Tuesday, April 8, 2008
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What the Nonprofit Sector Can do to Attract Committed and Talented Future Leaders
According to a national study a skilled, committed and diverse pool of individuals are preparing to be the nonprofit executive directors of the future. Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out, produced in partnership by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Meyer Foundation and Idealist.org, is the largest survey to date of emerging nonprofit leaders. The study's poll collected data from 6,000 individuals through CompassPoint and Idealist.org and was open to individuals without prior nonprofit executive director experience.
An interesting dichotomy exists at the heart of Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out. There is promise in that 32% of the individuals polled aspire to be nonprofit executives, but frustration in that the ever growing demand for qualified candidates, compounded with competition from other sectors, expects to outstrip the anticipated supply. The study addresses the complexity of this issue by examining the motivating factors and barriers emerging leaders face when considering nonprofit careers. Motivating factors that show promise for a vibrant next generation of nonprofit leaders include:
Significant barriers to securing the next generation of leaders include:
Based on the analysis of the data and the authors' experiences as funders and intermediaries, the study concludes by making recommendations to executive directors, next generation leaders, boards of directors, training and leadership capacity builders and funders. The suggestions about how best to handle the leadership handoff, which can be viewed in their entirety in the report, are intended to spark dialogue in organizations and provide inspiration for change among individuals in all stages of the leadership pipeline.
View the Report: Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out (PDF)
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Compass Point & The Meyer Foundation: Daring to Lead 2006: A National Study of Nonprofit Leadership