While many non-profit organizations have a board of directors, these individuals typically serve in only a very broad advisory capacity. Oversight on how the organization accomplishes its goals and its day-to-day operations is usually centralized with an executive director. This person, who sits at the top of the organizational flowchart, is usually assisted by a deputy executive director. The deputy assists the executive director by helping to supervise and guide the various departments of the non-profit, serving as the second-in-command of the group.
The deputy executive director may be given specific responsibilities by the executive director, such as developing and overseeing budgets for the organization. He or she may be tasked either with specific supervision of the managers of departments (such as volunteers and accounting, among others), and are often tasked with conducting interviews and making final hiring decisions for new workers to the organization.
Typically, the executive director works with his or her deputy to create broader initiatives within the non-profit. It then falls to the deputy executive director to put these ideas into practice and ensure are implemented and executed according to the executive director's vision. Because non-profit organizations typically rely on fundraising and outside donations for their operating capital, the deputy executive director of such an organization should also expect to make public appearances and present the vision and work done by the enterprise to larger groups.
While background requirements to work as a deputy executive director in a non-profit vary, typically larger organizations with large budgets prefer individuals with at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, management, or a related field. Most non-profits seek individuals for this position with extensive experience in the business world and whose private and/or professional interests match the goals of the organization.
Deputy Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization Tasks
- Work to secure financial support for the NGO, write grants, run pay-for-service programs, and organize fundraisers.
- Communicate organization goals and operational plans to all levels of the organization and to donors.
- Assist the executive director with strategic planning and coordination of the organization’s programs, projects, and policy positions.
- Manage the organization in the absence of the executive director.