Nelson Layag
Nelson Layag
Project Director

About Nelson

Nelson Layag is a project director for CompassPoint. Nelson is responsible for the design and management of CompassPoint’s public training program. In addition to leading the training program, he facilitates and teaches on topics including leadership and management, performance management, project management, and instructional design. Nelson’s passion is working with staff and leaders of social change organizations. He appreciates and is motivated by the power individuals can have when they find a way to work effectively together as a team. He brings this excitement to his work in performance management, project management, and developing a training program that meets the needs of people working in the nonprofit sector.

As a student at Loyola University of Maryland, Nelson was instrumental in the early development of a campus volunteer center focused on social justice. A lifelong “islander,” Nelson was born in the Philippines, grew up on Staten Island, and now lives in Alameda. He’s a drummer in a garage band when he has spare time from being a father of three. He is on the steering committee for the nonprofit online magazine BlueAvocado. Nelson coaches youth football and basketball. He still sports the championship ring earned in 2000 when CompassPoint’s team won the San Francisco Nonprofit Softball League title. 


Bachelor of Arts: Business Administration 
Loyola University of Maryland 

Certification: Professional and Personal Coach
Leadership That Works


  • Customized In-house Trainings:  Nelson regularly provides customized in-house training for nonprofit staff groups on a variety of topics, including coaching, performance management, and supervision. Recent organizations he has presented to include Catholic Charities Bay Area, Abode Services, and Mission Neighborhood Health Center.  
  • CompassPoint Training Program: As training director at CompassPoint, Nelson is responsible for the management and instructional design of CompassPoint’s workshops and learning programs. He has designed and co-written several of CompassPoint's workshop offerings including Supervision Parts 1 and 2. He also managed the Nonprofit Board Basics Online, a virtual learning center with instructional resources for nonprofit board members working in the corporate sector. 
  • CompassPoint Nonprofit Conferences: Over the years, Nelson has designed and organized a variety of CompassPoint conferences—including Nonprofit Day—bringing nationally and internationally known speakers to CompassPoint’s audience including Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky, Erica Williams, Kim Klein, Beth Kanter, and Jim Kouzes. 
  • Multicultural Board Leadership Academy: With the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, and the Health Trust Foundation, Nelson co-designed the curriculum for this 8-week program to support the learning and development of new board members who bring diversity to nonprofit boards and a wider perspective on how to address the community’s greatest challenges.​

Read Nelson



Recent Speaking Engagements

Session presentations: “Managing Effectively,” “Performance Management,” and “Supervision.”  Bank of America Emerging Leaders Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, 2011 and 2012  

Favorite Resources

“The specific tools, examples and frameworks were really effective in making this training usable in our day-to-day work. Thank you Nelson and team.”


-Contract Training Participant

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