Catalyst for Nonprofit Excellence

Create a more fulfilling and engaged work life.

Are you looking to experience more balance between work and life? Do you want to discover your unique strengths as a leader and how to apply them more fully for better results? 

What Is Catalyst?

Catalyst is a results-oriented personal and professional development program designed to help you discover your intrinsic ability to create excellence and grow your network of support. With a cohort of peers, you will explore tools that will elevate your leadership.

The series is broken into five sessions that build on each other. Each step is separated by some time to allow you to integrate and apply your learning and prepare for the next step.

Session 1: The Pursuit of Excellence for Leaders - Assessing My Personal Context and Laying the Foundation For More Effective Leadership - What must I know about myself to become a more effective leader?

Session 2: The Wall for Leaders - Clarifying What Drives Me and Confronting Barriers to Effective Leadership - What's in my way to stepping up fully in life and leadership?

Session 3: The Advancement of Excellence for Leaders - Empowered Ownership, Implementation and Results - How will I move my organization forward to maximize our contribution to our community and the world?

Session 4: Commencement – Celebrate your wins

Session 5 (6 months after Commencement): The Launch - Implementation, Reflection and Support - How can I reinforce my support network to continue to see positive results?

Learn how Catalyst changed the lives of our alumni

Read more stories from our alumni. Are you interested in talking with one of our alumni about the program? Let us know and we will connect you.

Mollie Kabler - Sitka, AK
Executive Director, CoastAlaska
"Catalyst changed the way I approached my work, and made me focus on strengthening important relationships in my personal life. I learned to be patient with myself, and to notice when I was holding myself back. Most of all, I learned that if I wanted change in my life that I, and no one else, was responsible for it."
Cameron Wohlford - Fairbanks, AK
Senior Project Manager, UAF Facilities Services
"The first day of Catalyst, I was thrust into a community of 17 other very strong, high perofrming sector leaders with no time to prepare. The second day was life changing. You reveal a lot to your new family. I left the third day charged up to meet the perosnal goals I developed for myself and years later, I conquer that goal everyday."
Mary David - Nome, AK
Executive Vice President, Kawerak, Inc.
"I learned that no matter your age or place in your career, Catalyst can change you. For me, exploring on a deeper level what is important to me makes me want to move forward, with more intention, to do more. It helped me tie in what is important to me personally with my work life."
Laurie Stuart - Anchorage, AK
Executive Director, Tyonek Tribal Conservation District
"I've discovered the importance of being consistent, sharing my own truth, and listening to peers in more thoughtful ways. As a result of the relationships I've formed through Catalyst, I have a greater sense of how we all work in different ways to strengthen the fabric of our shared society and how, as nonprofit leaders in Alaska, we benefit from one another as professional peers and supporters."

Who Is Catalyst For?

Catalyst is designed for any nonprofit leader who is ready to learn, connect, and grow. We define a nonprofit leader as someone who is actively involved in the nonprofit sector. Volunteers, board members, and community organizers are all welcome.

Catalyst is for leaders looking to:

  • Become more effective in achieving goals individually and as part of a team
  • Increase confidence and reduce stress
  • Create a more fulfilling and engaged work life

Successful participants share these traits:

  • Action-oriented leadership style
  • Commitment to Alaska's nonprofit sector
  • Available for the ENTIRE program. Missing classes greatly impacts your experience and that of your fellow participants. If selected, we require that you are available for every class in the series - no exceptions.

What Are The Classes Like?

Catalyst uses a variety of learning styles and places emphasis on applying learnings by doing. Only 20% of the class is a lecture - this is an interactive experience!

Full Breakdown

  • 50% exercises and hands-on activities
  • 30% discussion and interaction
  • 20% lecture

How Often Will We Meet?

To attract a statewide set of leaders, all classes are held at the Foraker offices in Anchorage as a central location. The cohort meets for four intensive sessions. In addition, you will have weekly teleconference calls with your team for five weeks. Graduates of the program are encouraged to stay connected and engaged through a variety of opportunities.

What is the cost for the Catalyst program?

Every effort is made to keep costs to a minimum. Limited tuition and travel support is available.

The fee is $3,700, or $3,100 for Foraker Partners.
Travel and accommodations are not included in the cost of tuition.

Are Scholarships Available?

Thanks to the Alice Galvin Catalyst Scholarship fund, we offer limited financial support for tuition and travel. Please indicate your interest on the application.

The Mat-Su Health Foundation offers scholarships each year to Mat-Su nonprofit leaders to attend Catalyst. For more information go to

Other scholarships may be available. Check with your employer and local resources.

When Is The Next Catalyst program?

It depends on when we will be able to meet in person. This program will not be offered virtually.  Please check back or contact us to be added to our outreach list.  

Our goal is to select a cohort of nonprofit leaders that represents the diversity of the nonprofit missions, leadership experience, and geography of the state. This is a competitive program, and we encourage you to engage fully in the application process.