Executive Coaching for Nonprofit Leaders

When I provide executive coaching for nonprofit leaders of smaller organizations some common issues keep coming up regarding the actual running of the organization. 

leading-a-small-nonprofit-organization

Oftentimes, it's a handful of practices or attitudes that contribute to my client's stress. 

While nothing can replicate one on one coaching, I've created a guide to help you and your board identify issues in your organization. 

Leaders who use this as a guide for assessing performance can realize measurable improvement. Here are the 10 areas you can review with this guide.

  • Leadership 
  • Director 
  • Board 
  • Policies 
  • Planning  
  • Staff 
  • Finances
  • Program 
  • Clients  
  • Safety 

Imagine 80 Professionally Taken Snapshots of the Inner Workings of Your Organization

benchmark-your-organization

Imagine getting 80 professionally taken snapshots of your organization. Each one is a picture of something different.

Now imagine carefully going over each snapshot. What would you notice? Opportunities, problems, challenges, progress or neglect?

These practices are not a course in photography. But, if paid attention to, they will give you an accurate picture of the effectiveness of your organization and allow you to do something about it.

Identify starting points, deal with barriers to progress, and strategize to make best use of what God has given your organization to improve.

If you would prefer one to one coaching please contact me to discuss your situation.


Creating a Benchmark for Intentional Improvement

lead-your-organization-to-improvement

Not every practice will be applicable to you as written. Each organization is different. Simply adjust the wording to reflect your organization. And if you need some extensive attention to your organization and its leadership, take advantage of executive coaching for nonprofit leaders. 

Would you like to be an organization with a reputation for excellence? Use these practices to create a benchmark against which you can measure future efforts and success. 

Assess How You Are Doing - It will be helpful for each practice, for you or your team to score yourself from 0 - 10 on performance. This first assessment establishes a baseline against which to measure future efforts at improvement in each area.  

For example: If you score 6/10 on a particular practice, you could spend the next 90 days working toward a score of 8/10. Or you could turn it into percentages - moving from 60% to 80%. 


Here are 10 Categories of Practices for Small Nonprofit Organizations


THE BOARD

Leadership Coaching on Your Organization's Board

Responses in this category express the perception respondents hold about the vision, effectiveness and working relationships of the board members.

A low score would indicate that the respondents feel the board could be more effective both within their meetings and in making representation to the staff and public.

A high score indicates satisfaction with the current board and its approach to the oversight of the organization.

Access Nonprofit Leadership Coaching on Boards Part One

1. The board has a clearly articulated vision for the organization
2. A master operational plan is in place to achieve the vision
3. Board members are competent to work effectively on a board
4. Board members regularly assess their effectiveness

Access Nonprofit Leadership Coaching on Boards Part Two

5. There is a good mix of both well-experienced and new board members
6. The board doesn't overlook facts to avoid issues
7. Collaboration characterizes board decision-making
8. The board recognizes the efforts of staff and volunteers



LEADERSHIP

Executive Coaching on Your Organization's Leadership

Responses in this category reflect the respondent's view of how leadership within the organization is approached. Taking responsibility as a leader is made easier when there is a visible support structure for, and an effective modeling of leadership.

A low score indicates that organization wide, leadership is weak and those who look to work with and become good leaders are not seeing all the elements in place for the effective forward movement of the organization and its aims.

A high score indicates a positive and supportive attitude toward leaders and their development.

Access Executive Coaching on Nonprofit Leadership Part One

9. Leadership style is appropriate for the stage the organization is at
10. The organization supports leadership development
11. Senior leadership has a proven track record of servanthood
12. The organization's leaders have a passion for excellence

Access Executive Coaching on Nonprofit Leadership Part Two

13. Quality people are attracted to serve within the organization
14. People are empowered to assume leadership roles
15. Leaders know when it is time for them to let others take over from them
16. There are smooth transitions in leadership

Keep in mind, I provide executive coaching for nonprofit leaders. You don't have to go it alone.



PLANNING

Leadership Coaching on Planning

Responses in this category indicate the respondent's perception of whether or not the leadership has an adequate plan to move the organization and its aims ahead, while preserving everything that is important to them.

A low score indicates that respondents believe improvement is needed in planning for the future.

A high score shows that the organization has a sense of direction that is conveyed well to its staff.

Access Leadership Coaching on Small Nonprofit Planning Part One

17. Stakeholders support the stated plan for the organization moving forward
18. Options are weighed against the master plan during decision making
19. Decisions are made on well-researched information
20. The master plan is modified as needed

Access Leadership Coaching on Small Nonprofit Planning Part Two

21. All plans are reviewed and updated regularly
22. There is an emphasis on the organization continuously improving
23. Senior leaders demonstrate a practical, visionary approach to leadership
24. Financial reserves are in place to handle short-term emergencies



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Leadership Coaching on Your Organization's Executive Director

Responses in this category express the respondent's perception of the well-being of the Executive Director and the structure in place that allows them to operate to their potential.

