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5 Must-Have Personality Traits of Nonprofit Leaders

By on November 18, 2016 in Student life with 2 Comments

Not everyone has the necessary traits to be a dynamic, successful non-profit leader. Thankfully, there are many positions within a non-profit, and individuals of all personality types can find their niche within a non-profit organization. However, to bring together these individuals to ensure that the organization’s mission remains the focus of the work every single day, a specific type of individual must be at the helm. Here are five personality traits that every non-profit leader should exhibit:

1. Dedication to the mission

Individuals drawn to non-profit leadership are often good at sales. Many believe that it isn’t overly important that they feel strongly about the mission of an organization to successfully represent and grow it. Sadly, this is absolutely untrue. What connects donors and volunteers to a non-profit is the sincere expression of the community need the organization is addressing. If the director is unable to connect with the mission, his or her communications can fall flat and seem more like a sales pitch than a true passion to improve the community.  

2. Engaging and likable personality

Because non-profit directors often become the so-called face of the organization they lead, it is essential that directors are likable people. Exhibiting a true concern for others and being willing to listen to others are two sure fire ways to be confident that you are doing everything in your power to ensure others respond positively to you.

3. Dependable

Perhaps the most important character trait, dependability is a must for non-profit leaders. Because these leaders will be making assurances to donors, volunteers, clients, and everyone in between, they must follow through. It is easy to promise the world to seal a deal or calm the nerves of a client, however, directors that do not keep their word will have short-lived careers. In even the largest cities, non-profit circles are extremely small, and maintaining a reputation that you don’t over promise is essential to ongoing success for you as a director and for your organization.

4. Generous

Non-profit directors also need to be generous. Anyone can give their time, energy, and effort towards a given cause, but non-profit directors need to be able to do this with a smile. They must enjoy the act of giving without expecting something in return. Establishing relationships with other non-profits, collaborating on community projects, and leveraging funding is becoming an essential part of non-profit management. Without the ability to generously share resources with other community non-profits, a director can quickly land themselves in hot water.

5. Faith

Above all, non-profit directors must have faith. They must have faith in the mission of their organization and they need to maintain faith in the members of their community that they not only understand, but will rise to meet their needs. They need faith in their employees that they are doing the best job they can to grow the organization. Unwavering faith is essential.

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