The Importance of Nonprofit Leadership

The Importance of Nonprofit Leadership

It's not easy to build a performance oriented, successful and sustainable nonprofit organisation especially in the midst of covid-19 like situations. A strong leadership is of deem importance for any nonprofit to grow and succeed.

When we talk about leadership, it's the same across public, private and nonprofit sectors. However there is one unique difference that makes nonprofit leadership different is that they need to manage both paid and non-paid people to fulfil their mission goals.

Everyone cannot be a leader. Many people start their nonprofit and attain a leadership role by default without having or acquiring skills to attain organisational goals faster and in an efficient way.

Just managing a team is not leadership. It’s more of an art, where leaders of nonprofit create a vision of their organisation and then strategically involves every stakeholder to make it a reality.

A true leader is one who sets up direction, creates an inspiring vision and guides its team to achieve set goals within a defined timeframe. Apart from passion, it needs creativity, persistence and great management skills to lead successfully.

It’s the responsibility of a nonprofit leader to make its team understand what the impact goal is, what their role is, what they need to do to achieve on time, keep encouraging and continuously monitor the progress.

Additionally, a nonprofit leader should at least have a basic understanding of financial concepts, ability to keep the board engaged, competent enough to raise funds, mentor its staff / volunteers and master in building relationships with communities.

An ideal nonprofit leader clearly expresses and demonstrates the core values of honesty, transparency, trust, passion, social service and accountability.

Some of the great qualities of the most effective nonprofit leaders are

  • Create maximum impact with limited resources

  • Act proactively during the times of unseen situations or crises

  • Have great tendency to attract donors or volunteers to support the mission

  • Leverage their strong network or group of like-minded people at the right time

  • Understand the people they serve or work with

  • Good at taking right decisions at the right time

  • Stay agile and resilient. Don’t give up on the impossible

Great leadership takes the organisation to the next level. Not all are inborn leaders. Good part is that the leadership can be learned and can be developed over a period of time. Only strong leadership can make a huge difference and set an example for others to follow.