A low score would indicate that the Executive Director needs further structure and support to perform at their best.

A high score would indicate that the Executive Director has what is needed to perform well and lead the organization.

Access the Executive Director Practices Part One

25. The ED is remunerated sufficiently allowing for financial stability
26. The growth and maturity of the ED is evident
27. The professional development budget for the ED is adequate
28. The ED has time for his/her personal life

Access the Executive Director Practices Part Two

29. Good support staff allows the ED to work on priorities
30. The Board supportively assists the ED
31. The ED works with a mentor or professional Coach
32. A process of ED accountability is in place 



STAFF

Leadership Coaching on Your Organization's Staff

Responses in this category reveal the respondent's perception of just how effectively the organization's staff is collaborating to meet overall goals and carry out the immediate job at hand, as set out by the leadership.

A low score indicates that some area of staffing is presenting a problem.

A high score indicates that staff is functioning effectively and in the best interests of the organization's aims.

Access Small Nonprofit Staffing Practices Part One

33. On-site staff works in harmony as a team
34. Staff accountabilities are clearly written
35. Staff is coached to develop personally and professionally
36. Staff respects each other's duties within the team

Access Small Nonprofit Staffing Practices Part Two

37. Staff performs their jobs effectively
38. Consequences for non-performance are carried out as specified
39. Conflicts are dealt with immediately
40. No one is dragging others or the organization down



POLICIES

Leadership Coaching on Policies

Responses in this category show what respondents think about the number and practical value of current policies. It also measures the process followed to create and implement those policies.

A low score indicates that current policies may be posing problems and need to be reviewed.

A high score indicates that policies are working well.

Access Small Organization Leadership Coaching on Policies Part One

41. Policies have a readily identifiable purpose
42. Written policies are available to those affected by them
43. Content of policies is understandable
44. Policies are either adhered to or changed

Access Small Organization Leadership Coaching on Policies Part Two

45. Adequate funding is allocated for matters covered by policies
46. Policies go through a thorough process of development and review
47. Policies are used to deal with issues, not control individuals
48. Leadership is clear on their authority to carry out police



PROGRAM

Leadership Coaching on Program

Responses in this category point out whether respondents think there is useful, inviting and balanced programming in place. It will also indicate the level of staff interest and engagement with the current programming.

A low score indicates that the programming is mediocre or out of balance somewhere.

A high score indicates that respondents are satisfied that the organization is providing a quality program for its participants (clients, guests, campers etc) while taking care of its staff.

Access Small Organization Leadership Coaching on Programs Part One

49. Activities are appropriate for age level and expertise
50. Programs requiring expert instruction or supervision, have it
51. Daily programs reflect a healthy diversity of activities
52. Overall program allows for adequate rest for participants and staff

Access Small Organization Leadership Coaching on Programs Part Two

53. Staff is both professional and fun-loving
54. There is an emphasis on outdoor activities
55. Participants are not forced to participate in activities
56. Participants are recognized for their achievements



PARTICIPANTS

Leadership Coaching on Responses to the Participants You Serve

Responses in this category show how respondents feel about the organization's attitude toward participants and responsiveness to their concerns.

A low score indicates that respondents don't think the participants are being well taken care of or heard.

A high score indicates a belief that the organization is focused on their participant's well-being and best interests, giving appropriate attention to concerns and desires voiced.

Access the Eight Client Practices



FINANCES

Leadership Coaching on Finances

Responses in this category point out the respondent's perception of how the organization relates to, manages and reports on incoming revenue and expenditures.

A low score indicates that there is a perception that monies are not being handled well.

A high score indicates a level of satisfaction with the financial accountability of the leadership.

Access the Eight Financials Practices



SAFETY

Leadership Coaching on Safety

Responses in this category show how respondents feel about the overall approach currently being taken to ensure the safety and security of both participants and staff. It measures the perception of practical preparedness for emergencies and current conditions in place to provide a safe and secure environment.

A low score indicates that safety is an issue at this organization. It reveals a belief that there is an existing risk that may be putting people in jeopardy.

A high score indicates that a safety consciousness is paying off. Respondents feel participants and staff safety is of paramount importance to the leadership.

Access the Eight Safety Practices



Contact Me to Discuss Executive Coaching for Nonprofit Leaders

I provide one-on-one executive coaching for nonprofit leaders, and other senior members of the team. Occasionally I work with Board Chairs, or others task with critical projects.

It does cost, but the benefit to the leader and organization can be substantial. Providing executive coaching for nonprofit leaders in your organization can deliver real benefit. 

Contact me personally to discuss your organization and yourself as its leader or board chair.


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G.E. Wood and Associates is an international coaching firm registered in Ontario, Canada
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