As a leader in the nonprofit space, you understand that running an organization requires hard work and dedication. As a leader, you know how the leadership qualities you have that help guide your team toward success. But what specific skills do successful nonprofit leaders need to develop if they want to successfully lead their teams?
In this post, we’ll delve into six crucial competencies—from public speaking to stress management—that all nonprofit leaders should strive to improve upon. Read on to learn how to expand your leadership skills to run a successful nonprofit organization.
Public speaking is one of the most important skills for all nonprofit leaders to develop. You need to be able to give persuasive and compelling presentations about your organization. Being able to clearly articulate your mission and financial needs is essential for building a strong base of donors, volunteers, and partners.
Public speaking helps you become an effective advocate, represent your organization in civic discussions, and educate groups on how working together can make a lasting impact. With strong public speaking abilities, you can be confident that you will be able to represent your organization’s goals in any situation or venue.
Fortunately, this vital skill can be learned with practice-perfecting speeches and presentations as well as gaining experience from media interviews and occasional unexpected questions from volunteers and associates. Attending conferences and presentations from other leaders is a great way to learn best practices. Building your communication skills takes time, but it’s easy to practice while working towards your organization’s goals.
This skill is often overlooked, but networking can make a difference in the success or failure of any organization. Nonprofit leaders need to be able to engage with potential stakeholders, sponsors, or investors and be open to hearing new ideas from various sources.
Networking is key in getting the word out about your organization and the work you’re doing and almost any event can be a networking opportunity. This is your chance to establish relationships and build strong connections that can be beneficial to both parties. However, this will require confidence in presenting yourself and your organization well. Improving public speaking skills is essential to successful networking.
Meeting new people should consist of a business introduction and exchanging business cards. As soon as possible, put their contact information in our phone with a note on how you met them and what they do. Take the time to connect with them on Linkedin. An important part of networking, that is usually overlooked, is maintaining networks. You need to interact with your connections through social media, attend networking events, and invite them to your networking opportunities.
All nonprofit leaders need to hone and practice their time management skills. It’s not only going to help your organization be successful, but it will help you take care of yourself while leading your organization. Figuring out your organizational style and the techniques you enjoy is first. Figure out what size calendar or planner you’ll need, if you need to have a hard copy, or if you can stick to digital calendars, and decide if you need additional help.
Being able to allocate tasks to others is an important part of time management. It is crucial, as a leader, to know which tasks you can complete and which tasks you need help to complete. You’ll also find as things get busier that you might need to schedule time for yourself and important things in your private life. There’s nothing worse than forgetting about a family member’s or friend’s event because of work.
Reading and Working with Budgets
This one could keep you from getting yourself and your organization in a lot of trouble. Learning to read and work with budgets and different financial statements might seem intimidating. However, this skill can be learned by simply reading and looking at other examples. Study other organizations’ financial records and evaluate case studies similar to your organization.
While it’s important for nonprofit leaders to be able to read and work with budgets themselves, it’s also important to learn when to give tasks to someone else. Hiring a trustworthy and reputable accountant can elevate a lot of stress for your organization.
Utilizing your problem-solving skills is more about being able to think creatively and on the spot. You can start by playing puzzle games and looking at different case studies on organizational struggles. Also, try working with other people when problems arise, you can learn other techniques and see how others use their skills.
Being able to solve problems quickly, efficiently, and without creating additional stress or problems is a part of this skill. Learning to resolve conflicts in a productive way benefits your organization and personal life. You might not always have the answers right away, but you take your time finding the answer.
Learning what is going to add to your stress and coping mechanisms to control that stress will help you in all aspects of your life. This skill is important for anyone to learn, especially nonprofit leaders, as your stress can affect the success of your organization.
Working with a trusted therapist and practicing mindfulness techniques are good ways to start learning about stress management. If you know your triggers and ways to cope with them, you’ll be better prepared for stressful situations when they arise.
While there are many skills required to help manage a successful nonprofit organization, these six are crucial. Furthermore, developing these leadership skills should be a constant pursuit, keep working on yourself. As a nonprofit professional, your actions and endeavors have a ripple effect on the entire community. It’s important to recognize this and work to make the best impact you can by improving your leadership skills.
As any great leader would tell you, know that hard work and perseverance pay off. In the end, we all want to be significant figures that leave a lasting impact on this world; why not start with your own nonprofit? If you need help in any aspect of your nonprofit, reach out to our team.