All initiatives, especially volunteer-run organizations, need strong leadership. Many in the field define leadership and management differently: leadership is focused on creating vision, motivating others, aligning resources and creating a clear plan for the future, while management is much more focused on the hands-on work that is associated with that vision. Among organizations that address issues of social justice, leadership development is also tied closely to the ability to educate, advocate and change policy.

Others don’t think that separating the concepts of leadership and management are important. Regardless of whether or not you define them differently, both functions are clearly important to starting and growing a project or organization. And the specific role of leadership plays an essential role in keeping your project relevant, inspired and focused. Here you’ll find resources to develop leaders that will take your organization’s vision to the next level.

Go To Pages

Check out these primary pages we’ve drawn from for a broad view of Leadership Development.

  • The Leadership Learning Community is a growing community of people who are advancing a more just and equitable society by transforming how we think of leadership.


  • Western States Center has developed a hands-on facilitated approach to building grassroots power through political advocacy. Here you’ll find Module I of a 7-part curriculum, and you can contact them directly for further information.


  • There are a range of fabulous podcasts featuring nonprofit/nonprofit leadership issues. Here is a great list of links to begin to listen in: 30 Great Podcasts for Nonprofits.


  • This short article is a practical overview of how to think about leadership and the many ways it shows up in our work.
  • Daring To Lead 2011 from CompassPoint is a highly useful survey of nonprofit leaders across the country. While not geared toward small, community-based organizations, it does have a lot of information and experiences you’ll likely find useful.

Case Study

Umatilla Morrow Alternatives Case Study