Coaching and Philanthropy Project


The Coaching and Philanthropy Project was created to assess and advance coaching as a strategy for building effective nonprofit organizations.

The project partners have conducted an unprecedented deep dive into learning about the nonprofit sector’s support for and use of coaching, as well as the coaching field’s knowledge of and work within the nonprofit sector. To consolidate and share this body of knowledge with peers in the nonprofit sector and the coaching field, the Coaching and Philanthropy Project has created easy-access materials. These include action guides for grantmakers, nonprofits, and coaches, as well as an online toolkit that includes FAQs, tools, case studies, and reports to inform decision-making about coaching.

While we are excited to share what we have learned, we also strive to be honest about the questions we still have and acknowledge that coaching in nonprofits is still very much an evolving practice. We hope you find these resources useful and encourage you to share them with your staff, board members, funders, and peers.

Action Guides

Online Toolkit: Supplementary Tools and Resources

Coaching Readiness Questionnaire
Provides questions as a way to assess both individual and organizational “readiness” for coaching.

Guide to Selecting a Nonprofit Coach 
Provides sample questions to ask a prospective coach along with information for rating responses.

Short Video Interviews
These video clips provide first-hand accounts from executive directors, senior staff, an evaluator, and coaches about the value of coaching to leaders and how it helps strengthen their organizations. 

Coaching Stories
Case studies from nonprofit leaders and coaches. 

Coaching and Consulting Differences 
Provides a visual table on the differences between coaching and expert consulting.

The Leadership Development Investment Framework
This framework is a tool developed to assist funders, program staff, and evaluators clarify the purposes of leadership development and capacity-building support. It is published by Leadership Learning Community with funding from the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Practicing Culturally Aware Coaching
Excerpted from Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders, this resource provides information about culture, cultural awareness, and the ways culture and values are understood in the nonprofit workplace. 


Reports and Summaries

Coaching Practices and Prospects: The Flexible Leadership Awards Program in Context
Given the Haas, Jr. Fund’s investment in coaching and its commitment to leadership development for its grantees, it sought to learn more about trends and key questions in the coaching field and, more particularly, how their grantees were using coaching and to what effect. This report from Bill Ryan, a fellow at Harvard University’s Hauser Center provides information and insight on all these fronts.

Coach Training Pilot Project (CTPP) Summary
Provides a summary of the CTPP and its goal to increase the number of culturally appropriate coaches committed to working within the nonprofit sector. 

Competency Guidelines for Coaches Working in the Nonprofit Sector
Summary of the Coaching and Philanthropy survey on the background and training needed for coaches to effectively support nonprofit leaders.

The Coaching and Philanthropy Project was formed through a partnership between BTW informing change, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Leadership that Works. This work was made possible by the generous funding and support of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.