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!/profile.php?id=1021153653

About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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