20 Years of Impact

Influencing Practice

One of the primary interfaces between the Social Enterprise Initiative and practitioners is through the SEI portfolio of executive education programs. The first program was launched in 1995 and, since then, the portfolio of programs has provided transformational learning experiences for more than 7,000 social impact executives and board members.

Today, HBS offers six open-enrollment and two custom Social Enterprise Executive Education programs each year: three targeted toward nonprofit leaders, three for corporate leaders, one for leaders in the microfinance industry, and one for teams of education leaders within urban public school districts.

Executive Education Program Spotlight: Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM)

Launched as one of the Social Enterprise Initiative's first major efforts 20 years ago, the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) program has since provided thousands of nonprofit leaders with the tools and strategies to help them better deliver on their missions and make a difference in the world. Each summer, SPNM brings together some 150 leaders of nonprofits from across the globe for an intensive six-day program designed to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit CEOs and executive directors to lead their organizations effectively. SPNM provides a conceptual approach to shape the direction, mission, policies, and major programs of nonprofit organizations.

“SPNM was life changing. I refer back to my learning on a daily basis and what I learned continues to shape every aspect of my role and professional life.”

Alastair Davis Chief Executive, Social Finance ScotlandSPNM 2012

Mastering Nonprofit Leadership

A glimpse into the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) program experience which equips nonprofit leaders with tools and strategies to help them better deliver on their missions and make a difference in the world.


John Pellowe, CEO, Canadian Council on Christian Charities, SPNM 2009, discusses the ways in which the SPMN program revolutionized his leadership by providing frameworks that enabled him to engage with his staff and board in new ways.


Executive Education Program Spotlight: Governing for Nonprofit Excellence (GNE)

This three-day program explores issues of critical concern to board leaders, including strategic planning; managing mission transitions and organizational transformations; achieving financial sustainability; driving high performance; attaining effective board-CEO relationships; creating a productive board structure and a culture of board engagement; and preserving trust and accountability.

GNE: The Program Impact

Participants from the 2011 Governing for Nonprofit Excellence (GNE) program discuss how the program has impacted them. Charlotte Guyman, Trustee, Save the Children Federation; Sig Hutchinson, Vice Chair and Chair Elect, Triangle Land Conservancy; Bonnie Carter, President, Essex County CASA


Program Participants Making an Impact


Carolyn Miles President and CEO, Save the Children, United StatesSPNM (2008)

"Having multiple members of our senior staff and board attend social enterprise executive education programs enabled us to build a strong senior management team and a core set of strategic skills. We had the chance to reflect on practical strategies, acquire new tools, and make useful connections. As a result, we have moved our work for the world's poorest children to a new level."

Charles Edwards President and CEO, Atlanta Center for Self SufficiencySPNM (2010)

"HBS had developed solutions and methodologies for increasing the chances for becoming a high-performing organization. SPNM showed me what it truly takes to achieve lasting social change."

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Program Supporters Making an Impact

Chuck ReCorr Senior Vice President, Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch

The story of Chuck ReCorr, a philanthropist who “wants impact” and achieves it by inspiring others to lead change within his community in Raleigh, North Carolina.

HBS Club of Chicago

The HBS Club of Chicago (HBSCC) Charitable Fund helps support Chicagoland organizations by teaching them the necessary business tools and skills to survive in an unpredictable economic climate.