Building a New Community as a Nonprofit Leader (Sherri Chisholm)

February 2023

Stepping into a new leadership role is an exciting challenge, but doing it in a new community can create new complexities. In episode #197 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, seasoned nonprofit leader Sherri Chisholm shares how she navigated a new community while maintaining her personal and professional connection to the cause. She shares the steps she took to hone the organization's vision and message, and how each of her colleagues plays a role in advancing it. Traversing the nuances and politics of any community presents its own set of opportunities, and Sherri gives practical examples about how she established and developed these relationships. We also take a deep dive into economic mobility and the methods and resources available to individuals and organizations to increase the outcomes for all children.

"Practice self-care by surrounding yourself with a community of people who ground and develop you for success."



Sherri Chisholm joined Leading on Opportunity as its new director in September of 2020, bringing nearly a decade of experience as an educational and nonprofit strategist to the role. She has worked in senior leadership at national nonprofits and major school districts across the country, where she drove transformation through strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, and leadership development. Prior to joining Leading on Opportunity, Sherri served as the founding Executive Director of Urban Alliance Detroit, a national youth workforce development nonprofit that aims to expand access to economic opportunity for youth from under-resourced neighborhoods through paid internships, job skills training, and mentoring. She is also the founder and CEO of FreeSpace Consulting Group where she has worked to guide and support districts and nonprofit organizations across the country seeking to effect positive change in public education. Sherri holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Studies and Spanish from the University of Michigan; a Master of Arts degree in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education; and a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership from the Los Angeles-based Broad Center for the Management of School Systems.



As a firm, PMA Nonprofit Leadership is constantly developing content and programs to help you in three distinct ways.  The first way is to help you be a thought leader in the nonprofit sector by producing weekly content through our podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. The second way is through individual coaching, training and our unique Mastermind Nonprofit Leadership program. The third way is to help your nonprofit organization through support of its strategic planning, board & staff development, and fundraising. Through our exclusive partnership with the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership, we also  guide aspiring nonprofit leaders through the virtual New Development Professionals cohort training program, as well as the annual Leadership Gift School, now entering its 10th cohort season.  Let us know how we can help you! Join our community by signing up for our free resources here, and schedule a call if you'd like to learn more about ways we can help you on your journey to nonprofit leadership.