Investing in CEO support and development: a catalyst for charitable success

The separate but entirely interconnected roles of charity chair, trustees and CEO are crucial in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of any organisation.

| 4 min read

But too often the need for investment in support and development for the CEO is overlooked, particularly when budgets are tight and time is stretched. And too often CEOs themselves will sacrifice their own support and development to invest in other members of the team. In those circumstances, it’s essential that the chair takes into consideration the value and importance of that investment, for the sake of the charity and of the cause it serves.

Fostering leadership excellence

At ACEVO, we believe effective leadership is the cornerstone of any successful organisation. That’s, in fact, why we are here: to support leaders in civil society so they can make the biggest possible difference. By investing in the support and development of the CEO, you provide them with the tools, resources, and opportunities to enhance their capabilities.

By participating in activities with their peers, whether leadership development programmes or peer-to-peer networking opportunities, CEOs gain valuable insights into leadership strategies, governance best practices, and effective decision-making.

This investment in their development not only strengthens their individual skills but also enhances the overall performance and resilience of the organisation.

Broadening knowledge and expertise

Civil society organisations operate in a dynamic environment that demands constant adaptation and innovation, now more so than ever. By investing in your CEO, you empower them to stay abreast of emerging trends, technological advancements, and evolving regulatory landscapes.

Encouraging your CEO to build and maintain their peer-to-peer networks will give them a valuable platform to exchange ideas, share best practice, and learn from those who understand the unique challenges of this unique role. This collaborative environment fosters a culture of continuous learning, enabling CEOs to broaden their knowledge and expertise through shared experiences and collective wisdom.

Enhancing strategic thinking

Strategic thinking is crucial for navigating the complexities of your charity’s environment and ensuring long-term sustainability, especially in the unsettled and changing world in which we now operate.

Encouraging CEOs to get support and development will provide them with the tools to develop and refine their strategic thinking capabilities, to assess risks, identify opportunities, and formulate robust strategies to achieve your organisation’s mission.

By being exposed to others’ innovative approaches, emerging models of impact, and effective resource management CEOs can be empowered to steer their organisations towards greater effectiveness, efficiency, and societal impact.

Nurturing resilience and wellbeing

Leading a charitable organisation can be highly demanding. Investing in your CEO’s support and development also includes prioritising their wellbeing and resilience.

Leaders who care for their own wellbeing are more likely to perform at their best, make sound decisions, and navigate the challenges inherent in their roles. A resilient and supported CEO fosters a positive work culture, attracting and retaining top talent and inspiring the entire organisation to achieve its goals.

An investment worth making

The barriers to a charity CEO’s professional development and support are nearly always either cost, time or a combination of both. But can you be confident that your charity’s CEO can sustain their role, give your team the leadership it needs and your board the guidance and strategic insight that is essential to long term success in your mission? What are the risks of not investing in their support and development?

ACEVO is the membership body for CEOs of civil society organisations across England and Wales. Its network of over 1700 members offers peer support, connection, learning and development, and a safe space for our sector leaders to learn, share and find support. Visit our website to discover how ACEVO can help civil society leaders to foster meaningful connections with their peers, including an engaging online Community, digital member meetings, inspiring workshops and training and our peer-to-peer mentoring programme.

Nothing on this website should be construed as personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.

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