Management and Leadership

Managing and leading require different skills, and both can be developed. A resource library on these topics could grow quite large, but at The Center we are choosing to focus on a few critical best practices specific to nonprofit organizations.  We have had some fantastic professionals present workshops on a variety of leadership and management topics, and we appreciate their willingness to let us post their work here.  

Board-CEO Relationship

It cannot be overstated the importance of the relationship between the board/board president and the executive director. The shared vision and work of these two key leaders is critical to the success of the organization. Aurora Consulting offers a wealth of information in their online resource center. Here are two articles that we think can help any group looking to assess how they are doing, and take steps to strengthen the working relationship: Four Tips For Leading From the Middle of Your Board and Tools for Teams

Providing the Executive Director/CEO with a regular performance evaluation is an important responsibility of the board of directors. Use this template from Blue Avocado to get you started.  Evaluation of the overall organization is also an exercise every board member should be involved in. Supporting Evaluation: A Guide for the Nonprofit Board of Directors is a series of 3 articles from Aurora Consulting that offer a great road map for process guidelines of evaluation.

Leadership and Development Training

The Center for Nonprofit Resources sponsors dozens of workshops every year designed to help nonprofits’ volunteers and professionals grow. Click here for a list of upcoming events.

Keeping Your Organization Out of Trouble

The importance of Directors and Officer’s (D&O) Insurance cannot be understated. The Nonprofit Quarterly shares data regarding legal action taken against board members and how insurance can keep your nonprofit from bankruptcy. Read Directors and Officers Liability Insurance: Why It’s Worth the Cost

Leadership Transitions and Succession Planning

What will the board do if the CEO suddenly steps down? How shall we prepare for a new chair?  These questions and more are addressed in a series of CompassPoints Research reports, templates and information on Executive Transitions.

 A couple of articles on succession planning:

Ted Ford Webb, Successful Successions: Executive Transitions that Worked, NPQ, 2014.

Ted Ford Webb, Meet the Enemy: Considerations for Executive Transition, NPQ, 2014.


Links to More Resources

Alliance for Nonprofit Management
– The professional association of individuals and organizations devoted to improving the management and governance capacity of nonprofits – to assist nonprofits in fulfilling their mission.

BoardSource – An excellent one-stop shop for books and articles on everything related to board governance and nonprofit management.  Most resources are for members-only, but some excellent material has been posted under “community resources.”

4Good – is a social networking site for thought leaders in the nonprofit sector. In addition to their online library of original work by consultants and others across the country, they also offer free weekly webinars on a variety of topics. 

Compasspoint – The nonprofit consultants at Compasspoint – several of whom have presented workshops for C4NPR – keep their website loaded with current research reports and best practices templates.

Drucker Foundation (Leader to Leader Institute) – Provides essential leadership wisdom, inspiration and resources to lead for innovation and to build vibrant social sector organizations.

Usa.gov for Nonprofits – Information on federal assistance available to nonprofits, links to legal information, laws on fundraising and outreach, and links to federal websites that provide grants to nonprofits.

Free Management Library – Provides easy-to-use, clutter free, comprehensive resources regarding the leadership and management of yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations.

Internet Nonprofit Center – This site is packed with news and innovative programs. Search IRS files with the Nonprofit Locator, and find answers with the Nonprofit FAQ.