Qualities of a Non-Profit Leader

Today’s nonprofit leader needs to be more than just “the boss”. The need today are skills which encompasses financial, operational and executive that is a combination on the best qualities of corporate world c-level executives.

It has been reported in recent surveys that there is a rough road ahead for nonprofits because of increasing turnover and decreasing revenue. They act like c-level executives in that they have to grow their programs, bring more money and use resources more effectively. It used to be that these organizations were continuously supplied with resources but today they need to come up with programs so that it can sustain itself. It is designed in such a way that it can endure on its own.

This is now the problems that non-profit leadership is facing. What we can see here is that every non-profit leader is actually driven to administer programs and they don’t see any value is building a business foundation for the reason that this organization is a mission and is in conflict with anything to do with business. This kind of outlook is quite wrong in that is can cause damage when funding programs dwindle or are halted. When the funding is halted then it can defeat everything that they have started since it is not able to sustain the activities that they have set. Inability to sustain itself is not only the problem of non-profit organizational but they also have difficulty with their human resources. Most non-profit organizations have no strategy for recruitment and they also do not have any succession plan.

What does all this imply?

Non-profit organizations are typically divided into major functions such as central administration, governance, and programming, so the leadership must not neglect less essential functions when there are dwindling resources and more emphasis should be put on high priority levels of the organization. So even if it is already stretched thin, the essential functions should not be dropped because is they begin to weaken the organization’s ability to fulfill its mission will be affected.

The need for a strong non-profit board cannot be overstated. They are the front runners of the organization since they are the ones that are connected with the community. They make the donors understand the functions of the organization.

To better target their constituency, maintain morale, and keep the organization energized, nonprofit organizations need a regular assessment and evaluation of their programs and operations. Evaluation should not be excluded for more essential functions that must be sustained. As mentioned earlier, the need to focus on leadership transition, the need to find new ways to recruit and cultivate “next generation” organizational leaders must never be neglected.

Financial management and fundraising should also never be neglected.

Source: HSUS CEO