Sample Professional Development Plan



___________________ (organization) values individual contributions to our shared mission. As a group, you and other managers and supervisors have worked hard to hire staff members who are bright and talented. As ___________________ (organization) continues to attract highly qualified staff members at support and middle management levels, the long- term reality is that some of these individuals will need to "move on to move up."  However, there are steps that ___________________ (organization) will take to help maintain a satisfied, highly functioning, and productive staff at all levels.


The goals of this procedure are to:

  • Articulate ___________________'s role as a training ground for nonprofit leaders.
  • Maintain the satisfaction and productivity of ___________________ (organization) employees at all levels of the organization.
  • Support the professional development of staff members, even when this results in their leaving the organization.

The objectives for this procedure are to:

  • Assist all staff in creating individual professional development plans.
  • Reduce turnover of support and mid-level staff.
  • Increase productivity and job satisfaction among support and mid-level staff.
  • Increase staff referrals for open positions.
  • Increase the percentage of departing staff members who move from the Foundation to other positions and lifetime careers in the nonprofit sector.
  • Supervisors and vice presidents are the primary mentors for employees seeking professional development opportunities. This procedure offers tools to facilitate a twice-yearly discussion of professional development between you and each of your direct reports. 




  • At each mid-year and annual review, the supervisor and employee will work together to fill out the individual professional development plan (Attachment A).
  • Both the supervisor and the employee will work with the menu of opportunities available in writing and on the Intranet. This menu is developed to stimulate discussion, and should not be considered an exhaustive or complete list of professional development opportunities.
  • The supervisor is responsible for following up with the employee, as outlined in the development of the plan, between reviews.
  • The employee is responsible for taking action on his/her behalf, as outlined in the plan. 
  • At each review, the plan will be revisited, discussed, and updated as necessary.
  • Employees and supervisors are invited to share their anonymous or specific feedback on the review form and professional development process with the executive director. Reflections on the process are welcome at any time, but will be specifically solicited on an annual basis.


Attachment A: Individual Professional Development Plan

________________________(organization) encourages every employee to pursue his or her professional goals. This plan is a tool to facilitate that work. The plan is to be completed by the supervisor and employee before and/or during an employee's annual review. They agree to revisit the plan twice during the year to mark progress and make adjustments.


Date ______________________


To be completed by employee

My goals related to my current position are:

My goals related to future professional development are:

In order to work toward these goals, I would like to take the following steps in the coming year:

Employee Signature _____________________________________ 


To be completed by supervisor

__________________________________________________________(organization) is able to support these steps in the following ways:

Supervisor Signature _____________________________________

First review date

Second review date


This worksheet was created by The Denver Foundation's Inclusiveness Project ( to support organizations doing inclusiveness work.

Users are encouraged to customize the worksheet (both content and formatting) to meet the needs of their respective organizations.

A Word version is attached. A writable PDF version is also attached.