Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders is an eight-month long program, designed to develop the next generation of community leaders and board members for Henderson County nonprofit organizations.

United Way of Henderson County created the Rising Leaders program to educate individuals and give them the tools and connections to become key volunteers with our community partners and other nonprofits in Henderson County.

About Rising Leaders:

Participants attend monthly sessions from September through March on topics such as board member roles and responsibilities, fundraising, nonprofit life cycles, and race, equity and inclusion in nonprofits. The program culminates in a graduation and “speed-dating” style event where graduates meet and talk with representatives from approximately 20 local nonprofits. Past participants are currently serving as board members and key volunteers at many Henderson County nonprofits. 

2021/22 Rising Leaders Program

The 2021-22 Rising Leaders program will feature a mixture of in-person and virtual sessions. All in-person sessions will be conducted in accordance with current health and safety protocols in place.

The application period for this session has closed.  Stay tuned to this page in summer of 2022 for an application and schedule for the 2022/23 program.

2021/22 Rising Leader Session Dates/Times: Session topics are subject to change. Sessions are held from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Locations will vary.

• September 15 - Orientation & Team Building
• October 20 - Nonprofit Life Cycle & Board Basics
• November 19 - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Race, Equity and Inclusion in Nonprofits
• December 15 - Fundraising 101 & Nonprofit Marketing
• January 19 - 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Financial and Legal Responsibilities
• February 16 - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. The Power of Your Passion Nonprofit Tour
• March 9 - 5-7 p.m. Graduation & Speed Dating

Requirements to successfully complete the Rising Leaders Program are:

  • Must attend at least 5 of the 6 Informational Sessions and Graduation.
  • Attend a board of directors meeting at a Henderson County nonprofit organization and complete a related homework assignment.


Thanks to the generous sponsorship by WNC Bridge Foundation and Carolina Village, the Rising Leaders Program is free of charge for all participants. Space is limited each year. Graduates are already making a strong impact in our community, as many of them have been recruited to serve on committees, boards of directors and in other key roles of local non-profit organizations. 

For more information on the Rising Leaders Program, please email us. 

2020-21 Rising Leaders Graduates:

10 year logo

Nioka Abshire, Zaxby's
Sarah Barton, Henderson County Public Schools
Crystal Cauley, BBN of WNC/Black History Collective
Carrie Ann Chandler, Smart Start Partnership for Children
Jessi Correa, Hope Coalition
Laura Crago, Edward Jones
Katie Dirrig, Childrens Society of NC/ Realty One Group Pivot
Susan Ferrell, Royalty Cleaning
Stephanie Florimonte, WNC Bridge Foundation
Katherine Galvagni, Henderson County Public Schools
Michelle Geiser, Hope Coalition
Brittany Kiteley, Pardee UNC Health Care
Chas Morris, Grace Blue Ridge PCA Inc.
Rubi  Pimentel, Carolina Conference
Lauren Rippy, Beverly-Hanks
Andrea Smith, Life Care Center of Hendersonville


Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders

Rising Leaders is generously sponsored by:

WNC Bridge

Carolina Village