Magazine article Stanford Social Innovation Review

No Substitute for Experience

Magazine article Stanford Social Innovation Review

No Substitute for Experience

Article excerpt

When hiring executives, many nonprofits should seek marketing expertise

Nonprofits will soon have many chances to hone their executive hiring skills, finds a 2006 study by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Meyer Foundation. Close to 10 percent of nonprofit executive directors will leave their jobs within the next year, and a whopping three out of four will leave their organizations over the next five years.

When the time comes to fill that top spot nonprofits that rely on fundraising should zero in on one particular area of their candidates' resumes: their background in marketing, concludes a study in Nonprofit Management & Leadership (vol. 17, no. 1). The study's authors, William J. Ritchie and Karen Eastwood, looked at the relationship between chief executives' backgrounds in various management disciplines and their nonprofits' financial performance. They found that the more experience executives had in marketing, the greater their organization's ability to fundraise.

Ritchie and Eastwood, both management professors at Florida Gulf Coast University, surveyed the chief executives of 144 higher education foundations across 41 states. The authors focused on higher education foundations because these organizations are similar to many other kinds of nonprofits in which fundraising is an executive responsibility.

For the study, respondents indicated how many years they had worked in the areas of accounting, finance, production, marketing, and operations. …

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