Executive directors are as unique as the nonprofits they lead. And the leadership needs of their organizations vary over time -- as different points in the life of a nonprofit call for different competencies. The most effective leaders continually assess organizational needs and strengths, and enhance their skills to match realities and opportunities facing their nonprofits. Advancing a leader's capabilities requires individualized support delivered in a manner relevant to this organizational context.
This brief describes the Fund for Leadership Advancement, a grantmaking initiative of The James Irvine Foundation, and reviews key findings from a two-year formative evaluation of the first 20 organizations and leaders who received support through the Fund. The evaluation was conducted by BTW informing change, a firm that provides information-based services, including evaluation, to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. BTW's full evaluation report is available on Irvine's Web site.