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“Daring to Lead”: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership

August 25, 2011

CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation published their 2011 update of the Daring to Lead report based on surveys of 3,000 nonprofit executive leaders across the country.  The report follows their 2006 study and explores challenges that leaders have had to address in the face of an economic downturn, changing political  policies, and working to address the needs of the public in difficult times.  For many conservation nonprofits, this also relates to the decreasing budgets of our federal land management agencies and the disappearance of Resource Conservation and Development programs, leaving nonprofits and collaboratives with a bigger workload to steward public lands.  And with 67% of leaders saying they plan to leave their positions within 5 years, even more changes are in store in the very near future.

Drawing on their prevailing findings, the report closes with four Calls to Action:

  1. Plan for successful transitions
  2. Advance understanding of nonprofit financial sustainability
  3. Expand and diversify the professional development options available to executive directors
  4. Find new ways to improve the performance and enhance the composition of boards

Nonprofits play an integral role in our social and environmental sectors, a role that seems to only be increasing as federal funds are stretched thin and our communities continue to struggle economically.  It is crucial that we create strong, sustainable structures of leadership so the good work continues long into the future.

To read the full report, [click here].

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