Nonprofit Leadership Styles and Skills for Success

The Nonprofit Leadership Styles and Skills Your Organization Needs

How is your CEO bringing the organization into a successful future? Their actions must motivate and engage all other nonprofit members. To do so, a CEO should have an efficient leadership style and the right skills and competencies for success. This article explains different leadership styles and skills that will help drive your nonprofit’s mission.

What Leadership Style Does Your CEO Have?

Every leader has their own way of doing things. However, that does not necessarily mean their leadership style is right for the organization. A leader can intentionally or unintentionally define the culture, tone, strategy, and overall direction of an organization. Here are the different types of leadership styles:

Transformational Leadership:

Transformational leaders are always pushing the boundaries of what is currently being accomplished. They are on top of new opportunities, including fundraising and community initiatives, and are best for fast-growing organizations. However, transformational leaders must keep available resources and finances in mind.

Transactional Leadership:

Transactional leaders create benchmark goals and rewards. This type of leader is excellent for a growing nonprofit that needs additional motivation. However, nonprofit members are often already motivated by the organization’s mission, making transactional leadership uncommon within nonprofits.

Facilitative Leadership:

Facilitative leadership emphasizes communication, culture, and relationships. These leaders are excellent for nonprofits specializing in community outreach programs or frequently work alongside other organizations. Often, facilitative leaders try to gain group consensus before making a decision, making them ideal for nonprofits with a large board of directors.

Participative Leadership:

Participative leadership, sometimes called democratic leadership, values teams, peers, and collaboration. These leaders are wonderful for boosting community engagement, especially within board members and donors. However, participative leaders tend to heavily consider the opinion of donors, meaning decisions are often not made promptly.

Leadership Skills and Competencies for Success

Nonprofit leadership skills and competencies are essential for the success of an organization. These include:

  • Organizational performance: How does your leader measure and contribute to the organization’s performance? The leader must know how their role helps to fulfill the nonprofit’s mission and vision.
  • Strategic planning: Does your organization even have a mission and vision? If so, what is the strategic plan to achieve it? A leader must be competent in strategic planning to set the organization up for success.
  • Fiscal stewardship: Is your leader making proper use out of the available resources and budget? There must be a balance between over and under-using that a leader should implement.
  • Effective leading: Does your leader effectively lead their team to success? Their job isn’t only to be successful in their own role but to help other members of the organization as well.
  • Positive relationship building: Executive leaders must build positive relationships internally (board members) and externally (community and volunteers). It is up to the leader to create a partnership between all people involved in the organization.
  • Upholding brand identity: Does your leader exemplify the organization’s brand? A leader must look the part, act the part, and talk the part to be considered an excellent and effective leader.

Performance Evaluation for Nonprofit Leaders

How can you discover if the leadership style and skills of your CEO align with your organization’s mission and vision? Consider the DCM Performance Evaluation for nonprofit leaders. We don’t just rate your leader on a scale or compare them to other nonprofits but provide a detailed and personalized report with recommendations and suggestions to help build successful leaders and organizations.

Download a sample CEO Evaluation report or purchase our Performance Evaluation online.

About DCM Associates

DCM Associates specializes in nonprofit leadership coaching and performance. Our experience, knowledge, and insights help us understand the competencies required of today’s nonprofit leadership. To learn more about what we do, contact us online.

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Dennis C. Miller