The leadership program portfolio is a part of the Island Institute’s Island Education Fund, designed to support islanders through life-long learning and skill-building opportunities needed to keep their communities vibrant places to live, work, and educate children. Effective local leadership is the single most distinguishing feature of strong year-round island communities—whether in town government, within nonprofit organizations, or in island-based businesses.

SUPPORTED BY: The Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership

Recognizing that sustaining strong communities requires effective leadership, long-time Island Institute members and Islesford residents Henry and Donna Isaacs have chosen to honor the legacy of the late Lisa DeFrancis through the establishment of The Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership. This invested fund will help build the skills and experience of Maine’s island leaders, now and for years to come.

The Island Institute and founders of the Isaacs-DeFrancis Fund for Community Leadership welcome additional contributions to this invested fund, so it may grow to more fully support this critical area of work. Click here to contribute.

Leadership Programs

ILEAD: (Island Leadership Exploration and Development)

I LEAD Seminars are leadership training programs for island and coastal leaders. The programs are targeted at specific sectors of island economies. They are designed to bring participants together to develop leadership and management skills and to create a professional network of island leaders.

Recent programs include:

  • ILEAD Board Leadership Series – January/February 2018
  • ILEAD Municipal Governments - Winter 2017
  • ILEAD Educational Leadership - Winter 2017
  • ​ILEAD Non-Profits - Winter 2016

Upcoming programs include:

Contact Brooks Winner ( for more information about ILEAD.



The Island Institute will bring leadership training seminars to island and coastal communities upon request. These topics and format of the training seminars will be individualized, based on the community needs. The cost is dependent on the time and topics covered.

Some of the topics available are:

  • Mission, Vision, Values
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Fundraising and Budgeting

Contact Brooks Winner ( for more information about bringing leadership training to your community.



The Island Institute offers trained facilitators to work with boards or community groups on islands or in coastal communities. The facilitator will help develop a plan for the meeting, serve as a neutral party during the meeting, provide notes and offer follow up recommendations after the meeting.  The cost is dependent on the time commitment required.

Some programs we have facilitated in the past include:

  • Strategic Planning Sessions
  • Community Interest Groups
  • Focus Groups

Contact Karen Burns ( for more information about our facilitation services.

ILEAD: Nonprofit Board Leadership Series

The Island Institute’s Nonprofit Board Leadership Series is a four-part online training for nonprofit board members that will cover essential skills for board members of island nonprofits. These interactive trainings will be hosted through the Zoom virtual meeting app so that participants can attend remotely. Board leaders are encouraged to participate with at least one of their fellow board members.

Session 1: Mission, Vision, and Values – Thinking Strategically
Tuesday, January 30 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

In the first session, we will discuss the importance of having clear mission, vision, and values statements and give participants a chance to explore their organization’s own strategic planning.

Session 2: Board Responsibilities and Effective Meetings
Thursday, February 1 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

In the second session, we will discuss the key roles and responsibilities essential in any nonprofit and techniques for leading effective meetings.

Session 3: Board Personalities and Conflict Management
Tuesday, February 6 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

In the third session, we will explore how personality styles influence the makeup of a board and strategies for managing conflict.

Session 4: Finances, Fundraising, Legalities, and Ethics
Thursday, February 8 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

In the fourth session, we will discuss the financial and legal aspects of leading a nonprofit.