How to Become an Executive Director Of A Non-profit Organization

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How to Become an Executive Director Of A Non-profit Organization

Being the main officer in a Non-profit Organization requires many of the same skills and talents needed in a corporate setting. Some examples of the skills needed to become a successful Executive Director of a Non-profit Organization, and how to develop them follows:

Formal Education

Most non-profits will not consider a candidate unless he or she has a college education. Normally, this will be either an undergraduate or graduate degree in a related course of study. Degrees in business or public administration, human resources or services, or a degree in the field of interest covered by the scope of then non-profit will be considered essential. Along with a college degree, it is often a good idea to have some sort of continuing education credits as well. Successfully completing seminars and weekend courses that relate to fund raising for non-profits, personnel management, or public relations look great on a resume`, and help the prospective Executive Director to stand out from the competition.

Talent For the Position

Successful candidates for Executive Director positions at Non-profits usually demonstrate a proven track record of leadership. This may have been obtained in a corporate setting, such as overseeing a department or managing a number of people. It can also involve being a volunteer with non-profits and successfully organizing and coordinating projects. Any examples of providing leadership in both volunteer and professional settings may make a huge difference.

Know The Organization

For those who really want to land a position as the Executive Director of an organization, researching the organization is vital. Study the history of the Non-profit. Get to know what it does, who benefits, and what is has accomplished in the past. But don’t just focus on the past. Look at the current mission statement, organizational structure, and upcoming projects already in the works. The more well-versed the applicant is in the inner workings of the non-profit, the easier it will be to intelligently talk with decision makers about what you can offer to the organization.

Bring Some Experience To The Table

For larger Non-profits, a proven record with a smaller organization can be helpful. Five to ten years heading up a small non-profit, especially for the applicant who can point to examples of growth and expansion during his or her years leading the smaller group, is a strong advantage. Provide documents that illustrate the achievements of your tenure, and relate them to the prospects of new organization.