Nonprofit Leaders-to-Be Redux

After mulling over various angles for last night’s post (Re-Districting of Nonprofit Boundaries and Migration of Leaders-to-Be), I was eager to read thoughts from the field on the Ready to Lead? report. So far I am struck by the following themes (see round-up of initial reactions at the end of this post):

  • Although the report’s findings ring painfully true, there seems to be frustration among nonprofit professionals that this news is nothing new;
  • The report’s recommendations about what can be done seem to be getting only cursory mentions (and the lack of focus on concrete solutions seems to be fueling heated venting and pleas for action);
  • Using the lens of technology to search for fresh and out-of-the-box solutions seems to be missing from the discussion… so far. 

Philanthropy’s end of the bargain seems to be pretty clear: ante up, don’t forsake overhead, support your grantees in addressing succession issues. Now, I am certainly no expert on new media and Web 2.0 technologies (as clearly evidenced by this blog), but I find myself next turning to questions like: Are there low-cost opportunities for nonprofits to embrace online technologies to facilitate mentoring or networking? Are there ways that technology can be deployed to increase operational, fundraising or communications efficiencies that would in turn free up resources for salaries or staff development? Do leaders-to-be already have ideas for using technology in new ways to re-invent how their nonprofits work, but just aren’t being heard?

I may be misguided in my attraction to technology as a potential panacea for some of these challenges. But as someone deeply committed to the nonprofit ethos and a career in the sector, I will be eager to learn of leaders and organizations successfully preparing for the generational hand-off – whether their methods are grounded in technology or not!

Round-Up of Initial Reactions to Ready to Lead?

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