Leadership deserves real strategies, not mere anecdotes and assumptions. Here at the Concord Leadership Group we not only keep up-to-date with the best leadership research in the world, we also do our own.
Charities are getting hit hard from outside pressures but this is just the prelude to the leadership issues we'll start seeing coming from within organizations.
- Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, necessitating new leaders to take their place.
- CEOs are coming to nonprofit positions without all the experiences needed to successfully run their organization. They're especially caught off guard by the need to fundraise.
- Board members are increasingly micromanaging the executive directors they hire. There are even increasingly alarming reports of boards bullying nonprofit CEOs.
- And in the absence of a unifying mission, many staff members are creating fiefdoms and silos, attempting to lead their own section but often at the expense of the whole.
While nonprofits are needed now more than ever, these trends indicate we're in for quite a ride. Some might even call it a "perfect storm."
Very few research-based resources exist to help leaders. So it's probably not surprising that leadership development within our nonprofits is so inadequate that around half of nonprofit boards looking to hire have had to go outside of the organization to bring in a leader. While fresh ideas can be good, we all know what time and effort can be saved by promoting leaders from within.
Building on what research does exist
Board members and executive directors don't have time to figure out what works through trial and error. So the Concord Leadership Group has partnered with organizations like the Utah Nonprofit Association, Nonprofit Hub, Bloomerang, Blackbaud, StratusLIVE, and DonorSearch to help. We've launched "The State of Nonprofit Leadership" - a survey to create a snapshot of the current state of leadership in the nonprofit sector.
The survey builds on the studies by organizations like CompassPoint and Bridgespan. Unlike many studies, this study isn't limited to the board room or the C-suite. At the Concord Leadership Group, we believe leadership can be exercised at all levels. So we opened the survey up to all nonprofit roles - board, executive directors, senior leaders, middle managers, frontline staff, and volunteers. We were interested in seeing how the different groups perceive leadership in their nonprofits. We also using classifications like those used in GivingUSA to help identify possible trends across subsectors like health or human services.
Nonprofit Leadership at All Levels
Nonprofits are important than ever. And deserve the best, evidenced-based research available to chart their future. And with over 1000 respondees, the survey sheds light on the deep, systemic challenges in the sector. And helps point the way to making it better.
"I thought the survey questions were good and as a former Board Chair
it was an opportunity to learn as well as contribute." - Diane J.
Our Survey Partners