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According to survey, leadership gap has widened by 43%

Leadership succession may not be a top issue on many nonprofit leaders’ minds these days. According to a recent survey report published by Bridgespan, the need to recruit new talent and plan for leadership transitions is more pressing than ever before.

Published in April 2009, the report “Finding Leaders for America’s Nonprofits” suggests that the leadership deficit previously forecasted by Bridgespan in 2006 has widened. According to the report, senior job openings grew to 77,000 in 2008, a figure that is 43% greater than what had been predicted in Bridgespan’s 2006 survey report, “The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit.”

Additionally, and despite the current economic conditions, 28% of organizations surveyed plan to fill over 24,000 senior management roles in 2009.

Where will these leaders come from? While Bridgespan suggests that talent recruited from the corporate and government sectors can step in to fill these roles, that is just one piece of the puzzle. The need for organizations to develop leaders from within has never been greater. The ability to identify “next generation” leaders within your own organization, and then provide career ladders, mentoring and other professional development opportunities will also help to address the leadership challenge. By thinking creatively and broadly – both within and outside of our organizations—there are solutions to the leadership gap.

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