Leadership transitions in nonprofit organizations can be both a challenging and a promising time for an organization. New leaders come in with innovative projects, but often face internal barriers and a lack of resources.
Last week, the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros (left) in 1979, announced an initiative to provide key financial support for a new generation of leaders around the world to enable them to implement their initiatives.
The New Executives Fund is designed to give new leaders the discretionary support to implement the ideas that got them hired in the first place. It is the only available support of its kind for nonprofit leaders at the outset of their tenure, according to Open Society.
“New leaders share a common experience of deferring their visions because they are bound by constraints,” Chris Stone, Open Society’s president, said in a statement.
“We want to avoid this problem. Periods of transition for nonprofits should be fertile moments for positive change and growth and help inject new vitality into an organization.”
The inaugural cohort of the fund includes leaders from around the globe whose organizations are advancing a range of human rights and social justice issues, the statement said. Organizations will receive a two-year grant, which will be allocated at the executive director’s discretion.
The Open Society Foundations have made individual decisions in the past to support new directors, including those at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the PEN American Center this year. The New Executives Fund will make this kind of support a regular part of its mission to help build a new generation of nonprofit leadership, the statement said.
Soros has contributed upward of $8 billion to the Open Society Foundations over the past three decades.
Following are the new Executives Fund recipients and their organizations:
Equal Education works for quality and equality in South African education. Brad Brockman was elected to the position of general secretary of Equal Education in July 2012.
JUSTICE is an all-party law reform organization promoting access to justice, human rights and the rule of law, and encourages improvements to the U.K. legal system through research, education and intervention in the courts. Andrea Coomber has been the director of JUSTICE since February.