The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys (CFFK) is now accepting applications for the seventh year of its intensive Leadership Success Academy (LSA) board training program, offering best practices in leadership development and governance skills. To date, the LSA has trained more than 300 board members from 92 nonprofit organizations.

Class Seven of the LSA program will begin February 20 and include five half to full-day training sessions through April. Applications are now being accepted for interested board members from service/civic and membership organizations, and government groups and coalitions, in addition to all 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.

 New in 2014: Nonprofit executive directors/CEOs can now participate in all five training sessions providing at least one board member participates for the entire program. Up to four members will be accepted from any one nonprofit organization (including the ED/CEO). The cost of the program is $100 per organization (for one to four attendees). Application forms are available here

“Leadership among nonprofits is critical to help organizations achieve their missions, build stability, and increase effectiveness to move to the next level,” said Dianna Sutton, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

LSA offers best practices in the areas of leadership style, board governance, organizational development, financial literacy, fundraising and development, and strategic planning and change management. Debbie Mason, president of Strategists, Inc., facilitates the training. The dates of this year’s program are:

Feb 20, 9 to 5 p.m.

March 6, 1 to 5 p.m.

March 20, 1 to 5 p.m.

April 3, 1 to 5 p.m.

April 10, 1 to 5 p.m., with graduation from 5 to 7 p.m.

All sessions are held at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort in Key West.

Leadership development is the most glaring organizational weakness identified by nonprofits by a margin of more than two to one, according to a national survey of 500 nonprofit organizations. The study found that not only did leaders with development training outperform their peers, but also that investment in leadership development generated a 4-to-1 return.

“CFFK is addressing the issue of leadership development through the LSA,” said Dianna Sutton. “The program is having a tremendous impact in the Florida Keys. Participants report that their knowledge of key governance issues increased as much as 35 percent according to our recent five-year survey.”

The 2014 LSA program is offered through the Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence and is partially underwritten by a grant from the Marion Stevens Fund.