Leadership Building Opportunities in the Nonprofit World

Steven Price (r.) and Laura Spitzer (l.) with JDC benefiiciaries in Ukraine.
Steven Price (r.) and Laura Spitzer (l.) with JDC benefiiciaries in Ukraine.

This week's Wexner Foundation newsletter features a succinct and thoughtful exploration by JDC Board member Steven Price and JDC senior professional Laura Spitzer of ways to build leadership and meaningful engagement opportunities in Jewish community organizations.

Lifelong friends, organizational colleagues, and fellow Wexner Heritage program alumni, Price and Spitzer have a shared perspective on the lay-professional relationship and the importance of getting this dynamic right. They offer the Jewish community key pointers that have resonance throughout the nonprofit world.

They emphasize, among other things, the need to cultivate new lay leaders by creating a meaningful set of engagement opportunities for those who want to give not only of their financial resources, but also of their time and talents. JDC’s Ambassadors program, for example — founded and chaired in its inception by Steven Price (co-author of the article) — is being developed precisely for this purpose.

The two also note that professionals must serve as guides, working to match lay leaders’ passions and skills with the pressing organizational needs that they are uniquely qualified to identify.

Creating a genuine lay-professional partnership is key to any organization’s success, say Price and Spitzer, but that can only be achieved by “harnessing the unique abilities and powers of two sets of people equally driven by a determination to do right, give back, and change lives.”

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