I’ve been a part of many national committees aimed at improving leadership in the sector. First there was the Nonprofit Congress’s Leadership Working Group. As a committee we worked with a consultant to develop a booklet titled Work with Me: Intergenerational Conversations in Nonprofit Leadership. Unfortunately the committee dissolved along with the Nonprofit Congress.
Then there was the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition and spent a year working to develop a campaign to promote careers in the nonprofit sector. We hit a wall when we realized that funding for the campaign would take away from funding for our organizations.
The I joined the Next Generation Leadership Forum, a committee aimed at documenting and replicating nonprofit leadership best practices. This Forum was started by the Craigslist Foundation but also dissolved when continued funding could not be obtained for the forum.
Now — there is the Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership started by the Independent Sector and supported by many national nonprofit organizations.
The Initiative for Nonprofit Talent and Leadership aims to create a set of goals and strategies that will serve as the foundation for a national cross-sector effort to better prepare, train, and sustain leaders to constructively and collaboratively address the complex challenges our society faces.
I hope this initiative is different than the other forums and committees that I described above. I hope funders and the coalition members work to sustain this initiative long enough to influence leadership practices in the nonprofit sector. In addition, I hope this initiative builds on the work that has already been done to document nonprofit leadership best practices.