NEW YORK, April 28, 2009 — American Express (NYSE:AXP) today kicked off the second American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy, its nation-wide program to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector and has announced that it will be holding another Academy in the Fall. The Nonprofit Leadership Academy is a week-long training program created in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that immerses participants in leadership training and development courses through sessions with American Express senior executives, including the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth I. Chenault. This week’s Leadership Academy will include guest speakers Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Marie Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project.
One would be hard pressed to argue that a call from Robert Redford to the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, helped salvage money for the arts in the economic-stimulus bill last week.
Reynold Levy’s book, “Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management,” is a how-to guide for those who are afraid or hesitant about asking for money and those who are simply trying to improve the effectiveness of their fundraising. “Giving is not a spontaneous act,” Levy writes. “People, corporations, and foundations donate funds largely because they are asked to do so. It is a puzzle that while giving funds to nonprofit institutions is hardly unusual, the act of asking seems so universally disliked, misunderstood, and disdained.” Levy uses simple language to explain how to reach wealthy people face to face,