If you are the executive director of a noprofit organization, in our view your job is really pretty simple: empower and enable your employees and volunteers to kick ass. Your job is to deliver to your team the resources they need and to eliminate the friction that gets in their way. You are part coach (push and inspire), part quartermaster (make sure they have what they need), and part supervisor (hold them accountable). And we believe that many executive directors, and the nonprofits they serve, while many do amazing and amazingly important work, can do more and better than they do now.
We take our inspiration partly from Jim Collins’ research on what makes organizations – regardless of the sector – great. We are motivated by bloggers and authors like Beth Kanter and Allison Fine, who are helping to light a path for nonprofits through the muddle and excitement that is social networking. We get very jazzed about the enthusiasm and insight that technology evangelists and curators like Robert Scoble are bringing to mission of finding the coolest people in the world of emerging technology doing the coolest things. And – having racked up a few decades of nonprofit work between us – we are fueled by the nonprofit organizations themselves and the characteristically impassioned commitment to solving problems and making good things happen.