If you missed it, it’s definitely worth a watch or listen! But, if you don’t have time to set aside to view it in its entirety, we’re going to summarize key points that the experts covered as well as give you our top takeaway when it comes to the conversation around nonprofit digital strategy.
Well…yes and no. Yes, you should feel good about the hire, and you should take a pause, but not for too long because the next phase of the transition is only beginning. “What!? Only beginning?” you say. Yes, hiring the new ED is just the first step of the transition journey. The next important move for the Board is to ensure your new leader settles confidently into the role for a long tenure.
So, release that breath and let’s chat about this next phase.
The rationalizations for resisting actually doing succession planning range from, “Who am I to tell future leaders who to pick?” to “I should wait to do this until I am closer to leaving.” Often times it starts to sound more like a discussion about wills and death.
But, regardless of the response when the subject is broached, effective succession nonprofit planning is crucial for an organization to maintain its focus and purpose regardless of who is leading. Nonprofits accumulate valuable institutional knowledge and expertise over time. A well-executed succession plan helps create a transfer of knowledge from outgoing leaders to their successors, preventing the loss of critical information and experience needed to keep the organization serving its key audiences. For this reason, it is always a worthwhile endeavor for nonprofit leadership to plan for the future no matter what stage of their career they are in or what is going on within the organization!
What are some of the essential elements of fundraising that EDs should be familiar with to find success? Let’s shed light on the division of responsibilities within nonprofit organizations when it comes to development efforts:
This month we talked about the biggest nonprofit trends we’re seeing. While some trends have been simmering in the background for quite some time and are now rapidly gaining steam, others are brand new to the nonprofit world.
Find out what’s going on the frontlines of nonprofits across the country right now to better strategize for next year:
As nonprofits find more uses for AI, they are discovering new ways to interact with their audiences, generate content, automate time-consuming processes, and use data to drive decision-making. Some people have described this transformation by saying that AI is helping nonprofits to unlock their true potential to change the world faster than we ever thought possible. However, even that might be an understatement because in many ways AI is enabling nonprofits to do things that we never could have imagined that they would be able to do at all!
This organization closed six months later.
In our sector, we are not rewarded for admitting our struggles. We are not rewarded for rapid cycle learning, failing forward, or innovation. We aren’t even rewarded for partnering. Instead, the sector is fueled by what I might call the 99% success rate fallacy that goes something like this – “Dear Funder, We have a unique approach compared to every other organization you might consider funding. What we are doing is nearly always working for nearly everyone we serve. Please give more.” In short, we are rewarded for presenting solid proposals that project that we are unique, have it all under control, and we are excelling on all fronts. We simply need more money.
After 30 years of leading and working in nonprofit organizations, I finally have the courage to say this: We are not all that unique, everything isn’t always under control, and we are rarely excelling on all fronts. Adequate funding is one essential piece, but that is not enough. We need to explore different strategies if we want to thrive organizationally, and more importantly, have greater impact collectively.
While all executives across for-profit and nonprofit entities are susceptible to burnout due to the importance of their role, nonprofit leadership has the added risk factor of the personal toll that nonprofit work can take in the form of compassion fatigue to consider as well. (Additionally, nonprofit leaders in interim roles or on consulting engagements often work more than they bill, which only adds to their vulnerability to burnout.) These factors add up to a perfect storm of physical and mental health challenges for nonprofit Executive Directors.
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