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Non-Profit Executive Director

Education and Training Bachelor’s or master’s degree in business management, human services, or social sciences.
Average Salary $91,570 per year
Job Outlook Good

A non-profit executive director is a person who is responsible for providing leadership and guidance to a non-profit organization so as to succeed in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. A non-profit organization undertakes activities for public welfare. Typical non-profit activities include providing medical facilities, creating jobs, and providing education to the needy. The primary task of a non-profit executive director is to devise strategies and formulate policies so that the goals and objectives of the non-profit organization are met. The non-profit executive director is responsible for overseeing the budget, ensuring that the resources are utilized appropriately, and that the programs are implemented as planned. The nature of duties performed by a non-profit executive director depends on the size of the organization and the organizational structure. In a large organization, the executive director might delegate a number of operations to senior managers who are responsible for a specific part of the organization’s operations. However, in smaller organizations, executive directors are required to perform a number of functions themselves.

Education and Training Requirements

Non-profit executive directors are expected to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business management, human services, or social sciences. A course in the management of non-profit organization is also advised for people aspiring to be non-profit executive directors.

Getting the Job

To get a job as a non-profit executive director, the aspiring candidate needs to have the requisite qualifications, as discussed above. Additionally, practical experience in managing at least some functions of a non-profit organization is an important factor. The other traits that are vital for the role of a non-profit executive director are excellent leadership skills and communication skills. Executive director is a very senior position and is instrumental in providing direction to the entire organization. Good leadership skills are therefore very important for this role. Non-profit executive directors need to be good communicators and should be able to speak, listen, and write effectively. They need to be thorough in their knowledge of operational planning and management so as to develop an operational plan for achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. Non-profit executive directors also need to have a sound understanding of human resource planning, financial management, and risk planning and management.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The job prospects for a non-profit executive director are very good with an expected growth of 13% in employment for the period 2008-2018. A growing economy, coupled with an increasing workforce, will result in an exponential growth of organizations willing to represent the interests of the new labor workforce. This, in turn, will create more jobs for non-profit executive directors.
Generally, executive directors start their careers in different positions, such as fund raisers or communication directors, or in other roles, offering services directly for the public.

Working Conditions and Environment

The work environment for non-profit executive directors varies from one organization to the other. However, in most cases, executive directors work in well furnished offices. Typically, the work environment is positive as people are proud of their contribution towards the society.
Non-profit executive directors need to travel frequently and often meet influential people during evenings or weekends. The work can often be stressful as the success of the organization and its financial health largely depends on their individual performance.

Salary and Benefits

The average yearly salary for a non-profit executive director is $91,570. This figure might vary depending on the size of the organization and the experience of the person. Other benefits include extended healthcare, paid leave, dental prescription drugs, life insurance coverage, and car allowance. The fringe benefits offered vary, depending on the geographical location, organizational budget, and the type of the organization.

Where to Go for More Information

The Foundation Center
79 Fifth Ave., 16th St.
New York, NY 10003-3076
(212) 620-4230

Independent Sector
1602 L St., NW, Ste. 900
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 467-6100

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness