Leadership development

RCAC’s Leadership Program offers classes held one weekend per month over four months. Classes are typically held on Fridays and Saturdays each of the four weekends for a total of 52 hours of class time. The preferred class size is 30 to 35 participants. The program and curriculum can be delivered in English and Spanish. A class-designed community development project allows participants to practice the tools learned during the training, and continues for six months to a year after the last class/weekend.


RCAC developed its curriculum in conjunction with Western New Mexico University. It includes the building blocks for volunteer leadership in community development efforts, such as:

  • Introduction to leadership and community development
  • Working with people, conflict transformation and building community communication
  • Change management
  • Project, strategic and action planning
  • Public relations and resource development
  • Maintaining personal balance and project momentum
  • Boards and organizational development
  • Building sustainability

“The workshop provided us with the tools necessary for setting the vision, the skills to effectively work together and the capability to implement the establishment of our organization. As a result, today El Valle Water Alliance is a consortium of 12 water associations that provide safe drinking water to approximately 600 service connections,” said Ramón, a program participant.

Getting Started

RCAC works with a local sponsoring organization to coordinate the program. We host an introductory webinar/meeting to explain the program, select the dates for each community leadership class, and describe RCAC’s support during the participant recruitment process.

RCAC helps the sponsoring organization organize a local committee to manage the recruitment process. This ad hoc committee represents three local organizations or community sectors. The ad hoc committee develops a contact list of (at least) 100 potential participants who are representative of the community, and mails a letter to the potential candidates. With RCAC assistance, the committee publicizes the upcoming program in local newspapers, radio advertisements, press releases and by word-of-mouth to other local organizations and associations. RCAC staff facilitate conference calls and meetings with the committee to help generate and select the best candidates for the program.

Program Cost

The Leadership Program costs about $2,300 per person based on 30 participants. This includes logistical expenses for space, group meals during the weekend retreats, and RCAC staff and travel expenses. RCAC works with the sponsoring organization to raise funds to support the leadership program.

Communities are asked to provide a minimum toward the total cost of the Leadership Program in cash or as in-kind donations. In-kind donations may include donated retreat space and group meals for the four-weekend classes. RCAC has established a sliding scale for required local contribution (in-kind and/or cash) based on community household income. Communities will not be excluded solely because of lack of contribution.

For more information, please contact RCAC’s main office at (916) 447-2854 and request Carol Cohen, assistant director – economic development, or complete our Request for Assistance.