Nonprofit Coaching Can Help You Take Charge | Successful Nonprofits

People who are the best in their field, like

LeBron James and Serena Williams have coaches. Shouldn't you?

People who are the best in their field, like

LeBron James and Serena Williams have coaches. Shouldn't you?

by goldenburggroup


While executive coaching has been commonplace in the for-profit sector for decades, nonprofit executives and their boards have only recently begun to understand the value of coaching. For a nonprofit executive with a strong desire to learn and grow, coaching is an invaluable tool that offers significant benefit for the individual and their organization.

The Role of a Coach

Your coach is a guide who has been where you are going (and taken others there). In this role as a guide, your coach will . . . .

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Common Reasons Nonprofit Professionals Get a Coach:

Professionals frequently seek coaching when conflict irresolution and/ or disorganization cause dysfunction in your nonprofit. Common situations that signal you likely need coaching are listed below.

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Coaching Structure:

We work collaboratively with you to develop a coaching plan that includes goals, a schedule, and measurement tools.

Identify Goals

As part of your coaching plan, we will help you identify three goals for the year and work with you toward achieving those goals. These goals will be high level, such as (a) Build a strong relationship with the board; (b) Meet the first-year strategic plan objectives; or (c) Fully resolve a financial crisis

Measuring Achievement

We will measure achievement toward the goals on a regular basis, using tools agreed to by both you and coach.

Meet bi-weekly

We will meet every other week by Skype (preferred) or Bluejeans. Following each session, we will provide a list of follow-up activities and a recording of the coaching session so the client can refer to it at any point.

Minimum Commitment

An up-front, 12-month commitment ensures that you and your organization remain committed to coaching –  despite the unexpected fires we all experience at work and at home. For this reason, all coaching requires a 12-month commitment.


Both you and the coach will have homework between each meeting. Examples of your homework may include (a) drafting a document to be shared with the board chair; (b) reading a chapter of a pertinent book; or (c) having a conversation with a specific person. Examples of your coach’s homework may include (a) providing a template for a document; (b) reviewing a document you have written; (c) connecting you with other resources or people; or (c) drafting a series of options to be considered in our next coaching session.

Why Use Successful Nonprofit® As Your Coach?

You want a coach who has been where you want to go and has taken others there as well. Successful Nonprofits® principal consultant. Dolph Goldenburg will be your coach. Dolph has . . . .

  • Significant executive director experience (in permanent and interim executive director roles)
  • A keen understanding of the relationship between the board and executive director
  • Assumed leadership of multiple nonprofits as they are experiencing a crisis
  • Significant fundraising experience (in the areas of individual giving, major donors, special events, and grant writing)
  • Coached nonprofit executives in the areas of plan implementation, board relations, fundraising and crisis management.

Limitations of Coaching

  • Not a replacement for legal, accounting, or mental health services. Your coach is not an attorney, accountant or mental health professional, and coaching will not provide services in these areas (though we can certainly recommend some great professionals).
  • Confidentiality. Since we coach you as a person and not an organization, we hold the information discussed confidential to the greatest extent possible. For this reason, we will not respond to requests for information from your supervisor, a board member, or others in your organization. We will, however, disclose the information you share if we believe there is illegal activity or if required by a subpoena.
  • Coaching is a team effort. Every coach agrees “you get out of coaching what you put into it”. We will hold your coaching schedule sacred and ask that you do the same. Though both you and the coach will work around planned vacations, your big events and unplanned family emergencies, we also ask that you schedule time to prepare for each session.


The cost is $7,800 for a full year’s commitment. This includes up to 24 bi-weekly sessions and significant support between sessions (typically about one hour between each session). The coaching fee is payable quarterly.