Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Daring to Lead 2006 - Finding 3

Still working my way through the Daring to Lead 2006 study. Finding 1 was about how 75% non-profit executives of all ages plan to leave their jobs in the next five years. Finding 2 began to explore why, with Boards of Directors contributing significantly to executive burnout. Finding 3 continues that exploration of reasons—non-profit executives believe they make significant financial sacrifices to lead nonprofits.

This was another finding that did not vary much with the age of the executive. On a 6-point scale, 39% of executives under 40 years old rated their sacrifice as a 6, as did 37% of executives in their 40s, and 32% of executives in their 50s and 60s. What did seem to make a difference was the size of the nonprofit organization the executive was running—with the degree of perceived financial sacrifice much lower among executives of larger organizations where the salaries are higher. The data show as many as 70% of executives who work for small staff size organizations believing they have made a significant financial sacrifice, compared to only 44% of executives who work for large staff size organizations.

The study report doesn't address this point, but I'd be curious to see a comparison between those who believe they have made a financial sacrifice to lead a nonprofit with the various career paths that lead to nonprofit leadership. Is it only those who come from the for-profit sector who feel they've made a financial sacrifice? Or do those who have come up through the nonprofit ranks also feel that way?


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