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Leadership Development in the Social Sector: A Framework for Supporting Strategic Investments

Date of Publication: Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Abstract: Current economic conditions have increased pressure on foundations to optimize their investments. This article offers a tool for doing this in an area of high leverage: leadership development. It offers a framework for assessing a foundation’s current approach in this area that reflects the rising significance of collective leadership. This article is based on an in-depth review of leadership development practices carried out by one of the authors in three sectors – government, business, and social – as well as in the emerging multistakeholder sector. It reflects as well another of the authors’ experiences evaluating leadership development programs and initiatives that have vastly different purposes, and co-creating with funders and evaluators a framework for assessing leadership investments that can guide program and evaluation design.