Hope for New Leadership in the Non-Profit Sector
A recent conference report published by the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University focuses on concerns of emerging leaders in the non-profit sector. One hundred emerging leaders gathered last June 2007 at NonProfit 2020: Issues and Answers from the Next Generation and identified that the future leadership deficit is already here. Mentoring, diversity and structural barriers to professional development were identified as issues that needed greater attention and support by the philanthropic community. On May 12, we held the graduation of Class II of our ZeroDivide Leadership and Advocacy Institute Fellowship (ZFellows). These 15 fellows are as diverse, innovative, self-directed and committed as you'll find. And they have a technology-forward orientation to boot! The program is a labor intensive and challenging initiative for a small foundation like ours, but spending time with the ZFellows always inspires and invigorates me. If philantthropy would commit to be more responsible for the ongoing development of such leaders and their organizational environments, then the worries expressed by the NP2020 participants and as documented by others could become more opportunity than crisis, 15 leaders at a time.