Executive Directors Guide

Better Leaders, Better Nonprofits, a Better World

The Guide for Successful Nonprofit Management

Written by Deborah Linnell, Zora Radosevich and Jonathan Spack, the Executive Directors Guide: The Guide for Successful Nonprofit Management is loaded with practical, real world information to help executive directors create and sustain healthy, effective organizations. The guide also includes examples and advice on collaborating to build a robust nonprofit sector.

The how-to publication is inspired by the Executive Directors Guide published by the United Way of Massachusetts Bay over 20 years ago. It retains the original’s emphasis on leading with a view to maximizing stakeholder participation in vision creation, strategy development, decision making and implementation. 

Download a free sample chapter from the Executive Directors Guide on nonprofit executive leadership, which discusses:

  • The concept of leadership
  • Various leadership competencies, styles and models
  • Participatory, partnership-based leadership
  • The role of self-reflection in effective leaders
  • Maintaining a work-life balance that helps you lead successfully


We are currently working on a new edition of the guide which will be available in Spring 2018. Sign up to notified when it is ready.


What's Inside: Executive Directors Guide Table of Contents

  • Leadership
  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Program Development
  • Evaluation
  • Strategic Planning and Thinking
  • Governance
  • Fund Development
  • Public Relations
  • Community Development and Government Relations
  • Human Resources
  • Financial Management
  • Technology Planning
  • Managing Change