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Nonprofit Management
October 14, 2021
As employers continue to strategize for the future—paving the way for flexible work models and creative retention tactics—many are seeing permanent cha...
Read MoreAbout2021 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Infographic
Nonprofit Management
September 24, 2021
Nonprofit employers nationwide are living through a fundamental transformation in the way they work and the pace at which employee priorities are changing.
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] UST Live: The Future of the Nonprofit Workforce
Nonprofit Management
September 14, 2021
Are you curious to discover how nonprofits have pivoted strategies in response to COVID-19 and how this pandemic is causing permanent change across the sector?
Read MoreAbout2021 Nonprofit Sector Report: Pandemic Impact on Workforce
Nonprofit Management
August 31, 2021
Risk management is defined as a discipline for dealing with the possibility that some future event will cause harm and nonprofit risk comes in an endless number of forms&...
Read MoreAboutThe Importance of Nonprofit Risk Management
Nonprofit Management
July 16, 2021
This quick reference guide highlights key findings from last quarter's most popular content—which focused on innovative nonprofit sustainability strategie...
Read MoreAboutUST Quarterly Nonprofit Digest: Nonprofit Sustainability Strategies
Nonprofit Management
July 07, 2021
UST recently published an eBook that discusses how the global pandemic challenged nonprofits in ways that were unprecedented at that time
Read MoreAboutNonprofit eBook “Preparing for Future Crises” Uncovers Strategies to Ensure Nonprofit Resiliency
Nonprofit Management
June 25, 2021
In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by guest moderator, Jenny Berg of the Leadership Council for Nonprofits, where we welcomed thought leaders from across th...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Strategies to Identify Board Diversity
HR Management
June 18, 2021
While the nonprofit sector is dedicated to serving those in need, without encompassing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their governance and operations, they risk...
Read MoreAboutDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nonprofit Organizations
Nonprofit Management
June 14, 2021
With the rise of smartphones, social media and other digital channels, nonprofits now have more tools available to them for engaging donors than ever before.
Read MoreAboutFour Best Practices to Improve Donor Engagement
Nonprofit Management
May 27, 2021
Nonprofits across the country were forced to pause, pivot and make remarkable changes to their in-person events last year due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19....
Read MoreAbout2021 Virtual Event Best Practice Tips
Nonprofit Management
April 16, 2021
In today’s talent-based economy, an organization’s workforce is one of its most important tangible assets. Despite its importance, this asset is often not carefully planned,...
Read MoreAboutA Workforce Strategy Designed to Help Push Your Nonprofit Forward
Nonprofit Management
December 18, 2020
This year, UST has been busy creating a plethora of timely and relevant resources designed specifically to help the nonprofit sector navigate the many unknowns presented by ...
Read MoreAboutUST's Most Popular 2020 Content
Nonprofit Management
December 02, 2020
This short 30-minute on-demand webinar features tools and resources that can help nonprofit employers streamline HR processes and stay compliant with state and federal regul...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] Supporting Nonprofit Sustainability During a Crisis
Nonprofit Management
November 04, 2020
As we continue social-distancing—heavily relying on virtual resources—large-scale events have taken on a whole new look and feel.
Read MoreAbout2020 Virtual Event Best Practice Tips
Nonprofit Management
October 15, 2020
UST's latest interactive webinar series, "UST Live," brings the collective expertise of reputable nonprofit leaders to you—live&#x2014...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Developing a Sustainable Strategy for 2021
Nonprofit Management
April 03, 2020
While in the midst of a global emergency, the current COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits are challenged with how to successfully continue managing their mission-driven brand.
Read MoreAboutHow to Manage Your Brand During a Global Emergency

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HR Knowledge
October 08, 2021
Question: Generally, our employees are "always on," meaning they check work emails and communicate with co-workers/supervisors via smartphone during all hour...
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Overwhelmed Employees
HR Management
September 29, 2021
Hiring new employees can be time-consuming, costly, and stressful. Pre-employment assessments can be useful in determining whether or not a potential new hire is a good fit ...
Read MoreAbout2021 People Risk Management Toolkit
HR Knowledge
September 10, 2021
Question: Can we require remote employees to have childcare?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Remote Employees and Childcare
HR Knowledge
August 24, 2021
One of the biggest challenges nonprofits are faced with is the "great resignation" sparked by the pandemic—where employees are burnt out and pursu...
Read MoreAboutNonprofit eBook: 3 Essential Practices to Cultivate a Positive Employee Experience
HR Knowledge
August 13, 2021
Do OSHA's regulations and standards apply to the home office?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: OSHA Regulations and the Home Office
HR Knowledge
August 06, 2021
Turnover is a natural part of any nonprofit organization’s life cycle, and employee offboarding should be handled with the same degree of importance as onboarding a new empl...
Read MoreAboutBest Practices for Employee Offboarding
HR Knowledge
July 30, 2021
Question: As we begin to return to work, if an employee is out of the office due to sickness, can we ask them about their symptoms?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Asking Sick Employees About Their Symptoms
HR Knowledge
July 23, 2021
Recruiting and retaining top performers is crucial to the success of any nonprofit and when done right, reaps the best reward—employees that support and strengthe...
Read MoreAboutUST Recruitment and Retention Toolkit
HR Management
June 18, 2021
While the nonprofit sector is dedicated to serving those in need, without encompassing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their governance and operations, they risk...
Read MoreAboutDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nonprofit Organizations
HR Knowledge
June 04, 2021
As states begin to loosen their social distancing restrictions, nonprofit employers are beginning to strategize a return-to-work plan while staying compliant with state, loc...
Read MoreAboutUST Workforce Re-Entry Toolkit
HR Knowledge
May 21, 2021
People-related risks within an organization can range from bad hires and misconduct to harassment and lack of diversity in the workplace.
Read MoreAboutPeople Risk Management Toolkit
HR Knowledge
May 17, 2021
When looking at the current work environment, we can see that it requires flexibility, being open to new skills and navigating new ways of working.
Read MoreAboutPreparing Your Nonprofit Workforce for the Future of Work
HR Knowledge
May 06, 2021
Question: An employee has reported that another employee made a racially insensitive comment in the break room in front of several people.
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Handling Racially Insensitive Comments
HR Knowledge
April 29, 2021
Welcome to the inaugural issue of UST's Quarterly Nonprofit Digest, a bite-sized overview of the employer strategies, sector statistics, and resources that UST share...
Read MoreAboutUST Quarterly Nonprofit Digest: Employee Engagement Strategies
HR Knowledge
April 12, 2021
Question: We are looking to hire millennials in an effort to create a more dynamic workforce. What are other companies doing in terms of workforce standards, benefits, polic...
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Creating a Dynamic Workforce
HR Management
March 25, 2021
You only get one shot at a first impression... In an effort to help nonprofit leaders strengthen their employee onboarding process—making new hires feel welcome, ...
Read MoreAboutEmployee Onboarding Toolkit
HR Knowledge
March 15, 2021
The employee experience is how employees feel about what they encounter and observe over the course of their employee journey at a nonprofit organization—involvin...
Read MoreAboutAn Overview of the Employee Experience
HR Management
February 26, 2021
Last year, as employers continued to grapple with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, UST surveyed more than 165 nonprofit employers across the U.S. to uncover the latest sector...
Read MoreAbout2020 Nonprofit Workforce Trends Infographic

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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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