2020. There will be seven virtual sessions that take place over 4 months (meeting on average once every 2-3 weeks from September- December; see below for tentative dates). 

New cohorts will launch again in February (running February-May) and May (running May-August). Applications for all 3 programs will be accepted year-round for the next start date. 

Right now, we have the tentative dates (i.e. "week of" dates) for our Fall 2020 program below; the final dates will be confirmed with each cohort to best accommodate their unique schedules. Dates for future Mastermind Programs (starting in January 2021 and May 2021) will be available soon. 

Fall 2020 Session Dates for all three Mastermind Programs: 

Session 1: Week of September 14, 2020 

Session 2: Week of September 28, 2020 

Session 3: Week of October 12, 2020 

Session 4: Week of October 26, 2020 

Session 5: Week of November 9, 2020 

Session 6: Week of November 30, 2020 

Session 7: Week of December 14, 2020 

The seven 90-minute virtual coaching sessions will be conducted via Zoom. Based on initial feedback from interested individuals, we believe sessions will take place during lunchtime or early in the morning, but we are open to meeting the scheduling needs of each cohort. 

Are the sessions closed and confidential? 

PMA's Mastermind Programs' sessions will be limited to only those 6-8 individuals in the cohort. This will provide a confidential setting to discuss leadership challenges while expanding your network. Confidentiality, trust, and integrity are of utmost importance to Patton and PMA when it comes to providing coaching to clients. 

How do I apply

We are excited that you are ready to accelerate your journey on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership by participating in one of PMA's Mastermind Programs. 

Applications are accepted year-round for upcoming Mastermind Programs (a new cohort of 6-8 individuals for each Mastermind Program will begin in September, February, and May). To fill out an application for the next start date, please click here

The application is an online form (via SurveyMonkey) that will take you less than 15 minutes to complete. It will ask you about your current role, why you're interested in the Mastermind Program, detail the commitment involved, and allow us to gather some initial information about your scheduling preferences should you be accepted. 

We will confirm that your application has been received as soon as possible and will evaluate applications for the upcoming session 2-3 weeks prior to each start date.



What take-aways/deliverables can I expect? 

At the end of PMA's Mastermind Programs, we are confident you will have a personal strategic plan to guide your leadership journey over the next 1, 3, and 5 years that will accelerate your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. Other takeaways include: 

The design of a Personal Planning Retreat 

A personalized Vision Framework to guide Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership for the next 1, 3, and 5 years 

An assessment of your 10 Essential Skills and Experiences for nonprofit leadership 

A Curated List of Resource Material designed to guide your professional development curriculum 

A strategy to identify and recruit your Personal Board of Directors 

In addition, you will receive a Mastermind Leadership Development Certificate, along with specific language to include on your LinkedIn/resume, which will help you stand out amongst the competition for future leadership positions. 

What else do I get? 

Before the program begins, each participant will receive a welcome packet with materials you'll use and carefully curated book selections from the PMA Library. 

After the program concludes, in addition to the aforementioned takeaways/deliverables, you will have access to a resource library with bonus content and also receive invitations to future networking opportunities with prominent nonprofit leaders. 


How much do PMA's Mastermind Programs cost? 

Tuition for PMA's Mastermind Programs is $950, which covers all costs for the seven 90-minute small group coaching sessions, program materials, and support by email/phone as needed. Based on our market research, similar leadership development programs cost up to $3000. 

We are also offering those who are interested in receiving additional 1:1 coaching a "Premium" option for $1,250. The Premium option comes with three additional one-hour 1:1 coaching sessions with Patton to be used at your discretion. For example, you could use an additional coaching session during the Mastermind Program to receive more targeted coaching on a particular topic, or perhaps at a later date when a leadership opportunity comes available and you'd like to get coaching for how to ace the interview. *Please note, it is possible to "upgrade" to the Premium pricing option at any time. For example, should you be selected for the program and elect the Basic membership initially, but decide after a few of the class sessions that you're interested in additional 1:1 coaching, you can upgrade to receive the 3 additional coaching sessions.

Tuition may be paid in one lump sum or divided into two payments. Tuition is non-refundable; if you drop out of the program for any reason, we expect you to honor your financial commitment since there is no opportunity for us to fill vacant spots once the program has begun. 

Are there financial aid and/or scholarships available?

We expect many employers will underwrite the cost because of the value for their employees, and ultimately their organization. However, partial scholarships are available and will be awarded, on a discretionary basis, based on need (these individual conversations will take place after a cohort has been selected for each program).

In the event a scholarship is not available, we are willing to work out payment plans with participants on a case-by-case basis. Please indicate your need for a scholarship on our application

Do you have another question that wasn't answered here?
Email and we'll get back to with an answer or schedule time to discuss your question via conference call. 

Are you ready to get started on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership?

Click here 
to apply to PMA's Mastermind Programs.