Good In Theory, Problems In Practice

In 2011, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network surveyed over 1,100 emerging nonprofit leaders across the country. YNPN’s National Voice Survey tested several interventions targeting leadership development in the nonprofit sector.  The full report, Good in Theory, Problems in Practice was launched at the 2011 Independent Sector’s NGEN conference.
Report Materials and Supplements

- Full Report.

- Findings & Action. Translating key findings from Good in Theory, Problems in Practice to action for sector leaders across different roles.  

- Resources List. A guide to the literature reviewed and referenced in Good in Theory, Problems in Practice.

- Key Phrases. A cheat sheet to the key phrases used in Good in Theory, Problems in Practice

- Podcast: Overview of Report

Key findings from Good in Theory, Problems in Practice:

Ideas are great but only if they’re implemented (effectively). For 4 of the 5 sector recommendations we tested, at least ¾ of survey respondents believed that the strategy could have a positive impact on the sector.

Structural change is underrated. Focus groups reveal that young professionals think flatter organizations incentivize collaboration, help leaders push each other to improve and give new leaders a better chance to succeed.

Competitive Compensation is key…but a good manager can help. Focus group participants believed good managers can help compensate for low pay. Survey data and commentary indicate that nonprofit managers are interested in their staff’s professional development and are effective internal champions when compensation decisions do arise.

Being left out is not uncommon. 1 in 5 survey respondents whose organizations implemented one of these strategies reported that they were involved in the planning.

Despite systemic challenges, we remain mission driven. Over 70% of our full sample remains committed to building a mission-driven career.


For additional information about Good in Theory, Problems in Practice, please contact us.

















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