MNA Catalyst :: Developing Nonprofit Leadership in Montana

Applications Closed for the 2021 Cohort | Announcement Coming Soon

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.  

Support Catalyst 


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. 


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!

Program Overview

Program Structure

  • Pre-Meeting Self-Assessments 
  • Three-Day At-Home Immersion May 24-26 2021 
  • 1:1 Time with facilitators to advance your goals between May - December 
  • Peer Learning Cohorts between May – December 
  • Cohort Experience at 2021 MNA Annual Conference 

Participant Outcomes

  • 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 

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.


Over the course of the program, participants will cover topics including:

  • Personal Leadership
  • Leading Change
  • Navigating Between Management + Leadership
  • Decision Making
  • Communication
  • Organizational Culture
  • Leading the Board from Behind
  • Collaborative Leadership


  • November 30th - January 22nd January 28th | Application Open
  • February 19th | Attendees Notified
  • March – May | Pre-Assessments + Goal Setting
  • May 24-26  | Three Day at Home Immersion
  • May – December | Coaching, Peer Mentoring

MNA is not currently planning on any in-person meetings for this cohort, unless conditions change and we can safely gather in Montana.  


$975. Program available only to MNA Members. Participation fee includes all program and curriculum costs including initial self-assessment, monthly programming, and three day immersive workshop.* Participants will also receive complimentary registration to our 2021 workshops, webinars, and learning experiences.* 


Ned Cooney Montana Nonprofit Association

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. Before beginning his consulting practice in 2005, Ned served as Executive Director for two nonprofits, first the Volunteer Center of Riverside County operating a variety of community-driven volunteer and social service programs, and later the Resource Center for Nonprofit Management, specializing in training and consulting with nonprofit organizations.

In 2014, Ned worked with Liz Moore and co-facilitator Ed Myers to develop Leading for Life, a cohort-based leadership development for Flathead-area nonprofit executive directors. This “pilot” collaboration between MNA, The Sustainability Fund and Flathead Nonprofit Development Partnership. Leading for Life focused on understanding personal characteristics and values as a bridge to developing intentional leadership within the organization and community.

Liz Moore

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.

Mary Peterson Montana Nonprofit Association

Mary Peterson

Mary Peterson considers herself the “practitioner’s practitioner,” having spent nearly 40 years in the nonprofit sector. While serving as executive director of Eagle Mount Bozeman, a nonprofit offering adaptive recreation for people with disabilities and children with cancer, Mary helped to strengthen the organization, launch new programs, and retrofit Eagle Mount for financial sustainability. Prior to Eagle Mount, Mary was development director for Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, Museum of the Rockies, the MSU College of Nursing, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. From 2015-17, Mary was honored to serve as president of the Montana Nonprofit Association, and in 2019, she was the inaugural recipient of the “Montana’s Best – Legacy Award,” a joint award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Montana and the Montana Nonprofit Association.  Now retired, Mary remains actively engaged in the sector and smiles knowingly when she hears #okboomer.