Nonprofit sector ‘in great hands’

Fiscal discipline, organizational flexibility and innovation, and a commitment to critical services and the nurturing of future leaders mark the work of the most effective nonprofit leaders, a new report says.

“It seems the sector is always concerned about the next generation of leaders,” The NonProfit Times says in its 15th annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50. “It appears the sector is in great hands.”

Unlike government, which is “heaping more and more responsibility on the sector as it abandons its responsibilities,” the newspaper says, “these executives have balanced budgets. ”

Their nonprofits “continue to answer the call in times of crisis,” it says, “and have nurtured their core truths, found a few more and are working to improve life across the globe.”

Fifteen years ago, the push in the sector was for “institutionalization, getting bigger and strong,” while today the key is “flexibility,” it says.

“Many of the leaders at the largest organizations were late to realize the transition from all work and no play for the staff was eroding to a more balanced lifestyle,” it says. “That is true, too, for volunteers.”

And while “technology was going to save us all,” and has facilitated the ability to not be in the office,” the newspaper says, “it has ushered in the 24-hour work cycle.”

Today, there is “little time for the big idea to germinate and grow to scale, which

would frustrate the leaders 15 years ago,” it says.

An “eclectic mix of young and old,” it says, the sector must continue “to nurture talent as the Baby Boomers approach retirement.”

Today’s leaders, it says, “have found the way to innovate and manage through these evolving structures.”

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