Learning about the nonprofit’s leadership will reveal whether the executive and management team are able to guide the organization effectively. You’ll gain a sense of the strength of the leadership team and where it may need to develop, and whether the leaders can maintain focus and make tough decisions when necessary. Additionally, you’ll learn about factors that are critically important to an organization over the longer-term, such as whether there is a succession plan for key people, and whether the board is effective, engaged, and aligned with the leadership team.
With that in mind, begin by asking these questions:
- Does the executive director have a vision for the organization? Does he or she have a personal track record of success?
- Is the leadership team able to effectively guide the organization? Can it maintain focus, make tough decisions, and inspire staff?
- Is the board effective, engaged, and aligned with the leadership team?
- Is there a succession plan in place for key people, such as the executive director?
If you are interested in reading more about how you can research a nonprofit's leadership and decide whether the nonprofit has strong leadership, take a look at these resources:
- "Strongly Led, Under-managed: How can visionary nonprofits make the critical transition to stronger management?"
- "Researching a Nonprofit's Leadership: Moderate Approach"
- "Researching a Nonprofit's Leadership: Deep-Dive"
Stay tuned for next week’s post on interviewing a nonprofit leader.
This is the fifth post in our new series on Nonprofit Due Diligence. Click on the links below to read previous posts. Join the conversation by commenting below or on Twitter at #NonprofitDueDiligence. You can follow Give Smart updates at @BridgespanGroup.