pexels-photo-652347Numerous challenges face our nonprofits today, such as reduced government funding, increasing needs and disruptions due to advances in technology that continue to drive broadscale changes in society. To successfully overcome these and other obstacles, your NFP needs leaders that can peer into the future and identify the risks and opportunities that lie just ahead. You also need leadership that can effectively engage with communities and inspire them, and, that have the necessary skills to oversee and guide the organisation responsibly . This is why it’s so critically important for nonprofits to invest in leadership development, their survival and sustainability depend upon it!

Why You Must Include Development in Your NFP Budget

When nonprofits are led by inexperienced and ineffective leaders, costs rise, teams lose focus and mission drift occurs. There is a lack of accountability and transparency, and, reputation-damaging scandals are likely to occur and come to light. Recent examples of this include popular international charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children. Earlier this year, these nonprofits were in the news when it was revealed that some of their practices left workers and vulnerable populations open to assault and sexual abuse. The resulting fallout has been a loss of reputation as well as a major decline in individual and corporate donations.

The High Cost of Scandals and Other Mismanaged Risks

Scandals like these not only affect the offending NFP, they have the potential to damage the entire sector, and, increase the scrutiny that all NFPs face. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding that nonprofits improve their governance by improving their systems and practices to include more audits. They also expect greater transparency to prove that donations are being well-spent and that the organisation is living up to its mission and public expectations.

While there are some costs associated with training and education, the benefits that you receive from having a highly skilled, trained leadership far outweigh any upfront cost. Just as your organisation needs to invest resources in building capacity, you must invest in your people so that they are equipped to perform their roles and responsibilities well.

The Future 500 Leaders Program

Our Community’s Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA), in partnership with the Trawalla Foundation, is offering $1,000 scholarships to help offset the cost of leadership development. Up to 500 individuals in Australia have a chance at the award, which will go towards the cost of earning a Diploma of Business (Governance). This qualification is the only one in Australia that specialises in nonprofit governance that is offered at the diploma level. The last day to apply for a scholarship is 19 December. Apply today so that you don’t miss out on this opportunity to strengthen your leadership skills!