Volunteer Victoria has recently received funding to develop and manage an Emerging Leaders Network for younger nonprofit professionals in Greater Victoria. This exciting new initiative, created by and for the “next generation” of nonprofit leaders, will offer them opportunities to participate in leadership-focused networking and professional development events and will engage them in mentoring relationships with current nonprofit leaders.
Volunteer Victoria has been co-leading a network for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations for many years, but there has never been a networking group available to younger emerging leaders in the sector. Many late 20 to early 40-somethings are already being recruited into middle management positions and are looking to the future. They are extremely interested in increasing connections with their peers and developing learning relationships with more senior leaders. Fostering these types of relationships will be a particular focus of the Emerging Leaders Network.
It’s no secret that many Executive Directors in the nonprofit sector will be transitioning to retirement in the next two to five years, creating huge leadership gaps. But who will fill those gaps? Some Generation X’ers are currently looking at the Executive Director role with a wary eye. Although this demographic has a keen interest in career development and upward mobility, they also have a stronger tendency to value flexibility and work/life balance than their Boomer predecessors. And today’s emerging leaders just aren’t sure whether the ED role – the way it looks now – is something that they want to fill.
Events to be offered under this new network will show younger nonprofit professionals that there are many ways to be a leader within the sector and will help them develop the skills needed to get there. Network activities will also aim to help current Boomer leaders understand the unique needs of the generation succeeding them, a crucial element in succession planning.
Emerging leaders in the Greater Victoria area will soon be invited to attend the Network’s first bi-monthly networking session and be able to sign up for an online community to connect with their peers. For more information about these and other activities planned for the Emerging Leaders Network, contact Beth Cougler Blom at Volunteer Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.