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The Coaching Project

Who We Are

The Coaching Project is dedicated to assisting leaders in nonprofit organizations. To this end, we provide individual and group coaching to executives and their teams from national and international nonprofit organizations. The Coaching Project has evolved over 15 years of providing coaching and training to organizations. This work is done through The Brande Foundation that was started in 1987.

Dave Ellis, president of The Brande Foundation, and the coaches he has trained have provided executive coaching and staff development workshops to many world-renowned organizations. Leaders we have coached include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank; Sam Daley-Harris, founder of RESULTS and the Microcredit Summit; Anne Goddard, President of Child Fund International; Alex Counts, President of Grameen Foundation USA; Lynne Twist, co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance; Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and former President of ACCION International; and Sam Worthington, CEO for InterAction.

Dave Ellis' individual and group coaching approach produces measurable changes. He has trained hundreds of coaches who have a proven track record in providing effective results-oriented coaching. The Coaching Project team is committed to helping you create clear long-range strategic plans, solve problems, innovate, and achieve your goals. Our approach is both collaborative and empowering. Our purpose is to help you create new ways to promote the mission of your organization.

Sam Daley-Harris


Sam Daley-Harris


“I did the training with my wife. The question, ‘What is the life of your dreams?’ was a profound gift to both of us. We really created our life anew out of the training with lots of big changes related to where we live and how our work was structured.”

“The training really gave us permission to vision the life of our dreams. It was a big thrill, because it launched changes that have been so satisfying.” Read his entire testimonial.

Muhammad Yunus


Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Prize Winner (2006)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009)

“So, he (Dave Ellis) is not an advisor. He's not telling you what to do. What I feel is that you have capacity within yourself, but you never test those buttons that you have. So he brings out your own capacity or you discover your own capacity. You become an explorer of yourself.” Read his entire testimonial.


About Us

More information about the work of Dave Ellis can be found at www.DaveEllisLeadership.com. All profits from the consulting and product sales from Dave Ellis Leadership are contributed to The Brande Foundation to fund The Coaching Project.

Coaching and Consulting Staff


Dave Ellis

President, Executive Coach

Dave assists people to realize their fullest potential through his coaching, books, workshops, videos, and interactive online classes. He challenges people to think what they have never thought and empowers them to take actions that they have never taken. He facilitates others in creating their organizations and their lives by examining every area of life for the rest of their organization’s life and their personal life and beyond. They then develop realistic action plans to produce results they never imagined possible.

Dave is a leadership coach, author, educator, and philanthropist. He wrote and published, Becoming a Master Student, which is currently in its fifteenth edition and has been the best-selling college textbook in America for over two decades. In addition to this book, he has written six others including, Life Coaching, Falling Awake, and Creating Your Future.

Dave is a respected lecturer and workshop leader who has reached audiences worldwide since first sharing his principles in 1979. He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Through his workshops and books, he has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

In 1987, he founded The Brande Foundation which provides, at no cost, individual and group coaching to national and international nonprofits. Dave has contributed millions of dollars to the work of his foundation and to other organizations.

Ellis was an Assistant Dean of Student Services, a member of the Administrative Board, and president of National American University, a proprietary school, where for six years he taught computer programming and a first year experience course he designed on being successful in college. Dave has a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Psychology, a masters degree in Computer Science, work on a Ph.D. in Psychology, and an honorary Ph.D. in Naturopathic Philosophy.

He lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife Trisha. Together they have four daughters and five grandchildren.


Bill Rentz

Vice President, Master Certified Coach

Bill Rentz has worked with Dave Ellis for over 25 years. He is vice president of both Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc., and The Brande Foundation. Bill is an executive coach and has been awarded his MCC from the International Coach Federation. He is responsible for developing and operating The Coaching Project. Bill is also responsible for much of the day-to-day operation of our organizations. He lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota and is a dedicated husband for over 24 years.


