Coaching and Philanthropy
Leadership that Works has been one of the lead partners on the Coaching and Philanthropy Project since it began in 2003. Out of our work with the Coaching and Philanthropy Project, LTW supports nonprofits through coaching training and leadership coaching.
The Coaching and Philanthropy Project was created to assess and advance coaching as a strategy for building effective nonprofit organizations. The project partners have conducted an unprecedented deep dive into learning about the nonprofit sector's support for and use of coaching, as well as the coaching field's knowledge of and work within the nonprofit sector. To consolidate and share this body of knowledge with peers in the nonprofit sector and the coaching field, the Coaching and Philanthropy Project has created easy-access materials. These include action guides for grantmakers, nonprofits, and coaches as well as an online toolkit that includes FAQs, tools, case studies, and reports to help inform nonprofit and grantmaking decision-making about coaching.
While we are excited to share what we have learned, we also want to be honest about the questions we still have and acknowledge that coaching in nonprofits is still very much an evolving practice. We hope you find these knowledge products useful and encourage you to share them with your staff, board members, funders, and peers.
These guides were created as a resource for and about coaching in the nonprofit sector. Each publication is tailored to and contains relevant information for three different audiences – funders, nonprofits, and coaches. Taken together, the three publications add up to a summary of the current state of coaching in the nonprofit sector.
Download the PDF: An Action Guide for Grantmakers: Executive Summary
Download the PDF: An Action Guide for Grantmakers: Full Report
Download the PDF: An Action Guide for Nonprofits
Download the PDF: An Action Guide for Coaches
Online Toolkit: Supplementary Tools and Resources
- Coaching Readiness Questionnaire. Provides questions as a way to assess both individual and organizational “readiness” for coaching. Download the PDF
- Guide to Selecting a Nonprofit Coach. Provides sample questions to ask a prospective coach along with information for rating responses. Download the PDF
- Short Video Interviews. These video clips provide first-hand accounts from executive directors, senior staff, an evaluator and coaches about the value of coaching to leaders and how it helps strengthen their organizations. Watch the Videos
- Coaching Stories. Case studies from nonprofit leaders and coaches. Download the PDF
- Coaching and Consulting Differences. Provides a visual table on the differences between coaching and expert consulting. Download the PDF
- The Leadership Development Investment Framework is a tool developed to assist funders, program staff, and evaluators clarify the purposes of leadership development and capacity-building support. It is published by Leadership Learning Community with funding from Bertelsmann Foundation. Download the PDF
- Practicing Culturally Aware Coaching. Excerpted from “Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders”, this resource provides information about culture, cultural awareness, and the ways culture and values are understood in the nonprofit workplace. Download the PDF
Online Toolkit: Reports and Summaries
Coaching Practices and Prospects: The Flexible Leadership Awards Program in Context. Given the Haas, Jr. Fund’s investment in coaching and its commitment to leadership development for its grantees, it sought to learn more about trends and key questions in the coaching field and, more particularly, how their grantees were using coaching and to what effect. This report from Bill Ryan, a fellow at Harvard University’s Hauser Center provides information and insight on all these fronts. Download the PDF
Coach Training Pilot Project (CTPP) Summary. Provides a summary of the CTPP and its goal to increase the number of culturally appropriate coaches committed to working within the nonprofit sector. Download the PDF
Competency Guidelines for Coaches Working in the Nonprofit Sector. Summary of the Coaching and Philanthropy survey on the background and training needed for coaches to effectively support nonprofit leaders. Download the PDF
Enhancing Nonprofit Leadership through Coaching. LeaderSpring's Executive Coaching Project (ECP), complements their existing two-year leadership program for nonprofit executive directors. The report describes LeaderSpring's ECP model and coaching process, explores key findings and offers program reflections and implications for those who would like to support similar types of efforts. Download the PDF
Strengthening Nonprofit Leaders to Enhance Organizational Capacity: The James Irvine Foundation's Fund for Leadership Advancement Initiative was established to support executive directors of selected grantee organizations in the self-reflection and development that was needed to propel their organizations toward the next stage of growth and allow them to respond to new opportunities. Leaders have access to a variety of flexible and customized supports, including executive coaching, visits to peer institutions, participation in executive seminars and organizational development consulting. This report describes the grantmaking model and its impacts, including how to support executive coaching as part of a broader leadership development effort to enhance the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders and their organizations. Download the PDF
What Helps Leaders Grow: Highlights from the Fund for Leadership Advancement: This report offers lessons learned from The James Irvine Foundation's Fund for Leadership Advancement Initiative. This summary is based on the full evaluation report, "Strengthening Nonprofit Leaders to Enhance Organizational Capacity." Download the PDF
The Coaching and Philanthropy Project is a partnership between BTW informing change, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Leadership that Works. This work was made possible by the generous funding and support of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.