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Leadership Winston-Salem Addresses Needs of Nonprofit Community Organizations through Action Learning Projects

Non-profit community organizations often lack the business resources, time, and physical energy to analyze dilemmas, set goals, or implement solutions that meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Finding creative ways to increase awareness of the organization, drafting plans for the growth of business and services, or discovering and implementing new ideas usually takes a large team of experts – a luxury not easily accessible or affordable to non-profit orgs. Leadership Winston-Salem partners with our city’s non-profit sector to provide a base of community leaders willing to support community organizations’ work as they complete the LWS Flagship program. These leaders work together in Action Learning teams to support the mission of non-profit entities – and the positive outcomes are significant. Not to mention, the assistance is free for non-profits.

The Leadership Winston-Salem Action Learning Projects ignite community leaders to utilize their talents, strengths, and skills to strengthen our community’s non-profits.

What are Action Learning Projects?

Action learning projects bring LWS class participants together in a diverse team setting that fosters collaborative thinking and problem-solving. ALP teams explore complex problems or potential opportunities for non-profit organizations through a fresh set of eyes and work together to meet specific goals that impact how the organization impacts the community.

The Leadership Winston-Salem Action Learning Project program:

  • Generates applications from non-profit community organizations who need support for their initiatives
  • Coaches class participant teams who focus on both a deliverable and the leadership learning process itself through inquiry, reflection, and feedback
  • Utilizes a trained coach who works with each group to ensure that the leadership learning takes place along with the work on deliverables

Community Partner Benefits

Partnering agencies reap valuable benefits from this process, including more than the formal results of the project team’s work. Other benefits include:

  • Increased resource investment in the agency’s work by the project team
  • Heightened visibility in the community through the exposure of the agency among all members of the participating class
  • Fosters and cultivates lasting relationships between non-profits and community leaders who are interested in volunteer service. Class participants invest themselves in these projects and often gain a personal connection with their partner agency that extends beyond the end of the project.


Each year, the Action Learning Committee reviews proposals from local organizations and evaluates the needs and goals based on the action learning criteria. New class members select proposals they wish to work on during the year as part of a pro-bono consulting team. Eight projects are selected each year. All organizations are notified of their selection status in late October.

Submit A Proposal


Thank you for your interest in an Action Learning Project for 2021-2022. The application window for the 2021-2022 projects is now closed. 

We will reopen the ALP application portal in Summer 2023.

“The team was very enthusiastic and dedicated to working with our organization to go above and beyond. They decided on three action plans instead of just the one we requested. It appears that several will remain in contact with our organization, one on our board of directors.”

-Debbi Butner, Family Promise