The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $21.28
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 43%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $21.28   
  • New (12) from $23.51   
  • Used (6) from $21.28   


"This book is a gift for nonprofit leaders in all stages of their careers. With clarity and profound simplicity, it dissects the otherwise overwhelming role of the nonprofit executive director into understandable components that can then be made workable (and even fulfilling!). It is a highly readable and practical road map for success." Molly Polidoroff, executive director, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits "The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader not only clearly and concisely identifies the most critical issues of nonprofit leadership, but it also provides the resources and answers to those challenges. It will be required reading for both the most seasoned executive as well as the emerging leader." Bill Coy, director of leadership practice, La Piana Consulting "I provide The Executive Director's Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader to all new executive directors placed by my firm. They find it to be a great resource during their orientation to a new organization, new people, and new challenges, and it continues to be a support as issues come up in their work over the years. It's comprehensive and sensible, and the authors' great knowledge and respect for nonprofit executives shine through." Susan Egmont, consultant, Egmont Associates

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470407493
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/26/2010
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Guidebook Series, #7
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 526,379
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mim Carlson is the former executive director of theBerkeley–East Bay Humane Society and is currently interimexecutive director at Florence Crittenton Services( Withover twenty-five years of experience as a manager and grantwriter,Carlson has trained and consulted nationally and is a formerfaculty member at the University of San Francisco and CaliforniaState University, Hayward.

Margaret Donohoe is a nonprofit consultant who focusesher experience, insight, and energy on helping a new generation ofnonprofit leaders navigate the many opportunities and challenges ofthis career choice. She has more than twenty-five years' experiencein the sector as an executive director, interim director fororganizations in transition, and community board member.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents





The Authors.

PART ONE Finding Your Way as Executive Director.

ONE Understanding This Big Job.

What are the roles and responsibilities of an ExecutiveDirector?

What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

When should an Executive Director lead, manage, or supportothers?

TWO Developing as an Executive Director.

What can Executive Directors do to self-reflect on skills theywish to develop on the job?

How does an Executive Director find the time for professionaldevelopment, and what opportunities are available?

When are executive coaches helpful to an Executive Director?

When the going gets really tough, how does an Executive Directorstay inspired?

THREE Finding Balance in the Role of ExecutiveDirector.

Why are Executive Directors so susceptible to burnout?

How can I find balance as an Executive Director?

How do I set boundaries on my work life so I still have apersonal life?

Where do I find the time to do everything an Executive Directorhas to do?

How can an Executive Director delegate when everyone is alreadybusy?

PART TWO Executive Director as Visionary.

FOUR Understanding Nonprofit Organizational Culture.

What does organizational culture mean?

How does understanding the organization's culture help theExecutive Director be more effective?

How does an Executive Director determine what the organization'sculture is?

What are some strategies for changing or moving anorganization's culture to where it needs to be in order to besuccessful?

FIVE Embracing Your Organization's Values.

What are organization values and how are they found within anorganization's culture?

How does an Executive Director establish values as the guidingprinciples in the organization?

What is cultural competence and why is it so important?

How does an Executive Director lead a culturally competentorganization?

SIX Creating a Vision and Plan.

What is a vision and why is it important?

How does the Executive Director lead the way to having a sharedorganizational vision?

Why is planning important to an organization's vision, and whatis the Executive Director's role in this process?

If you're always in crisis or catch-up mode as an ExecutiveDirector, how do you find time to plan?

SEVEN Determining Organizational Effectiveness.

What does an effective nonprofit organization look like?

How soon after starting should the Executive Director begin toexamine the organization's effectiveness?

How does an Executive Director tie personal performance andeffectiveness to that of the organization?

What happens if the Board and Executive Director determine theorganization is no longer effective?

PART THREE Executive Director as Change Agent.

EIGHT Embracing a Changing Nonprofit Environment.

Why is change synonymous with the identity of the nonprofitsector?

What role does the Executive Director have in making changehappen outside the organization?

How are the lines that have traditionally defined the businessand nonprofit sectors changing?

What can the Executive Director do to influence funders' effortsto shape the nonprofit sector?

How does the Executive Director manage effectively throughboom-and-bust economic cycles?

What are some of the new demands for accountability andmeasurable outcomes in nonprofits?

How are rapid changes in technology impacting the nonprofitworkplace?

