You can realize your dream of starting a nonprofit, but you can’t do it alone. You must find the right individuals with the passion and talent to help your organization meet its goals.

Just as with commercial enterprises, it takes a lot of work and expertise to run a nonprofit successfully. Accordingly, you should place considerable thought into selecting the right executive leaders for your nonprofit venture.

Nonprofits in America

The Internal Revenue Service reported that there were 1.56 million registered nonprofit organizations in 2015. In 2018, the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics published a report regarding the impact of nonprofit organizations. The study revealed that nonprofit organizations contributed almost $1 trillion to the United States economy.

Working among those organizations are dedicated, passionate individuals who want to improve the quality of life for others. Indeed, nonprofit organizations do good work. However, starting a nonprofit organization is hard work.

Choosing executive leadership is one of the primary tasks that you must complete before launching your nonprofit organization by registering for 501 (c) status. The following are a few of the principal executive roles that you must fill to promote the success of your nonprofit dream.

  1. Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

A nonprofit Executive Director or CEO provides leadership and structure that guides staff members in fulfilling their roles. They also establish an agenda that will help the organization do the same.

A nonprofit CEO typically holds weekly meetings. During the sessions, they’ll share the goals of the organization and work with participants to plan how to realize those objectives. Most of all, however, they’ll typically act as the face and sometimes the primary contact point of the organization.

  1. Associate Executive Director

The associate Executive Director provides leadership in the absence of the organization’s CEO. They also assist the CEO in performing top-level functions.

For example, an associate executive director might organize and oversee events planned by the CEO. Also, they might coordinate and manage internal events and functions intended to boost morale and build rapport among staff members and volunteers.

  1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

A nonprofit chief financial officer keeps accurate and detailed reports regarding an organization’s financial accounts. They also manage operational finances. For example, a nonprofit CFO may create a yearly budget. They’ll also keep it organized and current. A chief financial officer may also assume other duties such as grant writing and securing other forms of funding.

  1. Director of Marketing & Public Relations or Chief Marketing Executive (CMO)

The chief marketing executive makes sure that the organization has needed promotional materials and that all of them are up-to-date. For example, they may oversee the publication of the organization’s newsletter and website. They may also manage or supervise the organization’s social media accounts.

They also decide what images to release to the press. In this regard, they’ll also make the most of photo opportunities during organizational activities and events.

  1. Director of Community Service

The Director of Community Service serves as a liaison between the organization and the public. They plan, direct and coordinate the activities of the organization’s programs and community outreach initiatives.

In some instances, they may also participate in budget planning. Typically, they’ll dictate organizational policies regarding community volunteers. Also, they’ll work with public leaders, representatives and officials to deliver services to the community.

As with corporate America, the nonprofit vertical needs more women to take the reins. In the United States, 6 million women participate in the workforce, representing nearly half of all workers. Yet, women earn an average of 80% in salary compared to that of their male counterparts.

The issues facing women are tangible and multifaceted. Nonprofit leadership can help to fulfill the need to serve. Still, it’s also a way to acquire the critical experience needed to serve as an executive in any capacity, including for-profit organizations. By choosing to serve as an executive leader for a nonprofit organization, women can solidify their executive acumen and position themselves to serve as a CEO in the highly competitive for-profit realm.