The director of a non-profit organization serves as figurehead, spokesperson, and leader for their organization. They are the point person for their entire organization, serving as its representative with the board of directors, media, staff, the public, funders, and regulatory agencies. As such, this executive manager plays several crucial roles. A non-profit director must be passionate for the agency's mission and be able to articulately express its vision and advocate on its behalf. The non-profit director should possess exemplary communication skills, since fundraising and public speaking are required. The director typically works in an office staffed at least with an executive assistant; however, much of the director's time likely will be spent away from the office in off-site meetings. Most of their work is conducted during typical business hours, but attendance at board meetings and other functions may require evening hours. Some travel to industry conferences and other pertinent events should be expected.
At least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field is usually required for this position, although a more advanced degree may be required or preferred. Several years of advanced management experience and demonstrated leadership skills are typically required in the same field or a related industry. They should have a solid grasp of corporate governance, budgeting, and financial management. Depending on the non-profit organization's focus, industry expertise might be required. To be successful, a director must work effectively under pressure, be able to develop organizational strategies, and possess excellent management skills.
Director Non-Profit Organization Tasks
- Attend board of directors meetings, report activities, request input, and discuss recommendations from the board.
- Develop and put into practice policies consistent with the organization’s vision and mission statement.
- Administer the organization’s budget, making sure funds are used effectively.
- Oversee the programs run by the organization, manage daily activities, and coordinate the staff.
- Act as the organization’s spokesperson, participate in fundraising, and represent the organization at events.