Without a clear vision, many nonprofits are not leading their organisation effectively.

Does your not-for-profit have a leadership development plan?


Many leaders of not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) may be in need of leadership training, according to an examination of NFP organisations by Concord Leadership Group. Facing intense competition for donors and a fast-changing environment, NFP leaders are failing to competently recognise and develop future leaders.

Drawing from over 1,000 respondents from all levels, the 2016 study found that 49 per cent of NFP organisations are operating without a strategic plan. Furthermore, 77 per cent fail to actively develop new leaders.

Why do you need a strategic plan for a NFP organisation?

Unlike corporate bodies, many NFPs may not feel they need a written strategy or vision. But they are still attempting to run an organisation that will last long into the future, just like for-profit business.

CEO of Concord Leadership Group Marc Pitman sums up the pit that many NFP leaders fall into, taking a reactive rather than proactive approach to leadership and management.

“Instead of focusing on long-term stability, [NFPs] are reacting to short-term crises,” said Mr Pitman.

Out of the those NFPs with a strategic plan, 77 per cent understood the organisation’s vision and were able to share it with others – they knew what the organisation was about. Out of those that did not have a strategic plan, only 47 per cent did.

This is a stark comparison and truly showcases how important it is for an organisation to have an articulated vision of where they want their organisation to be in the future.

What does a strategic plan consist of?

However, there is not a significant difference between running a NFP and a business. In fact, the most basic template for a business strategy still applies to all organisations.

Have a go – see if you can answer these questions:

  1. What and why are you doing what you are doing?
  2. How will it get done?
  3. Who will pay for it?
  4. How do we communicate to people about it?

If you struggled to decide what your answers were, then you might need a hand coming up with some solutions. The Institute for Communication Management and Leadership can facilitate workshops in leadership and management specifically targeted for your NFP.

If you are in the Melbourne region, get in touch today.

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