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CEO of Non Profit Organization

I currently work for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and am in graduate school to obtain a Master's in Public Health. I am wondering if any advisers have advice about the best way to advance within a non-profit organization all the way to the top- to be CEO of the non-profit. #nonprofits , #nonprofit-management

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Kate’s Answer

Amy, I'm also a nonprofit professional - hello! :-) First, I recommend you join the Facebook group "Nonprofit Happy Hour." It's a community of around 35K people including CEOs, aspiring CEOs, and folks at all levels of nonprofit work. I've seen similar questions before, so I'd suggest you do a search of the archives and then post your question there. (Note that your coworkers may be part of the group, and you can also post anonymously if you prefer by sending through the on-duty anonymizer.)

I don't personally aspire to be a CEO, but from what I've seen others discuss, a few themes have emerged:

1) Working hard and going up the ladder slowly isn't necessarily the best route to the top; you should also do a lot of networking and planning toward that goal. (I heard a leader speaking at an event say, she was taking the stairs while others were on the elevator.)

2) Think about the core competencies needed for a CEO position and how you'll build them. Fundraising is often an important one to think about, especially in terms of interacting with major donors. Program management is also useful, and management of staff. I'm sure folks in the Facebook group will have more ideas.

3) I'd suggest you save CEO job postings and review them to see what's required, as part of your planning about how to get there. If you haven't already, maybe do a search on idealist to find some to review.

Hope this helps - good luck!


Thanks Kate! Amy C.

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Luiz’s Answer

I have already worked as a consultant for some social organizations and in one of them I held the position of director.
An organization's professionalism determines how to become the CEO. In some very small ones, the founder does this function while he is alive. And it will probably be replaced by someone from your family.
Others, however, linked to university courses (mainly) have the corresponding course coordinator as their best chance of becoming the organization's CEO.
In this way, the college solves two problems: making the transition from its students to volunteering and improving their performance in social science disciplines.
Good luck!

Luiz recommends the following next steps:

social structure and organization (sociology)