The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

The Value of Structured Professional Development

I firmly believe that an effective leader never stops learning. When learning stops, stagnation begins, which is bad for the leader (be that person staff or board) or the organization he/she serves. But just how much does a leader get from the periodic webinar, networking opportunity, or conference? And how does multi-tasking behind the anonymity of the webinar or working through emails during presentations affect the value of the time we spend on professional development?


Replacing an Iconic Nonprofit Leader

A not-for-profit organization is blessed when its executive director or CEO stays for a lengthy tenure. A leader who stays for 10, 15, or even 20 years usually means stability, respect, and success around the mission. If wildly successful or even the founder of the organization, the individual may be deemed an icon.


Succession Planning: Leading by Sharing Power

In 1986, I killed my first nonprofit organization.

That wasn’t my plan. In fact, there wasn’t any plan.


How to Spot Cultural Fit in Nonprofit Leadership Candidates

Company culture is defined by strongly held and widely shared beliefs that organizations support through their strategy and structure. As any executive search consultant will tell you, cultural fit is a critical factor in hiring.

While this is true for every organization, despite its tax code, it is incredibly important for not-for-profit organizations. This is because the executive must be able to passionately speak about the mission internally, to keep everyone working toward the common goal, but also to represent the organization externally, creating strong, committed relationships within the community.


Serving, Learning, and Leading: Lessons from Three Health Plan Foundation Presidents

The three major not-for-profit health plan foundations in the state of Massachusetts are led by dynamic women. In addition to being mission-driven executives, the threeNora Moreno Cargie, Karen Voci, and Audrey Sheltoare friends who champion each other’s careers. They are servant leaders who listen, learn, and truly engage with constituentsthey see leadership as a privilege. To achieve their goals as leaders of their foundations, they engage with stakeholders across the spectrumin the community and within community-based organizations, in the political and legislative realms, and in the corporate and philanthropic spheres.

Nora Moreno Cargie Karen Voci Audrey Shelto


4 Methods to Sharpen Your Leadership Skills

On the Classy Podcast, we have the opportunity to sit down and talk with leading executives and influencers in the social sector, and we like to ask them: “What makes a good leader?”

It might seem like a simple question, but developing leadership skills can be difficult for anyone regardless of how big or small their organization is.

Two recent guests, Piper LeJeune, the director of digital strategy and engagement for the Salvation Army Southern Territory, and Jeff Roman, executive director for Convoy of Hope, both offer a wealth of knowledge about how you can foster leadership skills to grow your team and organization. Below, we dig into their expert insights.


Your Engine of Impact: Organization and Talent

It’s a cliché, but it’s true: An organization is only as good as its people. And a corollary of that truth is that people in an organization can be good at what they do only to the extent that their leaders create the right structure and the right culture to support them. 


Your Engine of Impact: Insight and Courage

Nonprofit leaders who want their organization to achieve maximum impact must embrace the essentials of strategic leadership. We compare this kind of leadership to the work of building, tuning, and fueling a high-performance engine. Every nonprofit that aims to be truly effective must become an engine of impact, we argue. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, this engine must have certain essential components—including mission, strategy, and impact evaluation. To help generate power, the engine also requires the twin “turbines” of insight and courage.


New Report Finds Gender Representation Stagnant Among U.S. Philanthropy Leadership

The proportions of women and people of racial and ethnic minorities in philanthropic leadership levels has been stagnant over the past decade, according to a new report from the Council on Foundations.


  Your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar has a new Demographics section.