Better job for an aspiring Nonprofit CEO, as far as what is a better experience position leading towards that?

Program Coordinator


Fundraising and Development Manager


Volunteer Services Manager

Thanks for the help.

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A Program Coordinator would probably be the closest in terms of job duties to what a CEO would be doing. Manager of Volunteer services is more Human Resources oriented, and Fundraising and Development would be more like grant writing and building community partnerships. Whereas a Program Coordinator does more of strategic planning and oversees the work of others. At least this is my understanding.

    Source(s): Worked in non-profit for over 11 years, MA Human Services
  • 8 years ago

    Best position for an aspiring CEO?

    If you MUST choose, choose Fundraising and Development manager. Why?


    1. If you don't have money to do the work, your nonprofit will fold.

    2. Executive directors/CEOs of nonprofits MUST be able to fundraise.

    3. Nonprofit leaders have to LOVE to fundraise, and not just see it as a chore.

    4. Learning how to do different kinds of fundraising will make you a better fundraiser, and a better leader.

    5. Being an ED or CEO is like being an entrepreneur, except you get to use other people's money in your business/nonprofit. The #1 goal in a company is to not run out of money. It's the same in a nonprofit. You want to help the world but you can't do that without spending money. So you need to make sure the money keeps coming in.

    6. When you learn how to fundraise, you'll understand what fundraising planning can mean for your cause. And you won't make unreasonable demands of your fundraising staff. Asking them to raise you a million in a year is a pretty unreasonable goal. But if you've never fundraised, you wouldn't necessarily know that.

    7. You'll be a better boss to your fundraising staff, and make your nonprofit more effective. Every time a fundraising staff person comes into a nonprofit, it takes 12-18 months to get up to speed with fundraising for the organization. And what is the average tenure of a fundraising staff person? 12-18 months. This churn and burn mentality hurts nonprofits and makes keeping donors very difficult.

    8. A recent report, Underdeveloped, by the Haas Jr Fund and Compasspoint, talks in great detail about how fundraisers and EDs can work well together, it's worth a read if you want to lead a nonprofit. One of the main things it says is that EDs must love asking for big gifts. Here's a post I wrote about it, with a link to the full report.

    Why do I know this?

    Because I've co-founded a nonprofit.

    Because I've worked in fundraising for over 10 years.

    Because I've written a book called The Wild Woman's Guide to Fundraising, and I have over 30,000 monthly readers of my blog, which has over 500 posts.

    Because I've read and written a lot about how to step into nonprofit leadership, how to be a better nonprofit leader, and some issues with nonprofit leadership today.

    I've put some links on how to be a nonprofit leader below, whether a CEO or an ED.

    Let me know what you think?



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