The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, is dedicated to strengthening communities, organizations, and individuals through leadership development, training, and education. Founded in 1982, the Institute is named for UGA’s first Vice President for Services, Dr. J.W. Fanning. His legacy of leadership development is embodied in the Institute’s dedication to developing leaders of all ages, in every community, from all walks of life.

Fanning Institute faculty and staff design and deliver programs and services in four primary areas of focus.

Community leadership development

Leadership creates positive change in communities. Fanning’s community leadership programs help develop knowledgeable, skilled, committed and action-oriented leaders. Participants from diverse backgrounds and different perspectives enhance their existing leadership skills and gain a better understanding of themselves and their roles as community leaders so that they can ultimately impact community vitality.

Nonprofit and professional association leadership development

We develop leaders throughout the nonprofit sector. Fanning develops curriculum for nonprofit executives, boards, staff, and volunteers on topics relevant to nonprofit and professional association leadership. Fanning also provides strategic planning and technical assistance to nonprofits on a number of topics.

Youth leadership development

We are committed to developing youth as leaders and enhancing their access to higher education. Our youth leadership development focus is on preparing young people to meet the challenges of transitioning to adulthood through a variety of programming options that foster youth leadership and community engagement.

Mediation and conflict resolution

Fanning offers leadership development services that can help transform conflict into previously unimagined solutions. Fanning offers training and support services in mediation, conflict resolution, dialogue, and other alternative dispute resolution processes so that individuals will have the necessary leadership skills to address barriers and transform conflict in their communities and organizations.

The Institute’s multi-disciplinary faculty assist communities and organizations by offering education, training, and services that include the following:

  • Leadership curriculum development and programming
  • Customized training and technical assistance
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Non-profit capacity building
  • Youth leadership development
  • Cultural competencies and diversity
  • Organizational assessment and evaluation
  • Board governance
  • Community engagement
  • Change leadership including strategic planning and community visioning
  • Leadership coaching and succession planning

We would enjoy talking about ways the Fanning Institute can assist you, your community, or organization. Give us a call at 706-542-1108.


Our mission is to strengthen individuals, communities and organizations through leadership development, training and education.


We envision the state of Georgia as a network of vibrant, inclusive and prosperous communities, where leaders of all ages and backgrounds are well trained and confident in their abilities to affect positive change. As an institute, we aspire to be a nationally recognized resource for communities and organizations seeking to develop existing and emerging leaders.