Interview with Monisha Kapila, Founder and CEO, ProInspire: www.proinspire.org
Tell us about your organization. ProInspire is a non-profit organization focused on activating leaders to accelerate equity. We do this through leadership programs we provide for individuals, non-profits and foundations. We also work to influence the social impact sector to accelerate leadership and equity through resources, convenings, and research. We have a number of different leadership programs (i.e. Managing for Success and Coaching for Impact) that individuals can sign up for, and we partner with non-profits and foundations to provide training, coaching, and learning programs to strengthen the staff in an organization. For our influence work, we oversee an initiative called Equity in the Center, which is focused on building a race equity culture in the social sector.
What motivated you to start this organization? I started ProInspire based on my personal experience. I’m a first-generation immigrant, born and raised in Flint, Michigan. When I wanted to work in the non-profit sector, I found there were a lot of structural barriers for people to do this work (low compensation, opaque hiring practices, etc.) and decided to launch ProInspire to support people working in non-profits.
What successes have you seen so far? Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked with about 3,000 people and 500 nonprofits across our different programs. We’ve seen our impact, both on people who are growing in the non-profit sector as well as on organizations. We are also working with more foundations who want to build the capacity of their grantees around leadership and equity.
What have been the challenges? We started with a fellowship program for early career professionals who wanted to work in the nonprofit sector, but sunset that program because it was hard to financially sustain and was not having as much impact as we wanted. Another challenge has been around our influence work to shift organizations to center race equity, it involves changing mindsets, practices, and systems.
Is there anything else you want us to know about your organization? We believe in partnership and working closely with organizations to support them around accelerating leadership and equity. We talk to a lot of organizations that aren’t sure how to approach things and that is okay.
We have a new program called Coaching for Impact, where people working in the social impact sector can be matched with an executive coach for an affordable coaching engagement.
If readers are interested in executive coaching or training programs at your organization, reach out to Monisha Kapila.