Catalyst for Nonprofit Excellence

Create more purpose in your career and life

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

Applications are now closed. Please let us know if you are interested in participating in future cohorts. 

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 (5 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

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 how 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-performing 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 personal goals I developed for myself and years later, I conquer that goal every day."
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 learning 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 three intensive sessions followed by a commencement. In addition, you will have weekly teleconference calls with your team for five weeks. After 6 months, we will bring the cohort back together virtually to reflect and learn with other alumni. 

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 $4,000, or $3,400 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. 

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.