Special note: This is post #200!
Links to articles about why leadership development and retention is the most critical issue in sustaining nonprofits.
Cultural leaders leaving
Aspen Philanthropy Letter...
Report #138: March/April 2006
REPORT SEES INCREASING TENSION BETWEEN GRANTEES AND FOUNDATIONS; A LEADING CAUSE OF NONPROFIT LEADER BURNOUT
Foundations seem to be a leading cause of burnout among current nonprofit leaders. According to a survey by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation of 2,000 nonprofit leaders nationwide, there is deep dissatisfaction, "even anger," with institutional funders among nonprofit leaders, who resent funder influence in everything from succession planning to program development. Only one in three of the nonprofit leaders surveyed said donors have a good understanding of what nonprofit jobs entail. The report on the study, Daring to Lead 2006 , finds the dissatisfaction so widespread that it suggests more pushback against this funder-grantee dynamic may be in the offing. Funders should be alert to the impact that their funding mechanisms, and not just their funding decisions, have on nonprofit leadership, according to the report. So in addition to increased general operating support and multi-year support - two ideas that survey respondents said would help them most - foundation representatives should listen to nonprofit leaders more closely and have candid conversations with them about what they need. They should also attempt to simplify their grant processes.
NONPROFIT SECTOR NEEDS TO IMPROVE CULTIVATION, RETENTION OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS TO AVOID IMPENDING CRISIS, STUDY SAYS
A new study adds to concerns about an impending crisis in nonprofit leadership, and offers recommendations about what foundations can do to address it. Thomas Tierney of The Bridgespan Group reports in The Nonprofit Sector's Leadership Deficit that over the next decade the nonprofit sector needs to attract and develop the equivalent of 2.4 times the number of leaders currently employed in the sector, a daunting challenge but one that this white paper says must be met to avoid wasting charitable dollars. The sector's growth and baby boomer retirement are contributing factors to the looming deficit. The sector needs to improve its development and retention of effective leaders, according to the report, which offers general ideas for improvement. A central point is that foundations need to offer more general operating support and help reduce the stigma attached to overhead costs in nonprofits, or at least award project-specific grants that include funds to address leadership capacity-building needs.