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Nonprofit Management
September 21, 2022
Working on a team requires more than just hard work, morale amongst co-workers, and willingness to work with others. The most important yet often ignored that attributes to ...
Read MoreAboutHow to Improve Communication Strategies with Your Team
Nonprofit Management
May 20, 2022
Here at UST, we aim to create content designed to educate 501(c)(3) nonprofit leaders and strengthen the nonprofit sector. As part of our on-going commitment to serve nonpro...
Read MoreAboutOn-Demand Webinars: HR Strategies and Risk Management Tactics
Nonprofit Management
March 04, 2022
In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by thought leaders from across the U.S. with expertise in nonprofit advocacy.
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Advocacy & Legislative Support for Nonprofits
Nonprofit Management
February 10, 2022
The grantmaking process is often exclusive and expensive, making it accessible to those select nonprofits with the right expertise and networks, which can be costly for orga...
Read MoreAboutFour Ways to Create an Equitable Grantmaking Process
Nonprofit Management
January 27, 2022
Today's increasingly virtual landscape—along with the workforce's evolving strategic priorities—has not only changed how we work, but i...
Read MoreAboutEmployee Engagement and Nonprofit Brand Strategies
Nonprofit Management
January 24, 2022
Members are a vital key to success when sustaining and growing your association and retaining those members ensures a long-term survival of your nonprofit organization.
Read MoreAboutFive Best Practices to Improve Nonprofit Member Retention
Nonprofit Management
December 09, 2021
Nonprofit managers are relied upon to not only lead productive teams, hold employees accountable, and manage processes but are also expected to engage and motivate employees...
Read MoreAbout2021 Nonprofit Leadership Toolkit
Nonprofit Management
November 19, 2021
Whether you’re aspiring to be an executive leader, get promoted into a director’s position, or even launch your own nonprofit—rarely there are clearly defined pat...
Read MoreAboutHow to Grow into a Nonprofit Leader
Nonprofit Management
October 28, 2021
A strong leadership team is vital to the success of any nonprofit organization—without it you risk reduced productivity, delayed decisions, and low morale.
Read MoreAbout2021 Employer Guide: Nonprofit Leadership Development

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HR Knowledge
September 23, 2022
If you want to be an effective leader, you must have strong communications skills and a good amount of composure.
Read MoreAboutThe Do’s and Don’ts of Difficult Conversations
HR Knowledge
September 08, 2022
HR Question: Can I ban cell phones at work? How about audio and video recordings?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Banning Personal Electronics
HR Knowledge
August 26, 2022
Leadership development is an attractive benefit that is becoming commonplace in the current job market.
Read MoreAboutOffer Development to Groom Current (and Future) Leaders
HR Knowledge
August 12, 2022
Question: What are effective ways to manage remote employees and monitor their work? 
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Managing Remote Employees
HR Management
July 21, 2022
A major shift has been underway, fundamentally altering, when, where, and how work occurs. As organizations adjust to today’s new hybrid workplace, collaboration among team ...
Read MoreAboutFive Tips for Successfully Leading a Hybrid Workforce
HR Knowledge
July 15, 2022
As of early 2020, the nonprofit employment sector is reported to be the third largest in the nation, following manufacturing and retail. Job statistics will no doubt remain ...
Read MoreAboutHire and Develop Managers People Want to Work For
HR Knowledge
July 08, 2022
Online trainings can be a useful tool for developing talent, but they can also end up being a waste of time and resources, even if the content and presentation are good.
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Ensuring Your Online Training Strategies Are Effective
HR Knowledge
June 30, 2022
Without the staff to support your mission-driven initiatives nonprofits across the globe wouldn’t exist.
Read MoreAboutCelebrate Success in the Workplace to Increase Engagement
HR Knowledge
June 24, 2022
Employees are the backbone of every nonprofit and your most valuable asset—contributing to the overall success (or failure) of your organization.
Read MoreAboutHow to Help Employees with Career Development
HR Knowledge
June 17, 2022
Modern benefits are indeed useful for retention but that is not the whole story. To be fully engaged, nonprofit employees need to feel they have a say in what goes on at wor...
Read MoreAboutSolicit Involvement for Employee Engagement Initiatives

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How an Executive Director Becomes a Financial Leader

What is an executive director? An executive director is “responsible for overseeing the administration, the program and the strategic plan of a nonprofit organization. Other key duties may include fundraising, marketing, community outreach, and this position reports directly to the board of directors.” As we all know, an executive director is required to wear many hats and needs to wear them all equally. Leadership styles have a huge impact on how well an executive director can carry out their duties—committed executive directors can set themselves apart when they’re able to evaluate their own leadership styles and seek input from others.

In this role, you’re tasked with the responsibility of both leadership and management and each duty requires a distinct skill level in order to be fulfilled properly. Leaders offer visionary qualities that can provide an overall scope to the organization’s specific problems and future planning. They tend to be a charismatic communicator and have the ability to motivate the team in anticipation of achieving future goals for the organization.  Managers are very hands on—they make sure things get done. Not only do they manage people but they also manage property and assets helping to fulfill the goals that management and the board of directors have set before them. They are the busy bees of the organization, who control, organize and monitor day-to-day activities of the operation. Think of an executive director of a nonprofit organization as being the “jack of all trades”.  

Along with managing and overseeing everyday tasks, an executive director is responsible for monitoring the finances for an organization—they oversee the development and on-going maintenance of the business model. This ensures the organization produces exceptional mission impact and sustains financial health. To make sure this is done successfully, the executive director has to be aware of the necessary business concepts.

Here are a few key business principles that could help guide financial leadership practice for your nonprofit:

1) Remain high-level and thoughtful with your board.

2) Make sure you’re managing your risks the right way.

3) Be sure to plan for your nonprofit’s reserves.

Executive directors learn that leading a nonprofit requires a constant balancing of current needs, external demands, and planning for the future. Financial leadership is crucial to the role and can not be fully delegated. Certain principles can help executive directors become accustom to the demands of the changing environment and maintain the balance needed for the organization.

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