Organizational Health

Planning for the next generation of nonprofit leaders

April 13, 2021 Nonprofits Decoded Team

Nonprofits are the heart of many social agendas – homelessness, racial inequality, religious freedom, women’s health, hunger, civil rights, immigration, climate change, smoking cessation.

There is no doubt, nonprofit organizations have improved economic growth in many American communities. They give back in every way imaginable by helping communities meet their needs. Some of the biggest advocates of nonprofits are Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes, corporations, community members, financial institutions, and members of the elite class.

Currently, there are 1.5 million American-based nonprofit organizations, all of which have unique goals. 

Future leadership position consideration

In order for a nonprofit to be successful, it needs good leaders and good organizational health. Each position plays a major role in the operation of the nonprofit, which it is crucial to consider all possibilities. Each candidate must be scrutinized carefully to ensure the best match. What factors should be considered when filling nonprofit leadership roles? 

Finding a successor for a leadership role is never easy. Filling a new role is tough enough, but replacing an employee that complimented your nonprofit is even more difficult. When you find yourself in this difficult position, keep in mind, your nonprofit and employees are counting on you to make the right decision. 

A nonprofit leader must be goal-oriented, flexible, friendly, strategic, and knowledgeable. While it may feel like an impossible feat, being diligent and open-minded will go a long way in ensuring you make the right decision.

Implement a strategic recruitment campaign

To find that perfect leader for your nonprofit, a strong nonprofit recruitment strategy will reach out to job seekers all over the world. Recruitment will bridge the gap between your nonprofit and eligible candidates.

What do you need from a future executive?

At the end of the day, you need to work diligently to find out what type of future leader your company needs. What traits are required to make a great leader for your company?

Ultimately, you’ll need to look for a handful of characteristics when identifying new leaders. It is pertinent to make sure that these individuals mesh well with your company’s values. They also need to be good with people so they can help attract new donors. Below, you’ll find out more about choosing ideal leaders for your nonprofit.

  • Values Matter – First and foremost, you need to choose someone who shares your nonprofit’s values. They should understand and appreciate the mission of your nonprofit organization.
  • Persuasive – You’ll also want to pick someone persuasive. They’ll need to communicate with donors and potential donors to generate money. The future leader of your nonprofit needs to be able to speak fluidly and concisely in front of audiences.
  • Listens Well – To ensure long-term nonprofit organization health, you’ll need to pick a leader who listens exceptionally well. The individual you pick needs to be able to listen and make changes to match the needs of their colleagues and supporters.
  • Enjoys A Challenge – When transitioning to the leadership role, this individual is going to face an abundance of challenges. If they’re not up to the challenge, they’ll likely give up at the first sign of trouble. Prevent this from happening by choosing someone who enjoys a challenge. You need someone who can consistently deal with tough challenges because they’re going to face many of them.
  • Versatility – Finally, it is wise to choose someone who is emotionally versatile. These individuals need to learn how to show empathy and gratitude.

Choosing appropriate nonprofit leadership will make a world of difference in the long run. Don’t rush this decision because doing so will lead to issues in the future. Take your time and choose the best candidate for the position, and don’t forget to use the advice provided above.

Focus on supporting new leaders

Nobody wants to get old and be left behind, but it is going to happen. It is pertinent to prepare because one of the younger members of your organization will likely lead it in the future. Remember that you and your colleagues can bestow a wealth of knowledge on these individuals, and you’ll want to do just that. Future leaders will bring new ideas and techniques to the table, but they can benefit greatly from the tried and proven methods you’ve been using all along.

To prepare your nonprofit organization for future success, bring mentoring and training the future leaders among your group. Instill the importance of your nonprofit’s values into these individuals and teach them what you can. Just remember to give them room to innovate so they can bring new ideas to the table.

Different approaches

When dealing with the next generation of leadership, it can be difficult to resist the urge to fall back on older, proven techniques. As a result, you may be tempted to shut down new leaders to stick with the ideas you’re comfortable with. It is vital to resist the urge to prevent these individuals from blossoming and implementing changes. For instance, you should understand that the next generation leaders are going to use different techniques than you.

Millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce within a decade. These individuals will lead your nonprofits into future generations. It is pertinent to make adjustments to accommodate these individuals. Adjust your facilities to better suit these leaders. These individuals are likely already a part of your organization. Now you just need to change your outdated structure to match their needs. Do that and they’ll be able to flourish.

Planning for a leadership transition

You need to prepare to hand over the reins to the new leader, but you don’t want to do this haphazardly. For starters, you’ll want to use the tips below to achieve an orderly transition.

  • Make sure that you receive support from your board members and staff. Doing so will make managing the transition easier.
  • Be sure to know what challenges you’re going to face. Compiling a list of challenges the new leadership will face will make a big difference in the long run.
  • Try to develop a timeline for the transition.
  • Don’t forget to utilize an emergency leadership transition plan. Having a plan will help you deal with unexpected issues along the way.
  • Develop plans to ensure that you can properly support new employees.
  • Always maintain open lines of communication.