Testimonials

To view Testimonials from Nonprofit Leaders about CSL’s Programs, scroll down this page.

View Evaluations and Testimonials from CSL’s Nonprofit Leadership Conferences.

View Video and Written Testimonials from CSL’s Transform – Certificate of Executive Nonprofit Leadership Program.

View Testimonials from hundreds of youth alumni from 11 consecutive years of CSL’s Young Leaders Program (2005 – 2015).

View Testimonials from our Compassionate Communication workshops/seminars.


View Best Practices in Nonprofit Leadership written by the Executive Directors and senior leaders of some of the thousands of nonprofit organizations who constitute CSL’s Nonprofit Leadership Program Alumni.


Testimonials from Nonprofit Leaders about CSL’s Programs

The response from U.S. and international nonprofit/NGO executives to CSL’s leadership development has been overwhelmingly positive:

  • 85% of the Executive Directors and executive staff said they would attend a second leadership conference the following year
  • 97% said they would recommend CSL’s conference to other nonprofit executives

Here’s what nonprofit leaders have to say about CSL’s nonprofit executive leadership conferences and workshops:

This was a 100% well-prepared, well-carried out, and well-received conference. I felt like the speakers knew exactly what our group’s struggles were in maintaining and growing a nonprofit.  I was also able to connect with other EDs from the Bay Area who I normally wouldn’t have ever been able to make contact with so quickly and in such a casual and comfortable way.  If you’re on the fence about committing your normal “work days” to professional development days, then I can guarantee that joining this conference will completely benefit you and your staff back at base camp.

– Sara Ortega, Mira Scholars Foundation, San Francisco, CA, sara.ortega@mirascholars.org

I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL… the quality of the presenters was second to none … I feel so strongly about the Program’s worth to both me in terms of the “return on investment” that I have received and to future participants in terms of how they will benefit from the Program and enhance the nonprofit field….I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

— Joe Elmore, CAWA Director,
 Strategic Development
National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion!
Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

— Pam Smartt, Connections for Life

Listening to Anthony Silard speech he held this week was indeed inspirational and I had quite a few “aha” moments. The power which he manages to transpose to the audience is immense and I loved how many real-life examples he had and numerous quotes or words of wisdom for every question we turned to. What’s even more amazing is how they all seemed to fit perfectly in the context and how broad his inspiration is from every corner of the world’s cultural heritage. Later on, when I got home and I sat down in silence for a while thinking about all the things I heard that day and I realized even more how much truth it was in those three hours of wisdom he shared with us. Unfortunately the every-day noise of the mundane things I need to take care of, slowly moves me away from those deep thoughts that Anthony managed to awake in my mind so, when that happens, I wish I had a can of his speech stored away in the fridge that I can turn to and refresh my mind. Fortunately, I have the book I am reading and which hopefully will put me on the right path by the time I will be done reading it.

— Liana Nemes, Toastmasters International, liana.nemes@nokia.com

With warmth I share regarding the impact of Tony’s vision and manifestation of programs / trainings offered through the Center for Social Leadership. In June 2008, I participated in the Executive Certification Program in Nonprofit Leadership. It was an invaluable experience! I am currently participating in the one year Advanced Transformational Leadership Training which commenced on 9-3-09. I offered Tony this heartfelt message: ‘What a wonderful first session offered! I truly enjoyed the intellectual stimulation as well as the safe blanket for reflection. It is genius to say the least: offer a haven for a small yet diverse group of leaders to openly share. Thank-you heartfully for the vision you continue to move forward…..CSL’s nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom! It was helpful in allowing me to assess the basket of skills I have developed, and the vision of leadership I have held and groomed over the years. This process allowed me to confidently leap to assume the ultimate goal of executive director.

— Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME, USA, hgartmayer@yahoo.com

I have earned six professional certificates over the past two years from universities and professional societies. They have all been, to a greater or lesser degree, beneficial. One thing nearly all had in common is that they were “nuts-and-bolts” instruction in nonprofit leadership. By contrast, the Advanced Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership is much more “flesh-and-blood.” It is a most comprehensive and rewarding training in the human element of nonprofit executive leadership and all its complexities. Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

— Clark Byron, D.Min., Coalition for Independence (CFI)

I thought the facilitation was great. Tony did an excellent job of keeping everyone on task and holding interest throughout—what could have been—a very long day. His facilitation style was relaxed and engaging. He made an effort to connect with the group by sharing pieces of himself and his own history, and by consistently soliciting feedback on activities and agenda items. I appreciated Tony’s sincerity, his flexibility, and his obvious expertise in the topics discussed….I thought that Tony’s approach to leadership was straightforward, thought provoking, and accessible. The retreat was well organized, and followed a natural progression in looking at leadership from both a personal and professional perspective….On a personal note, I particularly enjoyed the discussion of time management and life-balance as keys to effective leadership. I also enjoyed the interactive nature of the workshops, and the many anecdotes that Tony used to bring the material to life. Overall the retreat more than met my expectations.