NINE Understanding Changing Life Cycle Stages inNonprofits.

What life cycle stage is my organization in?

What skills does an Executive Director need in each stage?

TEN Leading Organizational Change.

How can Executive Directors help their nonprofits embrace ahealthy change process?

What is the Executive Director's role and that of the Board,other staff, and volunteers in a change process?

How soon after a new Executive Director is hired should a changeprocess begin?

PART FOUR Executive Director as Relationship Builder.

ELEVEN Nurturing a Relationship with the Board.

What are the attributes of an effective Board, and what does ittake to create one?

What does a healthy relationship between a Board and itsExecutive Director look like, and how is it established?

How does one differentiate between Board and Executive Directorresponsibilities?

What information does the Board need, and how often?

Who makes what decisions in a nonprofit?

TWELVE Developing Relationships with Individual BoardMembers.

How important is the relationship between the Executive Directorand the Board Chair?

What do you do if problems arise between you and the BoardChair?

What should an Executive Director do with a renegade Boardmember?

If Board members are not fulfilling their responsibilities, whatcan an Executive Director do?

How much influence should an Executive Director have whenrecruiting new Board members?

THIRTEEN Establishing Productive Staff Relationships.

How does an Executive Director who is new to an organizationbuild quick credibility with paid and unpaid staff?

How does an Executive Director encourage positive relationshipsand establish a healthy culture among staff and volunteers?

What are ways to build leadership and management skills amongpaid and unpaid staff?

How does an Executive Director work across the generations tohave staff work productively together?

What are strategies for establishing strong lines ofcommunication with staff?

How can technology aid relationships and be used as an effectivecommunication tool with staff?

How does an Executive Director offer and receive support fromstaff and volunteers while keeping an arm's-lengthrelationship?

FOURTEEN Following the Founder.

Why do relationships with Founders in transition tend to be socomplicated?

What is the best way for an Executive Director to work with aFounder who is still a member of the Board of Directors?

What does the Executive Director do if the Founder is causingserious problems for the organization?

What are the pros and cons of having the Founder stay on as astaff person or consultant?

PART FIVE Executive Director as Community Creator.

FIFTEEN Engaging External Stakeholders.

Who are an organization’s external stakeholders?

How can the Executive Director develop and nurture relationshipswith key stakeholders?

How does an Executive Director rally stakeholders foradvocacy?

SIXTEEN Embracing Partnerships and Collaboration.

How can Executive Directors assess the values and risks ofleading their organizations into partnerships?

What are ways organizations can work together informally, andhow does an Executive Director make this happen?

What forms of partnership exist beyond collaboration?

How can Executive Directors prepare their organizations to enterinto partnerships?

PART SIX Executive Director as Resource Wizard.

SEVENTEEN Ensuring Sound Financial Management.

What are the major differences between for-profit and nonprofitfinances?

Who takes the lead in fulfilling the various financialmanagement roles in a nonprofit?

What financial reports do the Board, staff, and volunteers needto see and how often?

What is the Board's role in the budgeting process?

After the Board passes a budget, what authority does theExecutive Director have to implement programs or contracts?

If there is a financial crisis, what does the Executive Directortell the Board and staff?

EIGHTEEN Sustaining the Organization with Team-BasedFundraising.

Who has the primary responsibility for raising money in anonprofit?

How much of an Executive Director's time should be spent raisingmoney?

Where do nonprofits find funds for overhead costs ofadministration and building infrastructure?

PART SEVEN Executive Director in Transition.

NINETEEN Planning for Healthy Transitions ofLeadership.

Why is succession planning important?

How can an Executive Director integrate practices that supportsuccession planning throughout the organization?

Where does continuity or knowledge management fit within theframework of succession planning?

What does an emergency succession plan look like?

TWENTY Moving On: Making Your Own Career Transition.

How will I know it is time for a career move?

Why is the decision to leave so difficult for the ExecutiveDirector and the organization?

How can the departing Executive Director make the leadershiptransition run smoothly?

What are some typical career paths for former ExecutiveDirectors?




Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2012

    Loved it so much I read it twice!

    If I had to recommend a book that would help an ED navigate the tricky, demanding role being their organization's leader - this would be it! It offers practical insights and cast studies of how to overcome the biggest challenges EDs face. Every page offered me tremendous advice for how to succeed in this role and I am forever grateful for coming across this amazing resource!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)