Liberty Hill: Wally Marks Leadership Institute

Liberty Hill's Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change is an intensive, on-the-job, hands-on training program that dramatically accelerates organizational capacity and effectiveness.

The Leadership Institute is the value-added complement to a grant from Liberty Hill and is designed to strengthen organizational infrastructure and the leadership base of grantees. Liberty Hill has found that financial support, when combined with tailored training, creates optimal effectiveness and impact.

The Leadership Institute addresses the critical need for intensive, customized, on-the-job training and mentoring for leaders of grassroots organizations in communities of color, working with small budgets and long-term social justice goals. Led by inspired community leaders, these grassroots organizations face powerful opponents and rapidly changing conditions in David and Goliath battles over living wages, school and foster care reform, job development, lesbian and gay rights, environmental health, affordable housing and other vital issues.

Through a combination of customized retreat-style training, one-on-one coaching and multi-group peer strategy sessions, the Leadership Institute moves beyond “incubating” organizations to accelerating their growth by building capacity through an “organizational immersion” approach. Multiple individuals from each organization attend all trainings in a track to ensure that the lessons are integrated across the organization, providing strong and deep organizational bench strength to emerging leaders as well as seasoned managers. The Leadership Institute helps groups strengthen membership bases, develop grassroots fundraising processes, define and refine organizational storytelling, recruit visionary board members, and in other ways build the infrastructure and strategic discipline needed to achieve long-term social-justice gains.

The Leadership Institute has helped leaders make transformational discoveries that resulted in dramatic improvements for their organizations. One participating organization tripled its membership base. Another raised 10 times more at an annual fundraiser than the year before. Another weathered the departure of a fundraising executive director by reinventing itself as a sustainable enterprise powered by member fundraising.

The impact of the Leadership Institute's programs are being rigorously evaluated. Harder + Company, an independent evaluator, determined that 9 out of 10 leaders gained understanding and skills in core curriculum areas. The full report on Wally Marks Leadership Institute>>

A guiding principle of the Leadership Institute has been development of a program design that embraces a wide range of cultural competencies: The Institute provides support tailored for different organizations at different stages of development working on different issues and with different constituencies.

Read more about the concrete impact of Liberty Hill's Leadership institute for Change on the leaders who participate.>>

How the Leadership Institute works >>
Liberty Hill supplements Leadership Institute training with grants. Find out who received them most recently >>

Find out why the Leadership Institute is named for Wally Marks.

Wally Marks defied expectations.  A successful real estate developer, he was a man who could have lived a life of comfort, isolated from the world's problems....


Liberty Hill would like to thank The California Wellness Foundation and The Weingart Foundation for their early funding of the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change.