— Michaela Kelaghan, Senior Youth Developer/Case Manager, The Latin American Youth Center

This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise… Thank you. A life-changing experience.

— Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

This conference has absolutely influenced my philosophy of leadership. It reminded me of what I’ve known in the past but had lost site of. I feel empowered to do a better job….I value and appreciate Tony’s direct way of communication. His honesty encouraged me to let down my guard with our employees and build better trust.

— Edie Thomas, Connections For Life

Tony’s 15 Leadership Principles will help me in our organization and personnel each day to make things happen….This workshop has affected my philosophy as I have gained more knowledge on what a leader is…The workshop was excellent. I hope we have another in future by Tony.

— Michael Hachaba, Director, Kara Counseling, Zambia

We all really enjoyed and absorbed the lessons Tony shared and will try and implement these in our everyday lives.

— Rasmi Misra, Executive Director, VIDYA, New Delhi, India

Tony’s “Success vs. Happiness” concept was an important one for me. Last year we provided services to over 3,000 women and children. I consider our organization very successful! However, the emotional price for me was that I had become too busy to stop, breathe, and enjoy the success of our vision. Although my workload has not lessened since the retreat, I have consciously relaxed and smiled a whole lot more! I have in turn asked my staff and Board to do the same. Our passion is the same, we just express it differently.…I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation. We learned new information to take back home, information that will strengthen our organizations and ourselves as the leaders of those organizations. I believe that there was tremendous energy produced by so many intense and passionate people coming together in such a beautiful location…
Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

— Janna Genovese, Executive Director, Womenspace Unlimited

Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. I liked the references he made to his role as Board President of the Global Education Partnership and his work overseas. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

— Sharon Gallagher, Board Member, American Red Cross

What I liked most about Tony’s facilitation was that he was very knowledgeable, had excellent tone and body mannerisms that provided a calming force during the process, and struck a good balance of letting us explore certain ideas while still keeping us on schedule….Tony has a very organized, orderly approach that prevents thoughts of “we’re missing something big”.

— Chris Ginieczki, Bank of America, Board member, ROCK

Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

— Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Executive Director, YouthBuild

The ED Retreat certainly hit the spot. Tony did a great job of facilitating the event, and bringing people together.

— Robin Holcomb, Executive Director, Family Connections

Tony has had a truly transformational effect on my personal and professional life. Thanks to his coaching, I have dramatically changed my approach to almost every aspect of my job from day-to-day decision making to long-term strategic planning. Every session is customized and personalized to address my specific issues and, as a result, I am becoming a more thoughtful, intentional, creative and even humble leader. While I have a long way to go, it’s thanks to Tony that I can see the path forward and have the confidence to be successful in work and life.

— Chris Fanning, Executive Director, The Outdoor Foundation

It was a great event by all counts and the organizations couldn’t have asked for anything better. We all had a great time working with Tony and it was especially great to have him here in Chennai…overall, it was a great experience.

— Chandru Natarajan, General Electric (GE), Madras, India

Tony has lots of leadership values that concurred with my own: selfless giving, empathy, passion along with the specifics to make these values work within the organizations….I most liked the specifics, the ‘How to’. I really liked the mind and heart both needed in leadership being stressed….The retreat met my expectations. I got lots of answers as well as validation of my own views. I liked how Tony stressed the need for listening, something most people (including “moi”) need to do better.

— Kaye Cummings, Executive Director, The Bonner Family Foundation; Board Member, Fresno Art Museum

Thank you for a great session yesterday. I have been operating (especially over the past couple months) in a place where my typical routines and approach have not supported a healthy work/life balance for me.  The exercises in preparation for the class were excellent tools for adding some perspective to my life and helped get me in a good frame of mind for the class discussion….Tony’s approach of instruction and facilitation through a coaching lens is very helpful to me.  While I also enjoy having sessions that are more of a standard lecture/presentation format in the mix (especially when conveying more technical material such as strategic planning or fundraising),  I personally find that the coaching/high interactive approach to be very effective for topics that require more self-reflection….Tony’s use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings.  To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique – and something that I value.   It adds an underscore to the leadership point that Tony shared yesterday about leading out of love rather than fear.  In summary….I enjoyed the class.  I grasped some important perspectives that I intend to put to use.

