#5 Executive Director of a Non Profit Organization
By David LasuertmerAverage Salary: $64,260
Job Outlook: Very good (16% growth rate within the next decade)
While in recent years there has been a shift away from experienced social workers as administrators of social service agencies, in favor of administrators with business training or experience, the perspectives gained by working as a direct service practitioner provide the administrator with an invaluable base for responsive and effective agency leadership. Think of an executive director of a non-profit organization as being the “jack of all trades and master of all.” At any given moment, an executive director needs to change hats according to the direct needs of the organization. The Executive Director is hired and supervised by and reports directly to the Board of Directors. Working closely with the Board, the director is responsible for implementing strategic goals and objectives of the organization, supporting the board in fulfilling its governance functions and to provide leadership toward fulfilling the organization’s mission and annual goals and objectives.
The executive director of a non-profit organization wears many hats. The hats that an executive director of a non-profit wears are leadership, management, fundraising, communications, planning, strategizing, marketing, problem-solving, and often, whatever else comes his or her way. Leadership and management are two important duties of an executive director, and there are distinct differences between them. Leaders have visionary qualities who give scope to the organization’s problems and planning. They are charismatic communicators who rev up their troops in anticipation of achieving big dreams for the organization. Managers are the doers. They manage people, property, and assets towards fulfilling the goals that management and the board of directors set before them. They are the busy bees who organize, control and monitor the day-to-day activities of the operation. In addition to leading and managing a non-profit organization, the executive director must also have strengths in the areas of fundraising and communications.
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