In 2010, Wallis Annenberg announced the Foundation's latest investment designed to strengthen and aid in the sustainability of Los Angeles County-based nonprofits, a free capacity building and leadership development program named Annenberg Alchemy. To date, over 1,400 nonprofit executive directors, board chairpersons and board members from 600 nonprofit organizations have participated.
Annenberg Alchemy includes two phases. Leadership Seminar, Alchemy's signature course, and Alchemy+, the higher level course for graduates of Leadership Seminar who want to take their learning further. Successful completion of both programs qualifies an organization to receive a capacity building grant up to $10,000.
Both programs are built around the belief that staff and board leaders aligned in common purpose can transform nonprofit organizations. Therefore, for all of the Alchemy trainings the Executive Director and Board Chair must attend all sessions together.
Among the central issues addressed are fundraising, board effectiveness, civic engagement and accountability. In addition to a robust curriculum and intensive learning sessions, participants are connected to a network of local practitioners and given implementation tools, mentorship and an ongoing opportunity to share best practices and innovative strategies.
Annenberg Alchemy's Peer to Peer is an annual event open to alumni of Annenberg Alchemy’s Leadership Seminar and Alchemy+. The Annenberg Foundation has designed this day-long event to both celebrate our nonprofit leaders and to inspire them to greatness through their continued professional development. The next Peer to Peer will take place in 2013.
In 2012, the Annenberg Foundation announced a first-ever collaboration with CNN Heroes to provide free nonprofit leadership training for the 2012 Top 10 CNN Heroes and a select number of CNN Heroes from past years through customized version of Annenberg Alchemy.