JoAnne Bangs

Director of Training, Executive Coach

JoAnne Bangs began a coaching practice 22 years ago while raising two young children and since then she has been coaching individuals, business owners, couples, and leaders of nonprofit organizations. She has spent years working with Anne Goddard, President of Child Fund International; Melanie Macdonald, President of World Neighbors; and Yolanda Richardson, Past President of Center for Development and Population Activities. After a major health challenge in 2000, she transformed all aspects of her life such that her life is now vibrant, accomplished, and joyful. Her goal is to assist her clients to achieve the same through her coaching and our trainings.


Peter Chandonnet

Executive Coach

In addition to being a coach, Peter teaches yoga at the Yoga Studio in San Francisco. Peter has a great love for coaching and yoga, because these two forms of transformation have brought great love, abundance, purpose, and passion to his life and to the lives of others. His purpose is to be an inspiration to himself and to others and inspire others to their greatness. It is Peter's dream that we live in a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling. He feels coaching and yoga have the potential to create such a world.


Francine Campone

Executive Coach

Francine Campone, Ed.D., PCC coaches leaders in education and nonprofit organizations, organization teams, and mature professionals making significant transitions in life and work. Her coach training is complemented by experience in humanistic mediation, group dynamics and facilitation, Constructive Living Practice, and 30 years of experience in higher and adult education. A member of the founding faculty of University of Texas at Dallas' graduate coaching certification program, Francine developed and teaches an introduction to research practices for coaches. Dr. Campone is active in the International Coach Federation's research arena and the Foundation of Coaching in the development of a repository of coaching research.


Rick Ingrasci

Executive Coach

Rick Ingrasci, M.D., M.P.H. is a psychiatrist, author, and teacher in the fields of integrative medicine, community development, organizational learning, and holistic education. Rick has a rich background in psychiatry, holistic medicine, and personal and social transformation. He is a graduate of Cornell University Medical College and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the co-author of the best-selling book Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life. Rick is a co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Stan Lankowitz

Executive Coach

Stan Lankowitz, M.Ed., L.P.C., dedicates his career to helping leaders in nonprofit organizations and businesses resolve problems, explore new possibilities, design and implement strategic plans, and achieve success. The coaching he has provided for over 30 years help people improve the quality of their lives in both personal and professional domains.

Alex Counts


Alex Counts

President & CEO

“There are funding agencies that have given us, in some cases, a million dollars or more and the thing that has convinced them to do so was just our attention to small details in our relationships. In the past I didn't have the same priority about details as I do after I talked about it with my Life Coach.”Read his entire testimonial.

Maria Otero


Maria Otero

Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs

Former President & CEO

“The Dave Ellis Leadership Training and coaching has positively affected my leadership capacity. I have attended Dave's workshops and received one-on-one coaching from one of his executive life coaches. I have drawn from all of that and incorporated it into my day-to-day work.” Read her entire testimonial.


How to Apply

The Coaching Project accepts applications from leaders of nonprofit national and international organizations.

To qualify for a full scholarship, an organization must meet the following criteria:

  1. A CEO available to participate fully in the process
  2. A staff of 50 or more
  3. A minimum annual budget of $5 million
  4. Programs that do not promote a particular religion or spiritual practice

Full Scholarship Award

Full scholarship award valued at $25,000 includes:

  • 4-6 hours of one-on-one coaching per month for one year for one to four executives
  • A one to two-day executive retreat or customized staff development workshop where Dave Ellis provides group coaching and visioning
  • Access to all of Dave Ellis' workshops offered throughout the year (For details on the workshops click here.)
  • A copy of the book Falling Awake and access to all DaveEllisLeadership.com online resources
  • (Travel expenses are not included in this scholarship.)

Partial Scholarship Awards

The Coaching Project offers partial scholarship awards to organizations that meet the following criteria:

  1. A top level manager available to participate fully in the process
  2. Programs that do not promote a particular religion or spiritual practice

For the partial scholarship, you may customize your award. The cost will be based on the selections below. The Coaching Project will pay for half the actual cost.

