job description

Board - Management Delegation

Board - Management Delegation

As a smaller non-profit grows, volunteers take on more and more of the operational tasks. What might have started as a handful of people hosting a few fundraising events each year, or taking turns opening the museum, quickly turns into volunteer burnout and a rapid turnover. That’s when...


Are you a leader or a manager?

Are you a leader or a manager?

Posted in job description / executive director

Years ago, I came across an article that discussed the difference between a leader and a manager. The author insisted that someone could only be one or the other – there was no middle ground. Back then, the article praised the leader, dismissed the manager, and pushed all my buttons. I was...


5 weird truths about being a nonprofit ED

5 weird truths about being a nonprofit ED

A non-profit executive director is one of the strangest jobs. One minute you will be writing a major grant application and the next you are cleaning the bathroom. Some days you’ll be a leading force for the sector, speaking with confidence and enthusiasm, next you’re hauling twenty thousand...


Write Your Own Executive Director Succession Plan

Write Your Own Executive Director Succession Plan

When an executive director leaves their position, it doesn’t really matter how much notice is given if there isn’t a written succession plan in place. In small non-profits, without a dedicated HR staffer, no one has the time for hiring. It’s a hot mess at best and squeezed in over coffee breaks...


First 30 Days for a New Non-Profit Executive Director

First 30 Days for a New Non-Profit Executive Director

Posted in job description / executive director / staff team

Whether it’s a first job as an executive director or a first day at a new non-profit, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. That’s because the 4 key areas of a non-profit executive director’s job are massive. Those 4 areas are: governance/board support and policy management; making sure...


Why an Executive Director Shouldn't be a Jack of All Trades

Why an Executive Director Shouldn't be a Jack of All Trades

Posted in job description / executive director

There is an expectation, real or perceived, that the executive director of a non-profit needs to be a jack of all trades – someone who picks up all the left-over little tasks and handles them as part of regular work duties. The executive director is often expected to handle all the accounting,...


How to Write a Job Description

How to Write a Job Description

Posted in job description / executive director / staff team

A clear job description is an important part of every position. Potential employees want a clear picture of the position before applying, to be sure the job is the right fit for them. Current employees want a clear picture of the work they’ve been hired to complete. Employers need a place...


What do you do when a board member goes rogue?

What do you do when a board member goes rogue?

Has there been a time when a board member didn’t follow policy and no one, you or other board members, said anything? Has a board member reported tasks that they’ve handled when they were neither asked, nor given the authority, to handle those tasks? Has a board member been making decisions...


From No Employees to a Paid Team

From No Employees to a Paid Team

Posted in job description / staff team

When a non-profit first starts there will be a team of volunteers who handle all the work. They might also double as board members. Those early days are usually pretty lean, but everyone pitches in and the work gets done. When a non-profit grows a little more and the work that's required is...


Planning for a New Member of the Team

Planning for a New Member of the Team

Posted in hiring / job description / staff team

I'm Hiring Again [groan] Today I learned that one of my direct reports will be going on maternity leave. In Canada, that means they can be away for up to 18 months. So..., I'll be hiring again. It is a lot of work and I don't love it, but that's the job. It got me thinking I should update the...