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Leadership Monday: Executive Directors and Fundraising

How much does the leadership of an Executive Director or CEO affect fundraising? To answer that question, we’d all better have an understanding of the responsibilities of the job.

The following is a list of requirements:

  • work with the board to set strategic direction and create organizational vision;

  • communicate with both board and staff;

  • engage with community and stakeholders;

  • hire, coach, and incentivize a competent staff;

  • manage finances;

  • manage various resources;

  • oversee fundraising planning and execution

So that’s a partial list of what is required of an Executive Director or a CEO. The original question was how does this person’s leadership affect fundraising. Here is a list of responsibilities that have a tremendous impact on fundraising:

  • inspire confidence with donors and set the tone for good donor relations;

  • nurture a good relationship with the board;

  • be a motivating force behind board members willingly donating and conducting their own personal fundraising efforts;

  • help board members stay connected to the mission in good times and bad;

  • be open with the public about how the organization spends its contributions;

  • have direct involvement in hiring, training and promoting of development staff;

  • oversee the planning and operations of the organization’s fundraising efforts.

There is a significant amount of responsibility riding on the shoulders of the CEO or Executive Director and it’s my belief that the level of leadership demonstrated can make or break the ability of the organization to raise funds.

Have I left any requirements or responsibilities out? if so, please add them to this list.

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