Leadership Effectiveness

Effectively leading a nonprofit organization takes more than strong leadership skills. It takes an ability to build and align teams that will fulfill an organization’s strategic priorities. The ideas, tools, and resources found here can help nonprofit leaders develop their skills, and build and develop their leadership teams.

Download a PDF of our latest Leadership guide:
Nonprofit Leadership Development: What's Your "Plan A" 
for Growing Future Leaders?

Featured Content

Building Consensus, Diversity, and Leadership with Kevin Washington, CEO, Y-USA

Since leaving college, Kevin Washington has spent his entire professional career within the Y network. In February 2015, he became the CEO of the Y-USA and is the organization’s first African-American CEO. In this Q&A, Washington reflects on what it means to be a YMCA leader and the strong role diversity and inclusion will play in building the Y network's leadership going forward.

How Hands On Atlanta Uses a Dashboard to Track Progress and Reach Its Goals

A dashboard can help nonprofit leadership teams focus on the metrics that matter most to meeting their organizational goals. In this article, Bridgespan Manager Beth Jackson Stram talks with Gina Simpson, president and CEO of Hands On Atlanta, about how Gina’s organization created its dashboard and the benefits it provides.

Becoming a More Diverse Nonprofit: Make Your Values Tangible

Building a truly diverse organization requires more than just adding “diversity” to the list of strategic goals and making a few key hires. To really transform a nonprofit into one where diversity is woven into the fabric of its culture, you need to begin by defining diversity as an organizational value and creating an environment in which all employees can truly live into that value.

Three Key Roles Funders Can Play in a CEO Transition

Changes in a nonprofit’s leadership affect the organization's staff, its board, and potentially how it will achieve its goals. With so much at stake, it's important that a funder works with the nonprofit it supports to ensure a smooth transition—and help sustain the organization until it gets a new leader.

Nonprofit CEO Transitions Resource Center

Leadership transitions can be tricky and require that many people in the organization work together effectively. The board, executive team, and the departing CEO need to manage the exit process. At the same time, the search committee needs to find an internal candidate who’s ready to step up or begin to look for a qualified external candidate. Through it all, the organization should experience as little upheaval as possible, so it can continue to deliver on its mission. The articles in Bridgespan’s CEO Transition Resource Center can help your organization successfully survive—and even thrive during—a leadership transition.

The C-Suite Secret to Success: Creative Leadership

In today’s world, creativity and leadership have quickly become a popular class couple in both for-profit and nonprofit schools of thought. And nonprofits, especially, desperately need creative thinkers, doers, and leaders to meet the increasing demands for their programs and services.. 

Nonprofit Leadership Development Toolkit

Bridgespan’s Nonprofit Leadership Development Toolkit, and the leadership development guide, videos, and tools within it, are designed to share stories, lessons, and immediately actionable next steps so that you can effectively work with your senior leadership team to develop the next generation of leaders for your organization.

Nonprofit Leadership Development: What's Your "Plan A" for Growing Future Leaders?

Many nonprofit leaders and boards confront the question of leadership development only when faced with a succession crisis. Rather than an ad hoc response to crisis, this guide treats leadership development as a proactive and systematic investment in building a pipeline of leaders within an organization, sharing strategies nonprofits can use in their day-to-day operations.