Leadership and Organizational Culture

Course Description and Learning Objectives

This course provides nonprofit leaders with practical, actionable skills and tools for developing high-performing agencies. Topics include application of proven leadership principles, the value and steps of strategic planning, creating a mission and value driven organization, managing change within the organization, responding to crises (like COVID-19), and looking at your nonprofit through the lens of Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Leadership and Organizational Culture is one of nine courses in the UNA Credential Program designed to provide you with the resources you need to make an even greater impact.

 At the completion of the course, the participant will:

  • Gain a deep understanding of organizational culture and how different aspects of the organization affect the culture
  • Integrate proven principles of leadership into all levels of the organization’s leadership
  • Understand the value of strategic planning and demonstrate proficiency using tools to conduct the strategic planning process
  • Relate all organization activities to the organization’s mission and determine if certain activities or processes are obsolete and hindering the organization’s culture

What’s Expected of You

This course is highly interactive and relies on the experiences of each participant. Therefore, it's important you are prepared to contribute to the program. Please be ready to:

  • Bring all required materials to each session. If your organization doesn’t have any of the required materials, the facilitator will provide you with samples to use.
  • Complete the follow up activities after each session and bring questions and concerns to the next session.
  • Complete the Badge Requirements by the deadline.

Requirements for Completing the UNA Badge in Leadership and Organizational Culture


In order to receive the UNA Leadership and Organizational Culture Badge, the organization must submit the following items to UNA for review:

Organizational Culture: Mission/ Vision/ Values Review

If your organization has not reviewed your mission, vision, and values in the past year, then please provide documentation of the review process (who reviewed it, how the process was completed, and any changes made to the mission/ vision/ and values)

If your organization has reviewed your mission, vision, and values in the past year, provide documentation of what the process was, and any changes that came out of the process.

Leadership: Assessment and Evaluation

Demonstrate the organization’s commitment to leadership development by providing at least two of the following items: a calendar of leadership development activities, a description of recent leadership training,  a working leadership development plan, a written policy on leadership development, a budget line item dedicated to leadership development, or other similar proof.

Mission-Driven Culture

Document 2-3 short answer examples of your organization’s focus on mission-driven culture in any of the following areas. (You don’t need to cover all areas). Include what has been done and what has been the cultural impact of these examples.

  • Client focused: Explain how being client focused is evident in the work of your organization?
  • Total employee mission attachment: Share how your nonprofit achieves and supports employee mission-attachment?
  • Continuous Improvement Activities: How does your organization implement continuous improvement?
  • Communications: How does your organization communicate strategically internally and externally?

Strategic Planning and Change Management: Sector Scan

Include your most recent sector review or template of such. Whether internal or external, simple or sophisticated depends on the complexity and maturity of your organization. At a minimum the review should assess the political, regulatory, and social environment as well as opportunities for collaboration.   A scan completed within twelve months of this course fulfills this requirement.) Note the date of the most recent scan, who completed it, and who reviewed it.

Strategic Planning and Change Management: SWOT Assessment

Provide documentation of a recent (within the last twelve months) dated SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).  Note how the assessment results were used by leadership to inform how the organization operates. Your SWOT Assessment may be included with your strategic plan.

Strategic Planning and Change Management: Organizational Change

Provide an example of a change your organization has made or endured since or as a result of your participation in the Badge course or plans to make or endure in the next six months. In two or three sentences, explain how leadership managed or plans to manage this change - considering all the variable factors at stake - to maintain or improve the organizational culture.

Subject-Matter-Expert: Sonya Martinez-Ortiz

Sonya holds a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Utah and a Certificate in Non-profit Management from Georgetown’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah, College of Social Work and maintains a clinical and consulting practice. Sonya also serves on the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission. She has spent her social work career in a variety of roles focusing on social justice, community development, nonprofit leadership, and helping individuals and communities heal from trauma.  

  • Course Dates:

    The Credential in Leadership and Organizational Culture includes two classroom sessions, a consultation with the expert trainer, and ongoing coaching and support for four months following your consult. We offer each of the nine Credential courses once per calendar year in Salt Lake City. (We also bring the Credential to areas outside of the Wasatch Front.)

    You can find the schedule (and venue) for the Credential Program and for all our other training on the UNA Calendar. Please email Jill Bennett for more information about this—or any other item on the calendar.

  • Cost:

    UNA Member Rate: $150 for the first person/$30 for each additional participant
    Non-Member Rate: $300 for the first person/$60 for each additional participant

  • Location:

    On line as a webinar or in person classes. Please consult the UNA Calendar for details.