Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Executive Coaches for Nonprofit Leaders

One of the best decisions I've made this year was to renew my professional relationship with my executive coach, Jim Sharp. Although not a fundraiser by training, his advice has always provided me with a great perspective on both managing my career and maintaining the sanity of my personal life (and never forget how critical this latter part is to the former!).

The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently cited another interesting use of coaches by NPOs:

Philanthropy Today: Executive Coaches Help Vet Nonprofit Job Applicants

People seeking top-level nonprofit jobs can now expect to be interviewed not just by nonprofit recruiters and their potential bosses, but also by executive coaches who advise the organization’s top executives, says The Wall Street Journal.

The extra step is part of an effort to reduce turnover, the newspaper says.

After interviewing candidates to help her run Family Justice, the New York charity she founded, Carol Shapiro finally found one she liked, but didn’t pick the job candidate because her executive coach found the candidate lacking in managerial experience, the newspaper reports.

Another contender who won approval from the coach got the job and joined Family Justice as chief operating officer in late February.

The interview by the coach benefits not just the charity but also the job seeker “because an executive coach can describe what this new boss will really be like,” says Marilyn Machlowitz, a New York recruiter who handled Ms. Shapiro’s search.