An executive director of a small-staffed foundation juggles many roles: strategic grantmaker, convener, collaborator, and, at times, board wrangler, media spokesperson, technical assistance provider, mediator, and the list goes on.
In the Master Juggler Executive Institute, our one-of-a-kind program for foundation executive directors, we’ve created a rarified space for these leaders to learn and grow. We’ve also learned a great deal from them about the characteristics and skills that make for phenomenal executive directors—and we hope that these insights may prove helpful to others.
The characteristics described here are both impressive and daunting. They’re a tall order, and, indeed, part of a continual learning journey for even the very best executives. At Exponent Philanthropy, we believe that these skills can be developed, practiced, and honed.
With great thanks to the members of our inaugural Master Juggler cohort for their insights, we present seven characteristics of phenomenal foundation executive directors
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