The Center for Association Resources


Is an association management firm focused on helping Non-Profit associations succeed in their mission.

Leadership training and development for non-profits

Another in a series of articles related to association management selected from our reading list by:
Robert O. Patterson, JD
CEO/ Principal
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.

Every successful organization or business must have competent leadership.  For the non-profit organization, its leaders are the board of directors and the executive director.  Jointly they communicate the vision, set the goals and provide the direction for the organization to achieve its mission.  As leaders, the executive director and each board member must dutifully carry out their roles and responsibilities.  A leader must also recognize when he or she needs training and development and should seek the proper help to fulfill the requirements of the job in order to advance the organization.

The most important staff role of a non-profit organization is its executive director.  While the primary job of the executive director is to manage the day-to-day functions and the staff (including developing the staff), he or she also needs to work closely with the board of directors on a variety of initiatives such as strategic planning, fundraising, and participate in board involved committees.  Whether the organization size is small, with a budget of less than one hundred thousand dollars; or large, with a budget of over five million dollars, the executive director must have excellent business and people skills and teamwork to work along with staff personnel and the board as well as interface with the organization’s constituents and supporters.  To develop the breadth and depth of skills required for this non-profit leadership role, many nonprofit services offer classes and coaching.

Also vital to the non-profit organization is its board of directors.  Most often non-profit board members serve because they are passionate about the cause.  Therefore board members’ talents and skills vary and may or may not compliment the staff or each other.  Sometimes the board members need to learn about their roles and responsibilities and how to perform them as they are a governing body sanctioned by the state.  There is a wealth of information online about board duties as well as agencies that provide consultation to build and develop non-profit boards in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, succession planning, governance, and managing the performance of the executive director.

A key position on the board is the president.  The board president leads the rest of the board members by being clear about the board’s role, sets examples of behavior for fellow members to follow, maintains a business focus and develops the board into a cohesive and productive body.  If an area of board development is to bring on training, there are many workshops and programs that would help the board and its president to be more effective leaders.

A trained and developed board and executive director are poised to help the non-profit organization through challenges, to transition the organization to the next level, and most importantly to achieve the mission of the organization.

Filed under: Association Resources, Center for Association Resources, Fund Raising, Leadership, Marketing, Non-Profit, Strategic Planning, Strategy, The Center for Assocation Resources info, Training, , , , , ,

March 2011

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