daring to lead

Our awesome clients at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Meyer Foundation recently teamed up to release Daring to Lead 2011, the third in a series of such national studies produced over the past ten years.

More than 3,000 nonprofit executive directors shared their hopes and fears to provide a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s really like to run a nonprofit today.

And the picture is a little overwhelming, according to the study: The continuing economic slump means that raising the money and meeting the rising demands for services are both tougher than ever. Long hours and low pay mean it’s difficult to hang on to great staff. Boards of directors seem ill-prepared to partner with executives to meet the challenges. You can visit the Daring to Lead site for the full report and to learn about the implications for nonprofit executives and boards, philanthropy, and capacity builders.

But it’s this finding that makes our team here at LightBox Collaborative stand to salute nonprofit leaders: Despite the profound challenges of the role, nonprofit executives remain energized and resolved. The executives in the study give a candid picture of the challenges for certain, but they also exude resolve, commitment and confidence in their organizations’ abilities to serve.

A while back, we declared National Nonprofit Executive Director Appreciation Day in honor of those leaders who so valiantly serve our sector. We’re marking our calendars again this year, and counting the ways we’re so very grateful to these leaders who dare to make our sector strong and our nation better each and every day.

What about you? Why do you dare to lead?

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Holly Minch‘s most daring act of leadership was to launch the LightBox Collaborative, based on the idea that collaboration creates the strongest organizational culture.