— J. Kevin Jones,  Jr., Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Tony Silard has been devoted to NGOs for a lifetime.
He cares sincerely about each organization and its capacity for leadership.
His impact on the sector has been consistent and profound.

— Pamela Hawley, CEO, Universal Giving

I love Tony’s passion for his topic!
I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….
I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

— Michelle Chun-Tuck, The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Nonprofit Advancement Center

Tony’s sessions were practical, relevant, thought-provoking and clear.
I would have enjoyed more time with him.

— Shaheen Mistri, Executive Director, Akanksha, Bombay, India

Tony’s 15 Principles of Leadership has definitely impacted my leadership philosophy in a very positive way in that I’ve learned more principles and practices of good management that I will set in motion at the organization.

— Nathan Mulonga, Director, Kilelabalanda Swaaz, Zambia

I think Tony’s approach was good because
we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….
He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

— Patty Santucci, Outreach Worker, Youth Developer, The Latin American Youth Center

I liked how Tony took into account everyone’s perspective throughout the retreat and I found his presentation to be well-organized and easy to follow. He had a lot of great suggestions and information. I also liked how Tony revised the planning retreat schedule to incorporate things that we wanted to address like organizational development. Additionally I really like the outlining of the Vision Statement, the Goals, the Objectives, etc. It was very clear cut and well-presented. It provided a nice framework within which to work….I think that the retreat definitely put things into perspective and helped me to gain clarification on where I stand with a lot of things and where I am at with regards to my involvement in ASHA. I especially appreciated Tony’s honesty in telling us how other nonprofits work, etc. That was really valuable as it helped me to see where ASHA needs to go and other ways that people do the things we do organizationally speaking. All in all, I think Tony did a great job! I learned a lot of useful information and I feel as though our board and the ED gained some renewed energy through this.
Additionally a lot of things can now be clarified now that we have a framework
within which to organize our efforts and get tasks done.

— Sapana Donde, Board Chair, Asha for Women

After the conference, I held two meetings, one with our field staff (like the wardens at our children’s home and the teachers of our school) and the other with our Board of Trustees, discussing in detail all that happened at the conference. Almost everyone seemed to agree that the most interesting point we had gathered from Tony was the identification of passion, empathy and trust as the three essential qualities of leadership. We all agreed that the empathy with the poor (our clients) was of fundamental importance to all of us, leaders and workers alike.

— Ram Mohan, Executive Director, Sevalaya, Madras, India

Balanced blend of material! Excellent research. I liked the way Tony asked for permission to facilitate the norms. Good eye contact, voice tone. I most liked the human aspects of Tony’s approach! He touched the emotional core of belief that motivates the person. I needed to remember that even the stuffiest 3-piece suit was once a little boy with dreams…The retreat surpassed my expectations! I want more training from Tony, and I’ll even drive for hours to it!

— Andra Christensen, Board Member, The Discovery Center

Tony gave an excellent performance in New Delhi. I would not like to hide that I got a new insight into the functioning of our organization. Tony has provided many tools to be used.

— Viswanath Ranganathan, Executive Director, Vidyarambam, Madras, India

CSL’s nonprofit leadership training influenced my outlook on how long I see myself continuing as a nonprofit director – by reinforcing the importance of being a strong but fair leader so that the organization can grow into a better service organization…this leadership program reinforced the importance of structure, honesty, transparency, and accountability when dealing with all the stakeholders and the needs of our organization.

— Elaine Adair, Founder and President, MS SPAY

I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

— Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

The Board Leadership Retreat overall met my expectations. Tony used good facilitation
and good models – especially the clarity of data on the 3 leadership characteristics!

— Fred Mora, Professor, Fresno Pacific University, Board Member, Human Resources Consortium

Tony was very approachable, relaxed and attentive to hearing from as many as possible. He was able to relate to Social Service Staff experiences well…Tony’s approach to leadership is excellent. I like the empowerment model, and building in leadership within ourselves.I liked the relaxed, approachable, flexible and knowledgeable nature of the facilitator. I liked the organization of slides and his preparedness. I liked that he allowed most of the solutions to come from us, and providing guidance based on research, and how he engaged us in determining the flow of the retreat.

