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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
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

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HR Knowledge
January 07, 2022
HR Compliance: What It Is and Why It’s So Complicated
Read MoreAboutHR Question: The Complicated Layers of HR Compliance
HR Knowledge
December 21, 2021
Question: How do I make a telecommuting policy?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Telecommuting Policies
HR Management
December 14, 2021
Newly promoted managers face challenging circumstances in the early stages of transitioning roles.
Read MoreAboutWatch On-Demand: 7 Seismic Shifts Necessary to Move from Manager to Leader
HR Knowledge
December 03, 2021
After an extremely challenging year (or two) of workforce disruptions, nonprofit employers are finding their footing again.
Read MoreAboutCelebrating the Holidays with a Hybrid Workforce
HR Knowledge
November 10, 2021
One of the main reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated—causing many to question their work and often looking for a job elsewher...
Read MoreAboutCreative Ways to Celebrate Your Team
HR Knowledge
November 05, 2021
Question: What are some typical examples of employee discipline?
Read MoreAboutHR Question: Disciplining Employees
HR Knowledge
October 22, 2021
Flexible work arrangements have been around for decades but now that we’re beginning to see the new era of work take shape it’s more important than ever to support and manag...
Read MoreAboutBest Practice Tips for Successfully Managing a Remote Workforce
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

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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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