Giving Compass’ Take:
• Donna Stark from the Annie E. Casey Foundation discusses the importance of investing strategically in nonprofit leadership training and development: Let’s find the true innovators.
• While increasing funding in this area is essential, Stark also highlights results-based leadership and engaging grantees to identify the biggest needs.
I leave my role as vice president with a strong belief that investing in leaders generates the highest return on philanthropic investments and that leadership development is one of the clearest paths to social change.
Strikingly, however, many foundations continue to underinvest in this area. A 2011 Foundation Center study reported annual foundation support for leadership development was only 1 percent of all foundation giving — or just $29 per employee, per year. Are we underinvesting in leadership development? I think so, but the answer isn’t just to invest more — it’s also to invest it more wisely.
These lead innovators came from public agencies, the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and communities, and shared three common characteristics that drove them in their ambition for change:
- They were relentless in their pursuit of results and felt an urgency about finding solutions
- They were unwilling to wait for things to get better and took the lead in making things better.
- They used their positional authority, convening power, or knowledge of cutting-edge practices to bring the right people to the table — people who had a role to play in making a change.
Read the full article about developing nonprofit leaders by Donna Stark from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, via The Bridgespan Group.
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