— Amanda Kerpsie, [Drug] Prevention Team Leader, The Latin American Youth Center

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  • Testimonials

    I see myself continuing as an NGO leader because of my skills that I now have after this conference. Tony’s 15 Principles will help me in leading my organization to achieve its vision, mission and goals…This conference was really helpful and it should be organized again for other NGO Directors.

    — Brian Kayongo, Director, Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates, Zambia

    View Full Testimonials

    This was a 100% well-prepared, well-carried out, and well-received conference. I felt like the speakers knew exactly what our group's struggles were in maintaining and growing a nonprofit.

    — Sara Ortega, Mira Scholars Foundation, San Francisco, CA

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony Silard and the Center for Social Leadership are indeed transforming the way nonprofit leaders lead.

    — Clark Byron, D.Min., Coalition for Independence (CFI)

    View Full Testimonials

    The retreat surpassed my expectations! I want more training from Tony, and I’ll even drive for hours to it!

    — Andra Christensen, Board Member, The Discovery Center

    View Full Testimonials

    This conference has dramatically broadened and encouraged my plans for my nonprofit enterprise... Thank you. A life-changing experience.

    — Art Shields, Lifesavers World Inc.

    View Full Testimonials

    I have worked with 5 national organizations and have had the opportunity to participate in several leadership development programs, all valuable, but none of which compared to the quality and depth of ECPNL...The quality of the presenters was second to none...I highly recommend this Program for nonprofit leaders at any stage of their career.

    — Joe Elmore, CAWA Director,
 Strategic Development National Outreach – MS Gulf, Coast
Hurricane Katrina Recovery

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony has a way of being that is authentic and welcoming. His passion and commitment was evident. The approach was powerfully and passionately delivered…The retreat absolutely exceeded my expectations. PASSION and TRUTH are contagious! Tony is an example of a confident, compassionate, gentle person who has made a difference in this world. He is very special and a treasure.

    — Sharon Gallagher, Board Member, American Red Cross

    View Full Testimonials

    I think Tony’s approach was good because we had the chance to discuss the different characteristics of a leader….He made us realize that we all have characteristics of leaders in us.

    — Patty Santucci, Outreach Worker, Youth Developer, The Latin American Youth Center

    View Full Testimonials

    Thank you Tony for helping me find my passion! Forty years of not knowing and to finally have an “ah ha” moment!

    — Pam Smartt, Connections for Life

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony's use of examples and stories always help clarify/illustrate his points – and keep the discussion interesting. What I find most important, is that Tony includes stories from his personal experiences and feelings. To me, that adds a level of authenticity and vulnerability that I see as a commitment to teaching and generosity that is unique.

    — J. Kevin Jones, Jr., Deputy Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

    View Full Testimonials

    I love Tony’s passion for his topic! I also am very inspired by how he merges many cultural philosophies….I like how he makes leadership a ‘concrete’ idea…I wish the retreat had been longer.

    — Michelle Chun-Tuck, The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Nonprofit Advancement Center

    View Full Testimonials

    CSL's nonprofit leadership training helped me fully appreciate my inner voice. It has allowed my philosophy of leadership to bloom!

    — Holly M. Gartmayer-DeYoung, Healthcare Executive on Sabbatical, Addison, ME

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony’s sessions were practical, relevant, thought-provoking and clear. I would have enjoyed more time with him.

    — Shaheen Mistri, Executive Director, Akanksha, Bombay, India

    View Full Testimonials

    The workshop has really helped me to identify my blind spots. After this conference I will have an inclusive decision-making style. I will avoid the ‘I know it all’ attitude.

    — Emmanuel Malubila, Executive Director, Zambia Ex-Prisoners Rehabilitation and Counseling

    View Full Testimonials

    Tony was the perfect facilitator as he had walked the path I am on…I need more time for myself, I need to find balance and hone skills for my staff. I can learn a lot from Tony’s calmness and integrity.

    — Suzanne McKechnie Klahr, Executive Director, YouthBuild

    View Full Testimonials

    I believe that many of us learned a lot more than we anticipated we would. Tony’s workshops fueled conversations that continued through dinners, evening walks on the beach, and late night groups who gathered around wine and intense conversation....Tony helped us regain our focus and renew our passion and vision!

    — Janna Genovese, Executive Director, Womenspace Unlimited

    View Full Testimonials

    The conference affected my philosophy of leadership. It taught me not to be a dictator, but to have vision and be a listener.

    — Linah Nkhonjela, Executive Director, Girls Brigade of Zambia

    View Full Testimonials