Applied Wisdom for Nonprofits is an initiative directed to helping people working in nonprofits to elevate their leadership and management skills. The program includes a set of trainings and tools, all built around Jim Morgan’s immensely popular booklet, Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector. First published in 2018, and revised in 2020, more than 40,000 copies have been distributed to some 2,800 nonprofits in all 50 states and in 72 other countries.

Accompanying the print booklet is an ebook and audiobook, and a set of tools that deepen and broaden the lessons contained. In 2023 the Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector Course was made available. This 8-part self-paced online course includes both videos and exercises.

All of the material on this site is offered without cost and without obligation by Jim Morgan, as a way of giving back to the nonprofit community. This has been a major focus for Jim’s efforts throughout his professional career.

Our Vision

We envision a world where all leaders are enabled with the tools and insights they need to effectively move humanity forward.

Our Mission

Unlock and encourage excellence in nonprofit managers and leaders by providing timeless, easily accessible resources and tools.

About James C. Morgan

Jim Morgan is an influential nonprofit and philanthropic leader, based in Silicon Valley, who has worked extensively in the worlds of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He led the semiconductor equipment giant, Applied Materials, for nearly three decades — one of the longest tenures of any Fortune 500 CEO. Under Jim’s leadership, Applied Materials built an exceptionally diverse workforce, with top engineers, both men and women, representing many backgrounds and ethnicities. He recounts those years, and the many lessons he learned, in his first book, Applied Wisdom: Bad News Is Good News and Other Insights That Can Help Anyone Be a Better Manager.

“Unlocking and encouraging excellence in others has been the most satisfying aspect of my career.”

Nonprofit and Philanthropic Contributions

In 2007 Jim co-founded, with his wife Becky Morgan, a former California State Senator, the Northern Sierra Partnership, a pioneering collaboration bringing five conservation nonprofits together to do what none could do alone. The partnership has successfully preserved over 103,000 acres in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Jim served as both a California and global trustee, as well as co-chair of the Asia Pacific Council of, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a worldwide nonprofit focused on programs that “Protect Nature and Preserve Life.” He was honored with The Nature Conservancy’s prestigious Oak Leaf Award.

For over 30 years Jim and Becky Morgan have been active in philanthropy through their family foundation. Their shared goal is to change lives and transform communities.

Recognition and Awards

The role that Jim Morgan has played in the growth and success of Silicon Valley continues to be recognized. In July 2023 he received the Imec Lifetime of Innovation Award “for his immense impact on the semiconductor industry as well as on society at large.”

Jim served as both a California and global trustee of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), as well as co-chair of TNC’s Asia Pacific Council.

He was instrumental in creating The Tech Interactive’s “The Tech Awards” (now “The Tech for Global Good” awards), and inspired the “James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award,” which honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating critical global problems. Past recipients have included Bill Gates, Gordon Moore, Al Gore, and Julie Packard. The 2023 winner was entrepreneur, creative innovator, futurist and philanthropist

The Leadership Advocate Team

Leslie Hansen

Leslie is a seasoned leader who now works with organizations and individuals to build their capacity and impact. During a long career in high tech, Leslie successfully held significant annual line responsibility in manufacturing and supply chain, as well as enterprise risk and entity-wide business performance measurement and management. Often the only woman in the room, Leslie has consistently gone to the mat for equity and inclusion. Leslie is a student of how the right-treatment of employees measurably improves business performance, and she has advised scores of leaders over the past 15 years. Her board service includes the Global Women’s Leadership Network, Women in Technology (at NetApp), Healthier Kids Foundation of Santa Clara County, and the Barrington Area Community Foundation.

Since joining the team in 2022, Leslie has worked to bring the Applied Wisdom principles to the nonprofit sector. She developed the Applied Wisdom for Nonprofits online course, and is currently engaged in collaborations with Miller Center for Entrepreneurship, UpMetrics, NonprofitReady, and others.

Kathleen King

Kathleen is a superstar in the nonprofit and public sectors in Santa Clara County and in California. After a successful career as the first female sales executive at Applied Materials, Kathleen’s passion for children, families, and equitable access led her to be elected Mayor of Saratoga, and to found a nonprofit, Healthier Kids Foundation, which has positively impacted the health and learning readiness of hundreds of thousands of Silicon Valley children and their families.

Kathleen serves on numerous boards, including FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, and Child Abuse Prevention Council. Previously, Ms. King served as a member of the California State Dental Board, Santa Clara County Office of Education Board, and more. Kathleen has put her many deep connections in the community into the service of Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector mission, and her personal touch and tenacity as an advocate for causes she believes in are legendary. Through her work, thousands of nonprofit employees have been turned on to Applied Wisdom for the Nonprofit Sector to develop or improve their management skills.

Dolly Sandoval

Dolly Sandoval has resided in and served the Santa Clara County community her entire life. After graduating from local public schools, she attended DeAnza Community College, being the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. She transferred to University of California, Santa Cruz and graduated with her mathematics degree and teaching credential. She taught mathematics for nearly thirty years. Ms. Sandoval simultaneously served the greater community as an elected official, serving on the Foothill DeAnza Board of Trustees then as a council member and mayor for the city of Cupertino, CA. Additionally, Dolly served on a number of nonprofit boards and continues to be very involved with West Valley Community Services and Cupertino Rotary. In 2014, Governor Brown appointed Dolly to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, furthering her passion for environmental restoration. She is a member of the Bond and Parcel Tax Citizens’ Oversight Committee for the Fremont Union High School District.

Since joining the AWNPS team in 2023, Dolly’s reputation as a committed public servant and her skill as an educator have been significant assets in reaching more nonprofit leaders and teams. In her spare time, Dolly enjoys being outside hiking, skiing, and rafting, as well as loves cooking and reading.