Organizational & Leadership Coaching

". . . it's a fresh approach with remarkable results." - Sylvia Yee, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund on Executive Coaching for Nonprofits

What promise does coaching offer to nonprofit leaders? What impact can coaching have upon developing and sustaining effective leaders within their organizations and the nonprofit sector? How does coaching support nonprofit organizational development? These are some of the questions that have driven the work of CompassPoint and its many partners over the past several years. CompassPoint is proud to contribute to the growing body of work on this emerging practice in the field and is grateful to the many funders, coaches, and sector leaders who have influenced our work.

“Through coaching … I have a sense of owning this job and a sense of competence and assuredness about doing the job that I think would have otherwise taken years and years (and lots of heartache and not great learning experiences) to gain.” – Coaching and Philanthropy Project interview with coachee

Coaching Projects

Executive and Leadership Coaching
CompassPoint’s leadership coaches work one-on-one with nonprofit managers and leaders to maximize their leadership potential and support individualized professional development goals. This can also include coaching managers new to their role or leaders in transition. CompassPoint offers this type of one on one coaching on its own or as part of larger programs focused on organizational capacity and/or leadership development. For more information on coaching, review the CAP Action Guide for Nonprofits. To schedule an initial needs assessment, contact Paola Cubias at

Targeted Content Coaching
Content coaching supports a nonprofit leader to help develop his or her capacity and skills to address discrete, well-defined organizational issues that focus on specific topics or content areas. CompassPoint staff can provide this type of targeted coaching in finance, fund development, or board governance. To schedule an initial needs assessment, contact Paola Cubias at

Coaching Skills for Managers
More and more nonprofit managers are turning to coaching to support many managerial aspects of their job such as clarifying goals, supporting staff development, and gaining commitment and accountability from others. Judith Wilson and CompassPoint have developed core curriculum to teach managers the foundational coaching skills they need to support staff. “Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers” is offered as a public workshop at CompassPoint or as a contract training for nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information on our contract trainings, contact Paola Cubias at

Executive and Leadership Coaching Referral
In 2003, CompassPoint created a Coaching Referral Service to help nonprofit professionals navigate the matching and selection process. CompassPoint draws on a pool of diverse, experienced, and certified coaches that includes deep and varied experience working with nonprofit organizations. CompassPoint provides referrals to individuals working in nonprofits with organizational leadership coaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. More information.


Additionally, CompassPoint incorporates coaching into its foundation funded leadership initiatives in the following ways:

Peer Coaching
Based on an action learning model that supports adult learning, peer coaching involves bringing peers together to coach each other. Each peer is equally dedicated to the other’s learning and development. Through this type of process, peers can also share accountability and support to apply concepts and materials from traditional training sessions or address their current problems and goals. It also can be used to cultivate strong, authentic relationships among peers. As an introduction to the peer coaching model, CompassPoint provides foundational coaching skills training to each member, as well as a structure for meeting on an ongoing basis.

Individual Development Plan Coaching
Individual Development Plan (IDP) coaches guide participants through their 360 assessment summary reports as well as their Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment results to help them identify strengths as well as underlying needs and challenges. From there, the IDP coach assists participants to develop and implement an individual development plan.

Strategic Coaching Program Design
On a case-by-case basis, CompassPoint will work with funders and leadership programs to design and implement an efficient, well-managed coaching program. This includes: selecting, orienting, or training a team of coaches, assisting with or overseeing participant communication and coach matching, and assisting with or managing progress and program alignment.

For more information on CompassPoint’s coaching work in leadership initiatives, please contact Michelle Gislason at

Coaching Projects and Publications

Coaching and Philanthropy Project
This project aims to help nonprofits and funders become conscious consumers of coaching as a means for leadership development and organizational effectiveness and to develop the coaching profession to support the needs of nonprofit organizations. More information.

Publication: Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders: Developing People to Achieve Your Mission
The only nonprofit orientation to coaching skills available, Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Leaders will provide nonprofit managers with an understanding of why and how to coach, how to initiate coaching in specific situations, how to make coaching really work, and how to refine coaching for long-term success. More information.

Executive Coaching Project
In 2002, CompassPoint embarked on a 12-month demonstration project of Executive Coaching with 25 Executive Directors in the San Francisco Bay Area. A longitudinal evaluation by Harder + Company studied these new executive directors who worked one-on-one with executive coaches who helped them navigate both personal life issues and organizational leadership matters. More information.

Support Our Work

CompassPoint is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to increase the impact of nonprofit community-based organizations and the people who work and volunteer in them. You can support CompassPoint's work by donating through our secure online donations page.

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