ED Academy

Coaching, Training, and Mentorship for New Executive Directors

You’re invited to apply to join the second round of the ED Academy, a Coaching, Training, and Mentorship Program for New Executive Directors. Space is limited, so apply today!

The United Way of Prince Edward Island has developed a program specifically for new Executive Directors in the community sector who seek advanced leadership skills and training in how to effectively lead a not-for-profit organization.  

Today’s Executive Director requires empathetic leadership and sophisticated management skills. With the right blend of training, coaching, mentorship, and networking, the ED Academy will enable you to thrive as a leader. 

ED Academy is a 12-month training, coaching, and mentorship program comprised of:  

  • An online classroom with on-demand training modules  
  • Monthly coaching and mentoring sessions (50% in person and 50% virtual) 
  • Access to a community portal where participants can interact with each other in between sessions 
  • Optional accountability groups for additional support 

Participating Executive Directors (EDs) will receive: 

  • Skill Development 
  • On-demand curriculum that will provide the specific, and often missing skills, customized to their needs 
  • Coaching and Mentoring 
  • Organizational Development 
  • Leadership Development 
  • Networking and relationship-building with other sector leaders 

Training Modules

  1. Understanding “The Big Picture” 
    • Organizational vision
    • Strategy at all levels 
    • Planning
  2. Operations
    • Human Resources
    • Organizational Administration
    • Project management
    • Fundraising/Grant Writing
    • Communications
    • Financial Management
  3. Self
    • Leadership development
    • Burnout prevention
    • Mental Fitness

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the ED Academy include:

  • Must be employed as an Executive Director in the community sector: This program is designed for new EDs who are looking to enhance their skills. You get to define ‘new’ to the role however we are expecting individuals within the first 3 years in the role. 
  • Commitment to the community sector: Candidates should demonstrate their commitment to the community, and an understanding of the issues faced by their organization and across partnerships. 
  • Ethical behaviour: Candidates should demonstrate high levels of ethical behaviour and integrity, including a commitment to transparency and accountability. 
  • Continuous learning: Candidates should be committed to continuous learning and professional development, including keeping up to date with new developments in the community. 
  • Commitment to the program: The training and live sessions will take about 4-5 hours per month. The organization’s board of directors must be supportive of your involvement in the training as it requires both time and financial commitment.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who lead non-profit, non-sectarian organizations. Candidates must also demonstrate a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and be aligned with the values of the United Way. 

What It Includes

12 months of video training, coaching sessions, an online community hub, and optional accountability groups.


Live sessions are a combination of in-person and virtual sessions. The first session will be held in Hunter River with the remaining sessions to be determined.


The first two dates are February 13, 2023 (storm date Feb 20) and March 12 (storm date March 20) from 9:30 - 3:30. The remaining dates will be determined by the group.



Time Commitment

Approximately 4-5 hours per month. In-person sessions will be half-day, while virtual sessions are 2 hours. Additionally, the program is designed for you to complete an average of one training module per month.

Why Participate?

The ED Program is an extraordinary opportunity to build upon your leadership abilities and develop a growth-oriented mindset.

Curriculum Development and Facilitator

Sara Roach-Lewis has more than 15 years of experience working in and supporting the not-for-profit sector. She served as Executive Director for Women’s Network PEI for almost four years.

Sara has worked with dozens of boards since she started her own business in 2017. She has developed, tested, and delivered a customized Strategic Planning process for small not-for-profit organizations. It focuses on developing a visionary, yet deeply practical plan that includes recommendations for how to integrate and operationalize the plan.

She helps boards develop governance models, bylaws, and policies and provides board training.

Sara is passionate about supporting not-for-profit teams and has provided coaching, training, mentorship, and operational support to many not-for-profit organizations on PEI and beyond.

Sara is a skilled facilitator, researcher, writer, curriculum developer, and project manager.  A lifelong learner, she holds a degree in Psychology from Mount Allison University, journalism, and business administration diplomas, and a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from UPEI.

She was one of 25 women chosen from across the country to participate in the Canadian Women’s Foundation Women’s Leadership Institute in collaboration with the Coady Institute in Antigonish, NS. Through two residencies as well as distance education, the yearlong program is designed to increase the leadership capacity of not-for-profit organizations across the country, including governance, board training, and stewardship.

About United Way of Prince Edward Island

Since 1962, the United Way of PEI (UWPEI) has been improving lives and building stronger communities across PEI. We bring people together to address some of our most pressing issues and does so by working collaboratively with a diverse set of community stakeholders, partners, volunteers, and donors. UWPEI is a registered charitable foundation governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with a small staff and many volunteers. In 2021, the United Way of PEI became the first non-profit organization on PEI to be accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program, demonstrating the highest levels of governance, accountability, and transparency.

United Way of PEI is a member of United Way Centraide Canada, a national network of local social experts and Canada’s largest non-government funder of human and community services. United Way Centraide Canada provides national leadership to this federated network of 70 United Ways and Centraides serving rural, urban, northern, and remote communities. We are at the forefront of social change and innovation, tackling issues of poverty and social exclusion.

By bringing people together, we move people on PEI out of poverty and support those struggling with mental health and addictions. By enabling others in the social sector to serve their communities, we help Islanders realize their full potential and build strong, inclusive communities.

The ED Academy represents our goal of strengthening leaders in our community. Good training and mentorship will make us more effective. We are stronger united.

Interested in participating in ED Academy? Please complete the application form found here.

Behind every changed life is someone like you who made it happen.
All donations to the United Way of PEI stay on PEI to help Islanders.


Charitable Registration No.
BN119278356 RR 0001

For all general inquiries, please contact:
United Way of Prince Edward Island

Mailing Address:
PO Box 247, Stn Central
Charlottetown PE  C1A 7K4

Physical Address:
180 Kent Street, 2nd Floor
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7K4

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Toll Free: 1-877-902-4438
Phone: 902-894-8202

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