Engaging the Philanthropic Community in Sector Building

Some donors question the idea of investing in leadership development and organizational capacity building. We know investing in people and nurturing talent at all levels is key to ensuring that organizations have what it takes to run strong programs.

Our Lay Leadership Commission initiative engages the philanthropic community in learning about the leadership problem facing the Jewish nonprofit sector, understanding best practices from proven models and experts in the field, and developing recommendations they and their philanthropic peers can apply in their grant-making to ensure a vibrant and solvent Jewish nonprofit sector.


Supporting Nonprofits to Reflect and Grow

Traditional Jewish organizations are struggling to attract and retain new talent. Some have steep hierarchies and bureaucratic cultures, little autonomy for junior and mid-level staff to take risks and feel ownership over their work, limited career advancement, and low salary levels compared to jobs outside the sector. Many rising professionals are willing to take on challenging roles, but not in organizations with rigid cultures that lack collaboration, innovation and autonomy. The most visionary leaders strive for connectivity, open communication, and collaboration in both life and work.

Leading Edge knows that organizations are the sum of their people, and like people, they must constantly reflect on their cultures in order to be their best selves. We believe organizational growth is a practice, not a destination.

Our Leading Places to Work program has established five criteria in the Jewish nonprofit sector that are the key ingredients to a great workplace, and we are developing a method for ranking organizations based on these criteria.

As a baseline to understand what is and is not working, we have developed an employee satisfaction survey in partnership with DC-based Hay Group. We are also creating a process with measurable benchmarks for helping organizations move through their growing edges in each key area.

The survey is set to launch with a pilot batch of organizations this winter.

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