Partial scholarship awards may include:

  • 4-6 hours of one-on-one coaching per month for six months to one year for one to four executives
  • A one to two-day executive retreat or customized staff development workshop where Dave Ellis provides group coaching and visioning
  • Access to all of Dave Ellis' workshops offered throughout the year (For details on the workshops click here.)
  • A copy of the book Falling Awake and access to all DaveEllisLeadership.com online resources
  • (Travel expenses are not included in this partial scholarship.)


To fill out our application, click here.

For questions regarding the application, please contact .
Yolanda Richardson


Yolonda Richardson

Past President & CEO

“The leadership training had an incredible impact on me. I directly took the benefits and applied them to working with my staff, and that was quite successful.” Read her entire testimonial.

Anne Lynam Goddard


Anne Lynam Goddard

President & CEO

“This workshop revived me. I'd never been in an event like this, where I knew no one else, and I could focus just on me. The training allowed me to let go of a lot of deep-seated grieving I had for human suffering that I had seen through my work. That was an incredible experience that I had never anticipated.” Read her entire testimonial.


Contributing to The Coaching Project

The Coaching Project provides scholarships to leaders of nonprofits. All profits from Dave Ellis Leadership workshops and coaching directly support The Brande Foundation's primary initiative - The Coaching Project.

Up until recently, Dave has been the sole financial support for this project. In order to expand our program and offer hundreds of scholarships, we seek individual donations, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants in support of our work.

If you would like to contribute to The Coaching Project, please contact JoAnne Bangs at .

Dennis Sparks


Sam Worthington

President & CEO

“When I took this three-day leadership training with Dave Ellis, I was able to examine a number of leadership approaches that I was using in my work, refine them, and apply them in a way that was more directly linked to my own personal vision. That vision is a world where individuals are better off and human well-being is advanced.” Read his entire testimonial.

Melanie Macdonald


Melanie Macdonald

President & CEO

“Because of my experience with Dave Ellis' teachings, my husband certainly has noticed that I'm calmer, I'm happier, and that my impact on the world through my work is much greater than it has ever been before.”

“The passion and caring that Dave brings to this work are very evident in the content and its impact on participants. Many of Dave's teachings have made my life much happier and healthier. They've also made me a much better leader.”

“I'm more confident now, I stand up for myself more often, and my success is at the highest level of my career after over 30 years of leading not-for-profits.” Read her entire testimonial.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Coaching confidential?
Although executive coaching is not counseling, you can expect to receive that same level of confidentiality.
Why is there no charge for this service?
Although Dave Ellis has given away over a million dollars in direct contributions, he believes that an even more effective way to assist nonprofit organizations is to provide their leaders with individual and group coaching. Through his own experience of coaching others, Dave has noticed that when the quality of life for leaders of nonprofits improves, the effectiveness of their organizations improves as well.
Is The Brande Foundation religiously affiliated?
No. The Brande Foundation is a private operating foundation with no religious affiliation. The coaching services are provided by people from a wide variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds to a religiously diverse group of people.
What’s the training & experience of the life coaches?
Almost all of our coaches have a Masters Degree in counseling or a closely related area. They have all been trained by Dave Ellis using the techniques outlined in his seven books, which include Life Coaching, Falling Awake, and Creating Your Future.
What if I start using the service and don’t like it?
Within a month or two, if you do not notice a dramatic improvement in your life and your work, we will either assign another coach to work with you or agree that this service is not right for you. Of course, you can stop using this service at any time.
Is this coaching limited to my work?
No. We believe that when you handle challenges at home or in your personal life, your professional effectiveness will also improve.
Lynne Twist


Lynne Twist

“Life coaching helps you look at the legacy you'll leave and how your life will impact people 500 years from now. It's a very remarkable process.” Read her entire testimonial.


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