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The Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership, Part I
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The Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership, Part I - Executive Leadership Articles

The Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership, Part I

Executive Leadership Articles

The Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership, Part I

Executive Leaders responsible for managing a nonprofit often face a unique set of challenges that can include determining funding sources, hiring a talented and capable staff on a shoestring budget, and striking a balance between following the mission statement and growing beyond it to remain relevant and engaging in these economically challenging times. Oftentimes, the Executive Leaders of nonprofits will be required to be not only CEOs, but Event Planners, Marketing Experts, Grant Writers, and Database Managers as well. While this can be at times an overwhelming prospect, here are a few basic tips and tricks that executives can learn that will help them navigate the challenging world of nonprofit management:

  • Hire a staff that can wear many hats. If you are entering a nonprofit with an existing staff in place and wish to build upon their current skillset, first assess their abilities and see where they might easily transition into a new (or additional) role. Part of this process may involve sending them to off-site trainings or seminars on the web. The key is to balance how much funding you are willing to allocate in order for the staff member to acquire a given skill, and how much that skill will impact your organization—both in time and in dollars.
  • Know what it takes to keep your nonprofit financially healthy. For many nonprofit Executive Leaders, a large portion of their funding comes from grants. However, in order to be awarded grant money, nonprofits must traditionally submit proposals that outline . This process commonly includes providing details about your organization, such as a clearly articulated mission and vision, estimated funding requested (if the grant does not specify a particular sum), a narrative of the project, a budget worksheet, program goals, and metrics for evaluating whether you have reached your goals or not. Be aware that entities that award grant funds often request status reports to ensure that your organization used its funds appropriately. While nonprofit Executive Leaders may not always possess the skillset to write grants, they are responsible for determining how they will secure this talent: either by hiring a project-based grant writer, utilizing their staff’s existing grant writing talents, or sending a staff member with a strong communications or writing background to take classes. It is important to note, however, that many factors are involved in whether your organization is awarded the grant or not, and sometimes it may simply involve who you know. As Executive Leader, you should learn what it takes to be awarded funding and assess how to best position your organization for success.
  • Expect hard work but reward it too. Whether you have a staff of five or thirty, be sure to reward hard work, excellence, and dedication. Your staff will appreciate that you noticed their effort and will be more likely to continue their strong work ethic and go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done right.

Please stay tuned for the second and final article in our “Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership” series for tips on how Executive Leaders can keep themselves organized and working at their full potential.

 

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The Basics of Nonprofit Management & Executive Leadership, Part I - Executive Leadership Articles

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