Why NFP Execs Are Opting Out - US Study
10 April 2006 at 1:04 pm
Relentless fundraising pressure, weak boards of directors, low salaries, and lack of management support are causing many executive directors of small to mid-sized Not for Profit organisations to leave their jobs according to a new US study.
Daring to Lead 2006, a new study based on a survey of nearly 2,000 executive directors throughout the U.S., reports that three out of four Not for Profit executive directors are likely to leave their jobs within the next five years.
The report also suggests that boards of directors, foundations, and other grant-makers can play important roles in reducing burnout and turnover among executive directors.
The survey was conducted by San Francisco-based CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation in Washington, D.C.
It asked executive directors about their career paths, likely tenure, management teams, and challenges and frustrations.
The study focused on community-based, locally focused organisations. Hospitals, universities, and national organisations were not represented in the sample.
In addition to revealing executives’ deep anxiety about fundraising and the financial sustainability of their organizations, the survey responses highlighted several other challenges that may affect the ability of organisations to recruit new leaders to replace those who are leaving:
– Most executives believe they have made a significant financial sacrifice to work in the Not for Profit sector and believe their successors will need to be paid substantially higher salaries. Executive directors who were very dissatisfied with their compensation were twice as likely as other respondents to be leaving within a year.
– Although they outnumber male executives by a 2:1 margin, women are less likely than men to lead organisations with annual budgets of $10 million or more. In every budget category, the mean salary of women was lower than that of men.
– Despite increased emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity in recent years, executive directors remain overwhelmingly (82%) white.
CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a consulting, research, and training organisation providing NFPs with management tools, strategies, and resources to lead change in their communities
Established in 1944, the Meyer Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in Greater Washington. In 2005, the Meyer Foundation provided more than $8 million to organisations working to strengthen communities.
The complete 36-page report can be downloaded at www.meyerfdn.org