Nonprofit Jobs Training to be an Executive Director

Over ten million people hold nonprofit jobs, according to Independent Sector, a research organization in Washington DC that is devoted to nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations such as the American Heart Association, Habitat for Humanity, and Goodwill offer numerous nonprofit jobs, but nearly every nonprofit organization has an executive director. In fact, in some nonprofit organizations executive director is the only paying nonprofit job opportunity within the agency.

What is an Executive Director?

Sometimes called the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), an executive director maintains a general overview of the entire organization. Typically the executive director manages and recruits workers, oversees the budget, and makes necessary decisions about operations and programs. The executive director seeks to grow the organization and choose activities that fit with the mission of the agency while ensuring that the company maintains activities within its available resources. Although holders of nonprofit executive jobs serve as managers of the organization, they answer to a board of directors for the final say on decisions.

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What types of things do Executive Directors do on a daily basis?

On a day-to-day basis, executive directors meet with government and business leaders who may further the cause of the organization. In most nonprofit jobs, the executive director also makes presentations to the board of directors for major projects and decisions. In nonprofit jobs where the executive director is the only paid employee, he or she will help to maintain the daily responsibilities that need to be completed in each department. Approximately 25% of the executive director’s tasks include fund-raising, even when a formal fund-raising staff is available.

What other qualities are necessary for success as an Executive Director?

A recent article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly describes several traits that are important in nonprofit executive jobs. Professionals who enjoy making plans and creating goals will be the most successful in nonprofit executive jobs. Executive directors must also be good managers with effective communication skills. They usually manage a staff and act as the spokesperson for the organization. Nonprofit executive jobs in small organizations require writing skills as the executive director may be responsible for writing grants. Executive directors must also have good mathematical skills in order to oversee a budget.

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Students who are interested in pursuing nonprofit executive jobs may contact University of Phoenix for more information on its advanced degree programs. is also a valuable source of information with a comprehensive list of available programs and educational resources.