CEO Circles

“The weight of leading a nonprofit organization can be heavy, often without many places to turn for support. The Nonprofit Leadership Center’s CEO Circle is where I find the support I need to grow personally and organizationally.” — Nonprofit CEO


Answering the Questions That Keep Leaders Up at Night

The Nonprofit Leadership Center’s CEO Circle is a facilitated peer group of Tampa Bay nonprofit CEOs and executive directors who meet monthly to support and learn from each other. 

Part coaching and part peer learning, the CEO Circle is much more than an executive development program. This innovative mastermind group is where leaders find a trusted and inclusive environment to confidentially discuss current challenges, explore leading practices and drive innovation. There’s no sitting passively in lectures here; CEO Circle members contribute to — and benefit from — the power of the circle’s collective creativity, competence and conviction.

Each CEO Circle consists of 12 to 15 high-performing nonprofit CEOs and executive directors representing a variety of sub-sectors and experiences. Membership is on a rolling basis and is by invitation only. All potential members must either be nominated by existing CEO Circle members or seek nomination from the Nonprofit Leadership Center. Candidates are respected professionals with impressive track records and with whom others want to work.

For questions or to talk to a member of the Nonprofit Leadership Center team about the CEO Circle experience, email us at info@nlctb.org or call 813-287-8779.

CEO Benefits

Most nonprofit CEOs and executive directors who participate in a Nonprofit Leadership Center CEO Circle say the experience is invaluable to their personal and organizational leadership. The annual investment includes the following benefits: 

  • Invitation to monthly facilitated sessions with 12 to 15 of your peers who have diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • One premium promo code to attend an NLC nonprofit training class or certificate program
  • One 30-minute discovery call with a member of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s executive leadership team to support your organizational capacity
  • Access to resources and specific programming on topics of interest
  • Access to proprietary nonprofit compensation data

“CEOs come together to discuss issues we’re experiencing that we can’t share with our staff and won’t necessarily want to share with our boards. Learning from others’ experiences has been helpful to me, especially hearing how other CEOs are handling issues with their boards, budgets and funders. Recently, I had a challenge and turned to this group. Two members had a similar experience when they first started in their executive director roles and offered advice that I applied immediately.” Nonprofit CEO

CEO Requirements & Expectations

CEO Circle members are Tampa Bay nonprofit CEOs and executive directors who embrace a culture of learning at their organization and who strive for continual growth and improvement. Members share the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and know we can do more together than any of us can do alone.

Members are leaders, thinkers, confidants and doers who enjoy surrounding themselves with other high performers who will support and challenge them.

Members not only enjoy numerous benefits from the CEO Circle; they also fulfill the following commitments:

  • Embody a love of lifelong learning and foster a culture of learning within your nonprofit
  • Regularly attend all monthly CEO Circle meetings
  • Actively engage and participate in conversations, and bring topics for discussion
  • Believe strongly in and value diversity, equity and inclusion, recognizing the need to elevate all voices, especially those who may be historically underrepresented
  • Pay an annual fee of $1,000
  • Have a desire for ongoing, multi-year participation

To learn more about specific membership requirements, contact Meriel Martínez, program director at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, at mmartinez@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in CEO Circles?

CEO Circles are exclusively for CEOs and executive directors who lead Tampa Bay nonprofit organizations and genuinely value lifelong learning. Members must be respected professionals with impressive track records and with whom others want to work.

Do I have to be based in the Tampa Bay area to participate in a CEO Circle?

Yes. As an organization headquartered in Tampa, Florida, we have CEO Circles for nonprofit CEOs and executive directors living and working in Tampa Bay. These local groups meet both in-person and virtually, depending on the time of year and pandemic spread.

How can I join a CEO Circle?

CEO Circle membership is by invitation only, and all potential members must either be nominated by existing CEO Circle members or seek nomination from the Nonprofit Leadership Center. To express interest in joining a CEO Circle and to seek a nomination, contact Meriel Martínez, program director at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, at mmartinez@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779.   

How are CEO Circle candidates selected?

Invited candidates complete an online application and submit their resume, CV or short bio. Then, CEO Circle members assess the candidate’s submission, often meet with the candidate and use the information gathered to determine whether to extend an invitation to join.

To learn more about specific membership requirements, contact Meriel Martínez, program director at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, at mmartinez@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779.

How many members are in each CEO Circle?

Each CEO Circle consists of 12 to 15 high-performing nonprofit CEOs or executive directors. This size ensures a variety and diversity of experiences and ideas while allowing for intimate and meaningful conversation and follow-up.

Where and how often do CEO Circles meet?

CEO Circle meetings occur monthly. Each circle determines where and for how long they want to meet. Meetings are typically 1.5 to 2 hours and take place virtually and in-person based on each CEO Circle’s current member preferences.

Who facilitates CEO Circle meetings?

CEO Circle meetings are led by fellow executives and nonprofit subject matter experts selected by the Nonprofit Leadership Center. Current facilitators include Bill Fries, CEO of Hiregy, and Stephanie Gularte, CEO, The Energy Advantage. 

How do you determine what topics to discuss each month?

CEO Circle members decide on the issues they want to discuss, identifying topics currently impacting them and emerging issues of relevance to their organizations.

How much does it cost to be part of a CEO Circle?

The program fee to participate is $1,000 per year. Most CEO Circle participants agree that the experience is invaluable, personally and professionally.

What benefits do CEO Circle members receive from the experience?

Annual program benefits include …

  • An invitation to monthly facilitated sessions with 12 to 15 of your peers who have diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • One premium promo code to attend an NLC nonprofit training class or certificate program
  • One 30-minute discovery call with a member of the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s executive leadership team to support your organizational capacity
  • Access to resources and specific programming on topics of interest
  • Access to proprietary nonprofit compensation data

Beyond the annual $1,000 membership fee, are there any other expectations required of CEO Circle members?

Yes. We ask that all CEO Circle members …

  • Embody a love of lifelong learning and foster a culture of learning within your nonprofit
  • Regularly attend all monthly CEO Circle meetings
  • Actively engage and participate in conversations
  • Believe strongly in and value diversity, equity and inclusion, recognizing the need to elevate all voices, especially those who may be historically underrepresented
  • Have a desire for ongoing, multi-year participation

How can I nominate a CEO for membership into a CEO Circle?

To nominate a leader for the CEO Circle program, contact Meriel Martínez, program director at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, at mmartinez@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779.

Is the information shared in CEO Circle meetings confidential?

Yes. CEO Circle members commit to keeping all conversations and information shared within the group confidential unless otherwise approved for sharing externally by all circle members. What happens in your CEO Circle stays in your CEO Circle.

How can I find out who is currently a member of a CEO Circle?

Please contact the Nonprofit Leadership Center at info@nlctb.org or 813-287-8779 to learn more about the types of nonprofits and breadth of experience represented across CEO Circles.