Establishing strong leadership for your nonprofit: Part 2

An effective nonprofit leader can help improve your organization's overall performance. With quality guidance and direction, your nonprofit can develop a better sense of its mission, vision and strategy for reaching its fundraising goals. Know how to identify the strong leaders in your organization to further develop their skills and help your nonprofit succeed.

Identifying a great captain for your ship
Strong leaders serve as one of your organization's best assets. The Nonprofit Answer Guide emphasized that the qualities of someone who is capable of leading well include emotional intelligence, ability to motivate and build strong teams who are not afraid to take risks.

Consider the individuals who you currently have on staff. Note whether anyone stands out or has the potential to become a great leader - and invest in their development. Inc. recommended looking for individuals who demonstrate strong focus, composure during stressful times, the ability to accept failure gracefully and someone who engages with other people well.

Asking the right questions
If you decide to hire additional individuals in hopes to develop and cultivate more leaders for your organization, know which questions to ask. The Nonprofit Times suggested crafting interview questions that give you valuable information regarding a potential candidate's ability to lead. Ask how the interviewee addresses challenges, what they hope to accomplish in the future if they receive an offer from your nonprofit; ask them to give an example of how they have directly applied their leadership skills to a previous role. Also consider asking questions regarding current issues or obstacles your nonprofit is facing. For example, ask if they know about any unique online fundraising tools your organization could take advantage of to increase donations. 

Steering your leader in the right direction
Once you have figured out strong candidates for leadership in your nonprofit, you must invest in their continual success. The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit advisor, recommended finding both informal and formal development opportunities for the leaders of your organization. Work with them to find educational conferences they would benefit from or events that may help your nonprofit improve its efforts. Ask your attendees to take notes and present on the topics covered during the various sessions. As leaders, they will likely be good candidates to share new knowledge with the rest of the team.
In addition, you should encourage your younger leaders to continue their education and bring newly acquired skills back to your organization.

Offering growth opportunities to your leaders
Keep your great leaders around by providing them the opportunity to grow with your nonprofit. Let them know how they can succeed with your organization. This is especially important because keeping your talent should be a priority. It makes more sense to invest your time and money into a leadership candidate who will stick around and help your nonprofit grow.

Keep your future leaders in the loop. Let them know that you see great potential in them. Not only is this nice to hear, it also serves as a motivator. Telling them that you believe they have the potential to help improve the efforts of your nonprofit and why you decided to invest in their further development and growth is crucial.

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