Five courses that focus on the critical knowledge needed by all nonprofit leaders.
Introduction to Nonprofit Management and Leadership
A manager has often been compared to a fire hydrant surrounded by a pack of dogs. How do you manage people who often don’t appreciate you for it and usually only become aware of your presence when you do something they consider wrong? In this course, we will address the question ‘What are the characteristics of an effective nonprofit leader?’ You will learn how nonprofit work can actually change the perceptions, values, and motives of organizational members. You will also learn how diversity management can lead to an inclusive organization characterized by increased employee well-being and commitment. In addition, you will try to find answers to the questions leaders ask themselves every day, such as “How do I inspire and motivate my staff?”, “How can I motivate Board members to help achieve the organization’s most important goals, including fundraising?”, “Does my Board view me as a ‘social entrepreneur’ whose vision they support, or a ‘hired gun’ in charge of carrying out their mandate, and what can I do about it?” and “How can I lead with empathy and emotional intelligence so my employees feel valued, inspired and committed to their work.” Finally, you will consider the implications of positive psychology for nonprofit leadership, including how to create a workplace culture characterized by happiness, meaning, gratitude, and resilience.
Advanced Nonprofit Management and Leadership
In this course, you will learn advanced strategies of nonprofit management and leadership. You will learn how to develop an organizational culture of personal responsibility and honest self-appraisal that begins with your own openness, self-awareness, and humility. You will also learn how to create a compelling vision that resonates deeply with nonprofit staff and volunteers in order to foster increased staff engagement, talent retention, and intrinsic motivation. You will learn how to prevent (your own) personality derailers that undermine long-developed trust with your team members from emerging under high-stress, conflictual situations. You will also learn why social entrepreneurship has become so prevalent in the nonprofit sector, and how to launch and sustain innovative, entrepreneurial initiatives while still retaining your organization’s focus on its mission. We will also share a concrete, actionable model with you that enables your board and executive staff to create a high-quality Strategic Plan—a living, breathing document that your organization can amend quarterly so it retains its relevance to the evolving challenges, budgetary constraints, client needs and priorities of your organization—in a relatively short time. You will also learn how to successfully navigate the delicate power relationship between the executive director and board chair. Finally, you will learn how to strike the right balance between flexibility and control through a concrete, specific model of employee empowerment.
A Critical Challenge for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders: Finding Balance in the Digital Age
Never in human history have we been in contact with so many people and connected with so few. As a result, a Cigna study released in April 2018 found that approximately 50 percent of Americans are lonely. Many studies link loneliness to screen time and social media. Even as nonprofit leaders, most of us now spend less time outside interacting with others in our community and more time isolated indoors behind a screen. It’s not a uniquely American phenomenon: a UK survey found that British children now spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. On this side of the pond, the psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State and others have found that depression and the suicide rate have skyrocketed while self-esteem is at an all-time low. In this cutting-edge module, we will help you to design advanced work-life balance strategies for the digital age that incorporate your email/online activities as one component of a more holistic approach with two chief aims: (1) To work effectively toward a social mission you believe in; and (2) To create meaningful relationships in your personal and professional life. You will learn to develop self-awareness and personal resilience, to structure a strong ethical culture in your organization, and to manage staff and volunteers in ways that assuage loneliness and foster group cohesion, teamwork, meaningfulness, optimism, and the belief that their work matters. You will also learn how to bring your life into alignment by learning how to make small changes to your daily schedule that balance your activity with emotional renewal so you will later be able to look back and see not just a career, but a life.
Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations
Like most nonprofits, your organization can probably use more funding. How do you cultivate donors so they feel ownership and pride in funding your programs and keep coming back for more? What do donors respond well to – and what turns them off – when approached by nonprofit executives and board members? In this course, you will apply successful fundraising strategies and create a resource development plan for your organization. You will learn how to set up a development department in your organization that mobilizes staff and board members and gives you sufficient support to expand your donor base and leverage your face-time with donors. You will learn various cutting-edge, time-tested fundraising strategies and how they apply to raising funds from foundations, corporations, government agencies and individuals. You will also learn how to keep your team working effectively toward the mission through management-specific communication skills. You will learn how to build agreement with staff on goals, establish parameters up-front and spend less time reviewing their work. You will also learn how to manage volunteer resources to achieve results and to design and organize service volunteer programs for success, including effective job design for volunteers, volunteer motivation and retention, and evaluation. Are you a genius with a thousand helpers or an empowering leader who helps others to also feel like leaders? Finally, in this course you will learn to cultivate other leaders with the capacity to sustain your organization’s future growth (including Succession Planning) along with the factors that encourage innovative activities in nonprofit organizations.
Creating an Emotionally Resonant Nonprofit Organization
Your staff want to feel like their voices are heard. How can you lead so they will feel like you are concerned about and attentive to their more holistic needs? How can you handle difficult employees when you’d honestly rather lie down in a hot bed of tar than listen to them for five minutes? An emotionally competent leader is attuned to the emotional climate of the office and knows how to manage it for maximum results. In this course, you will learn how to create a culture of authenticity that fosters emotional intelligence. You will also learn how to earn the respect and loyalty of your staff, board members and donors by developing a unique communication style in which you both listen with empathy and lead with your authentic voice. You will learn how to perform and model emotional labor, including the development of an understanding of nonverbal communication and the connection between emotional labor and diversity in nonprofit organizations. You will learn how to detect the ‘emotional receptor’ on your team and interact with them to keep your pulse on the collective emotions your team members are experiencing. You will learn how to understand human attachment as a mechanism for developing high-quality relationships with your staff and board members. You will also learn how to navigate, develop, and sustain high-quality relationships that build trust with and motivate staff and volunteers. You will learn how to strengthen your self-control and enhance your perseverance, concentration, and ability to interact effectively with others. Finally, you will learn how to hold your anxiety when others disagree with you, build synergy whenever possible, and use effective communication strategies to move the organization toward its mission and long-term goals.