Coaching at the heart of philanthropy?

As most of you know, I recently left my job at Boys & Girls Clubs of America to open my own non-profit consulting practice. I am taking the summer to prepare for a Labor Day launch of my new business. One of the things on my “summer to-do-list” is take classes and earn a certificate in “business coaching”.

As part of my studies, I am currently reading a book titled “Co-Active Coaching“.

I am only¬†halfway through this assigned text, and I find myself wondering if the relationship between “coach and client” is similar to the relationship between “donor and non-profit organization”.

  • Non-profit leaders need to “listen” very carefully to donors, which is an important coaching skill.
  • Non-profit leaders need to be “intuitive” when engaging with donors, which is an important coaching skill.
  • Non-profit leaders need to be “curious” when engaging with donors, which is an important coaching skill.

Not to mention, I cannot remember how many times I turned to donors to help me think through and solve organizational issues when I was an executive director.

I am not completely sold on this idea, but the more I read this book the more I come to believe that a good donor-centered resource development professional is a good coach. I also wonder how many non-profit organizations allow their donors to coach them in business practices and participate in strategy sessions?

Does anyone have an example that proves or disproves this hypothesis?

Here is to your health!

Erik Anderson
Owner, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
eanderson847@gmail.com
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