What should you know to be a great nonprofit leader in this time? We regularly hear from people who either want to break into the nonprofit sector or who are looking to advance in nonprofit leadership. People also touch base who have just started their nonprofit and are wondering… “now what?”
We’re asked: What should I learn? What do I need to know? Who do you recommend I read?
Those conversations prompted me to start a list that has grown quickly. The list is for me to help be able to point people to resources and help me ask better questions about a person’s knowledge base. My little list has changed so much that it doesn’t work the way I intended but it continues to intrigue me. So I’m turning it over to you.
I’d like your input, feedback and collaboration on my list.
The only limitation is that the items need to apply to leading nonprofits of any size or any mission. These are more general than not, but I’m open. As you’ll see, it isn’t a very well behaved list. There’s all sorts of crazy stuff here. And my list isn’t in any particular order. In fact, I typed these as they have been coming to mind. Also, no complete sentences necessary.
Here’s part of my list.
A nonprofit leader should know:
The elevator speech (both organizationally and personally)
The difference between a Facebook Fan Page and a personal Facebook Profile Page
Moves management and how it’s applied in your organization
How your organization deals with lapsed donors
Which direct mail topic had the best ROI last year and which one had the worst
How 990s changed in 2008
The names of your top 10 donors…and something about them personally
Your organization’s donor acquisition strategy
What is a World Wide Rave?
About Roy Williams and his Monday Morning Memo
Who does the actual backend of your website’s donation processing (and what a receipt from your website really looks like)?
How long it typically takes your organization to acknowledge and receipt a gift
A Peter Drucker quote by heart
How Creative Commons works
Robert’s Rules of Order and how your board functions
What database you use to store your donor data and why that product was chosen.
Balance Sheet and Income Statement basics
How to calculate ROI and response rates
That’s my start. I have about this many other items that I didn’t list because I wanted to give you a chance to contribute.
What’s missing? What do you think shouldn’t be on the list? Jump in and tell me who and what is missing. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking.
(unedited photo credit: Brian Hillegas)