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May 21, 2024

In episode 98 of Mission: Impact, Carol Hamilton hosts Danielle Marshall for another learning out loud episode where we do a deep dive into a topic. 

Today’s topic is leadership in the nonprofit sector, especially the declining interest in nonprofit leadership as highlighted by the "Push and Pull" report by the Building Movement Project. We explore the dual reactions of frustration and affirmation in response to the report, discuss the challenges and support needs of nonprofit leaders, particularly BIPOC leaders, and emphasize the importance of culturally relevant support, universal design, and sustainability in leadership roles.


Episode Highlights

- [00:06:01] The "Push and Pull" report by the Building Movement Project, tracks the declining interest in nonprofit leadership roles, a persistent issue in the sector.


- [00:07:25] The importance of training, mentoring, and coaching, and reflects on her own experience of not knowing she could negotiate for executive coaching.

- [00:08:41] The added challenges faced by BIPOC leaders, including gaps in board and staff support and heightened expectations for rapid change.


- [00:010:54] The unrealistic expectations placed on nonprofit leaders and the renegotiation of work-life balance.

- [00:012:59] The additional pressure on BIPOC leaders who serve communities they identify with, dealing with systemic oppression and trauma patterns.

- [00:15:00] Rethinking Leadership Roles with culturally relevant support and universal design and its potential benefits for creating more inclusive and supportive leadership roles.

- [00:23:30] The trend of having co-executive directors. Potential and challenges. 

- [00:28:30] The challenge of always adding new expectations and the importance of focusing on sustainability.

- [00:31:01] The importance of boards and staff supporting executive directors in carving out time for development and peer support.


The conversation underscores the complexity of nonprofit leadership, the need for systemic changes to support leaders better, and the importance of culturally relevant and sustainable support systems to encourage more people to step into these critical roles.


Guest Bio:
Danielle is an inclusive leader focused on strengthening collaboration among teams, leaders, and stakeholders to foster problem-solving, create solutions, and improve culture. She finds her inspiration in leading systemic change work that promotes equity and inclusion. 

Danielle founded Culture Principles in response to a persistent need to operationalize Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion metrics, centering REDI goals and creating accountability systems. She supports clients through her Mapping Equity Framework focused on Unearthing Knowledge, Elevating Strategy, and Transforming Sustainability. She centers her work around organizational assessment, racial equity learning intensives, and the development of racial equity action plans. Understanding that each organization arrives at this work from different perspectives, she utilizes assessment in building a customized strategy for each unique partner. Previously Danielle served as a non-profit leader for 20+ years and today works on strategy development that enables nonprofits to achieve equitable mission-driven results. Danielle holds a Master's degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University and draws on her background as an I/O psychologist in applying a racial equity lens to organizational policies, practices, and programs. She is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP)/ Executive Coach (ACC).

During her playtime, you can find Danielle traveling, knitting, and kayaking in all 50 states.

Important Links and Resources:

The Push and Pull: Declining Interest in Nonprofit Leadership


Related Episodes:

E72: Exploring Passion Exploitation with Lauren Brownstein

E78: Renegotiating our relationship with work with Carol Hamilton

E92: Three stages of nonprofit leadership with Patton McDowell

E95: Building shared nonprofit leadership with Emily Taylor


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