The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) announced that The Guild for Human Services’ Leadership Employee Advancement and Development (LEAD) program has been selected as a finalist for their 2023 Nonprofit Excellence Awards in the Innovation category.

The winners of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, June 6. The program will highlight the work of the nonprofit sector and raise awareness of important causes throughout Massachusetts. Awards will be presented to one finalist in each of the following six categories: Advocacy, Innovation, Leadership, Resilience, Small Nonprofit, and Young Professional.

“We are thrilled to recognize The Guild for Human Services for their invaluable contributions to the Commonwealth,” said Jim Klocke, CEO of MNN. “We look forward to recognizing them and the other Excellence Award finalists at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards on June 6.”

The Excellence Award in Innovation recognizes a nonprofit organization that has utilized new models or strategies to solve long standing problems or to adapt to a changing environment.

While the human services sector is one of the most diverse fields, people of color continue to be underrepresented among senior staff. The Guild’s LEAD program seeks to provide a comprehensive, accessible professional development program to promote growth of frontline staff and increase diversity in leadership roles.

"The LEAD program enables The Guild to advance the diversity of our leadership supporting youth and adults with intellectual disabilities," said Amy C. Sousa, Chief Executive Officer of The Guild for Human Services. "We're honored that the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network has recognized LEAD for its innovation and success in advancing the growth of Guild staff."

Designed with the International Institute of New England and funded by a grant from the Sudbury Foundation, LEAD offers Guild employees training in communication, supervision, conflict management, and data-driven interventions to position them well for a promotion in their current department or transfer to a new department. The program has resulted in tangible outcomes across both cohorts with six Guild employees receiving promotions shortly after graduating.

This year, an independent panel reviewed over 135 nominations for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The 30 finalists range from large education providers to small arts organizations and represent different regions of Massachusetts.

Learn more about The Guild’s LEAD program.