Our Research

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.

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.

So we conducted an industry-wide survey on the state of leadership in the nonprofit sector.

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.


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.


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.

“The Crisis in Nonprofit Leadership webinar is AWESOME. Marc shares very valuable statistics and advice on how to strengthen the effectiveness of charities. Every nonprofit leader should watch this and apply the strategies.”

Rob Tonus

President, The Fundraising Company, Peterborough, Ontario

Our Survey Partners


Sign up here to get a free copy of the 2016 Nonprofit Sector Leadership Report and find out how your leadership measures up!

Nonprofit Sector Leadership Report 2016

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2016 Nonprofit Sector

Leadership Report

"The Concord Leadership Group tells us what true leaders have already accepted: not planning strategically is just tempting fate. Without a plan, you are betting other people's future on your continued dumb luck."

-Bill Tedesco
CEO, DonorSearch


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