College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Nonprofit Leadership

Core Competencies

  • In preparation for the launch of the Master of Nonprofit Leadership program, a research project identified core competencies exemplified by effective leaders of nonprofit organizations. It has been used as a guide for developing and evaluating the curriculum. This research may also be useful to individuals wishing to assess their own strengths and weaknesses, to create personal development plans and/or to discuss such issues with their governing boards. A summary is provided below. Download the complete document.

    Uses Effective Personal and Interpersonal Behaviors

    Possesses self-awareness. Exudes integrity. Demonstrates maturity. Exhibits deep commitment. Acts on values. Uses good humor. Inspires others. Listens actively. Communicates effectively. Lives holistically.

    Creates Vision and Establishes Direction

    Establishes compelling purpose. Advances the mission. Produces quality programs. Maximizes functions of board. Thinks strategically. Acts decisively. Masters change. Favors innovation. Understands the industry. Takes long-term view.

    Manages the Organization

    Organizes effectively. Puts quality first. Structures the system. Plans realistically. Budgets strategically. Manages finances soundly. Keeps the board on board. Designs good information systems. Evaluates efforts. Manages risk well.

    Creates and Maintains a Client Focus

    Puts people first. Respects the individual. Understands the need. Heeds client feedback. Establishes credibility. Anticipates clients' needs. Solves problems. Integrates services. Insists on accountability. Advocates for clients.

    Builds a Competent, Diverse and Empowered Workforce

    Empowers the individual. Promotes teamwork. Strives for excellence. Cultivates potential. Advocates diversity. Attracts talent. Brings forth the best in board. Establishes fair practices. Develops dedicated volunteers. Tailors managerial style to situation.

    Encourages External Cooperation and Understanding

    Promotes mutual understanding. Maximizes policy-making processes. Builds community. Possesses political savvy. Masters use of media. Practices good public relations. Fosters collaborations. Engenders rapport among peers. Resolves conflict constructively. Speaks and writes influentially.

    Develops Resources

    Thinks comprehensively. Takes an entrepreneurial approach. Negotiates effectively with funding sources. Develops effective plans. Understands the marketplace. Builds personal ties. Assures stewardship. Publicizes gifts. Forges alliances when appropriate. Knows the fundraising process.