• June 2008
  • Vol. 9, No. 5

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The Next Generation of Leaders

One of the emerging concerns for the nonprofit workforce is where to find the next generation of leaders. In a recent survey of 5,754 workers, most of whom were younger professionals in the nonprofit field, respondents answered questions about their commitment to the nonprofit field and their future career plans. Findings were published in Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out.

Participants cited a number of barriers to leadership roles in the nonprofit field, including low salaries, long hours, and lack of a clear path to leadership roles. Despite the negative associations, one in three respondents aspired to be an executive director, and most felt that they were doing meaningful work. In addition, many respondents felt they were gaining the skills and experiences necessary to be leaders.

The report includes recommendations for current and future leaders, as well as boards of directors, nonprofit capacity builders, and funders. Current executives are urged to help staff build networks, mentor, provide good role models, pay reasonable salaries, and engage in succession planning. Future leaders are encouraged to develop management expertise, find a mentor and coach, and join a board.

This report was written by Marla Cornelius, Patrick Corvington, and Albert Ruesga and produced in partnership by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, and Idealist.org. It is available on the Annie E. Casey website:

www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Other/R/ReadytoLeadNextGenerationLeadersSpeakOut/ready_to_lead.pdf (555 - KB)

Related Item

For a look at leadership training in this issue of Children's Bureau Express, see "Leadership Skills Development."

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