Leadership Development for Nonprofit Professionals

Invest in yourself, your organization, and the nonprofit sector this year. Connect with your peers, challenge your leadership skills, and build a better future for Montana. MNA Catalyst paves the way for a robust and resilient nonprofit sector in Montana through leadership development. With a combination of dynamic and skilled content experts, thoughtful curriculum design, and opportunities to connect with peers and facilitators, MNA Catalyst bolsters the skill sets, deepens the confidence, and broadens the perspective of both experienced and emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector.  Focusing on individual development, organizational leadership, and sector-wide influence and collaboration, MNA Catalyst is a robust program that will help shape and sustain the future of Montana’s nonprofit sector through leadership development. 

Applications Closed

Applications for 2023 are now closed. They will reopen for 2024 later this year. If you are interested in this program please reach out to [email protected]

Catalyst Fundamentals

Extraordinary impact occurs when nonprofit leaders: 

  1. Leverage individual leadership styles and strengths using emotional intelligence. 
  2. Move intentionally between management and leadership roles.
  3. Lead the board and community toward generative work.
  4. Practice and encourage authenticity, vulnerability, and risk taking.
  5. Cultivate a network and community that is trusting, supportive, and mutually accountable.
  6. Prioritize inclusive and equitable approaches and outcomes for diverse communities.

What You’ll Learn

Throughout the Catalyst experience, participants will be invited to:  

  • Deepen your knowledge of the pivotal and multi-faceted role of leadership in organizational and community well-being 
  • Discover a new understanding of your personal strengths and challenges as a leader 
  • Gain tools and skills to increase your effectiveness as an organizational leader 
  • Establish yourself as a nonprofit leader in in your local and statewide community 

This program is built on our Nonprofit Leadership Fundamentals. Participants will be introduced to these fundamentals, explore them within the cohort, and be prepared to practice and master them throughout and after the program. 

Program Format  

This program consists of the following: 

  • 5 hours of pre-work completed before May 2023 
  • In Person Immersion May 17th –19th | Fairmont Hot Springs
  • Peer Learning Cohorts, Monthly, June – October
    • June 14th | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Virtual
    • July 12th | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Virtual
    • August 9th | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Virtual
    • October 11th | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Virtual
  • 1:1 Time with facilitators to advance your goals between May – September 
  • In Person Meeting September 18th | Missoula 

Content will be delivered in person and via Zoom. Resources, recordings, and additional exercises will be accessed through an online platform management system. All in person meetings will be evaluated in light of safety conditions during projected times. 

This program has been developed for executive directors or CEO’s in the nonprofit sector in Montana. Other applicants may also find value in this program but admission priority will be given to current ED’s and CEO’s in Montana. 


Headshot of Ned Cooney, a white man with gray beard, wearing a gray jacket and blue shirt.

Ned Cooney

Ned Cooney operates an independent consulting practice specializing in nonprofits, foundations, businesses with heart, and public agencies. His early career was in the nonprofit sector, as executive director, program staff and board member. Now, Ned serves client organizations by helping people learn and make better decisions together.  Ned specializes in inclusive organizational planning, board development, support for executives, and effective meetings and retreats. Ned is a former member and Board Chair for MNA and has served as a member of MNA’s Nonprofit Public Policy Council since its start in 2006. 

Ned resides in Bigfork, Montana with his wife and love of his life Cathy and their two adorable, occasionally annoying cats. His cup is filled by songwriting, singing and playing guitar, and he loves getting on the water, riding a bike in the summer, and snowshoeing. He is really bad at disc golf but has a good time despite the public humiliation.

Headshot of MNA Executive Director, Liz Moore posing outdoors in a denim jacket.

Liz Moore

Liz Moore joined the Montana Nonprofit Association as Executive Director in 2011 and holds a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University with a certificate in Leadership.

She previously worked for the Rocky Mountain Development Council, a community action agency serving south-central Montana, for 16 years. In that role, Liz worked with the Head Start program, Low Income Energy Assistance Program, Montana Youth Homes, Homelessness Prevention and Rehousing, and a variety of other human services programs.

In her 25 years working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector, Liz was a founding board member for Family Promise of Greater Helena, served on the board of ExplorationWorks!, a museum of science and culture, and co-founded HATCH, the Helena Action Coalition on Homelessness. She served on the Region III Disability Services QIC Editorial Board, the Montana Continuum of Care Coalition, the Montana NAMIWalk Steering Committee, The Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI) Council, Montana Children’s Bill of Rights Task Force, and the Montana Office of Public Instruction Comprehensive System for Professional Development Council.

Headshot of Rachel Huff-Doria, a white woman with blonde hair, wearing a blue and red scarf.

Rachel Huff-Doria

Rachel Huff-Doria is the owner/director of RHD LLC whose mission is to strengthen leadership, community, and strategy through the tools of facilitation and participatory design.

She is a facilitator, designer, and former non-profit leader who has worn the hat of an Executive Director, Campaign Manager, Registered Lobbyist, Field Organizer, Research Specialist, Board Trustee, and many other non-profit and community roles. 

In the Catalyst program, Rachel aims to create a space that fosters reflection, connection, and new perspectives through honest sharing, open listening, and a playful, learning environment between non-profit leaders. Rachel is most energized when bouncing ideas back and forth with Catalyst participants or setting the space for the cohort to offer shared support and growth for each other. 

Rachel left a piece of her heart up a holler with friends and community in West Virginia where she worked in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement before her search for bigger skies led her to Missoula, MT in 2015, where she now lives with her family. Rachel is the mom of two young kiddos and a rambling cat who Catalyst participants can expect to glimpse (or more likely hear) on a video call.

Fee: $1,495

Program available only to MNA Members. Participation fee includes all program and curriculum costs including initial self-assessment, monthly programming, three-day immersive workshop and final meeting. Fees do not include lodging and transportation.


There are internal and external scholarship opportunities for Catalyst. Indicate your interest in scholarships on your application, or reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Support Catalyst


Interested in supporting leadership development in Montana? Join our Catalyst Circle of Support. Become a sponsor, with opportunities starting at $1,000 up to $5,000. Sponsors gain the opportunity to share their message and brand with the Catalyst audience and beyond while helping sustain leadership programming for Montana nonprofit professionals. Learn more or contact [email protected] for more info. We look forward to partnering with you!


Are you interested in paving the way for participants? Catalyst requires participants to invest their time and energy. Your donation to our scholarship fund will allow participants to focus on their learning, growth, and building a better future for Montana. You may make a gift right now by donating online and selecting “Catalyst Scholarships” as your campaign choice. Donors will be recognized on this page and in communications announcing our 2021 Cohort.