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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD)?
How does it work?
Who can apply?
When are applications accepted?
How much does it cost to participate? Is financial assistance available?
What are the main components of the program?


What is the Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD)?

The Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD) at University of Denver is a unique professional development program that identifies Colorado’s emerging nonprofit fundraising leaders and prepares them for the future. ILD helps create a better community by preparing tomorrow’s nonprofit leaders--today.

How does it work?

Participants are appointed through a highly selective application process. The ILD class meets monthly for a full day from September through May (schedule may vary from year to year). The curriculum includes in-depth exploration of topics such as creating a development plan, developing key relationships, and financial management. Topics are presented through lectures, panel discussions, case studies and group work. Mentors provide invaluable guidance and support during the ILD program year.

Who can apply?

Qualified applicants should have a minimum of three years' development experience at a nonprofit organization and demonstrate strong potential for future leadership. You should have a well-established ability to build successful one-on-one relationships with donors and volunteers. The curriculum assumes that basic knowledge of key development practices is already mastered. Learn more.

When are applications accepted?

The application for the Class of 2023 will open in early February. Forms and additional information are here

How much does it cost to participate? Is financial assistance available?

Tuition for the 2022-2023 program year is $600. Because we do not want cost to prevent anyone from participating, we offer two forms of financial assistance:

  • The Bob Mesko Scholarship covers the full cost of tuition. Learn more about eligibility and the application process here.
  • Travel stipend to help offset travel expenses for participants coming to Denver from outside of the metro area. You do not need to complete a separate application form to be considered for a travel stipend.
  • We will also consider payment plans. Please contact if you'd like to discuss this option.

What are the main components of the program?

ILD is unlike any other nonprofit professional development program in Colorado. The program combines a professionally relevant curriculum, custom-paired mentorship program, and required capstone project.

  • Academic Curriculum
    Classes are taught by well-known local and regional development professionals. The curriculum focuses on teaching development and relationship-building skills within a leadership context. The curriculum is relevant to organizations of all sizes, settings and missions.
  • The Mentor Relationship
    Each student is thoughtfully paired with an experienced development professional who has demonstrated excellence and success in the field. Students work with their mentor to develop a work plan that identifies areas for learning, related activities, and a capstone experience to test and practice new skills.
  • Capstone Project
    As the program’s culminating academic experience, students are required to create a plan addressing an existing development challenge for their organization, called a capstone project. The capstone project is presented to, and evaluated by, a panel of development professionals, which reinforces the real-world nature of the program.

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Institute for Leaders in Development
at University of Denver

University Hall 301
2197 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80208

Email: ildcolorado@gmail.com

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