Humanist Leadership: How to Run Organizations

Course Overview

Syllabus provided upon registration.

Course Description

Humanist Leaders occupy an interesting cross-section of roles within the United States. They are a combination of nonprofit managers, community builders, and can be the equivalent of religious leaders for the non-theistic with many of the same roles as clergy. This course will explore the necessary skills to run a nonprofit organization, manage staff & volunteers, and how to continue developing as a professional leader throughout one’s career. We will also learn about multiple paths to Humanist Leadership, both established and emerging. This course covers:

  • History of Nonprofit Movement in U.S.
  • The Importance of Translation
  • Need for Hybrid Skills
  • Creating & Maintaining Community
  • How to Begin a New Role and/or Organization
  • People-Centered Leadership
  • Articulating the Big Picture
  • Organizational Culture, Stability, & Resistance
  • Finding Balance in Leadership
  • Leading Ethically
  • Change as Constant
  • The Emotions of Change
  • Rules for Nonprofits
  • Nonprofit Leadership: Generalist vs Specialist
  • Budgets Reflect Values
  • Finding Resources
  • Leaders as Fundraiser
  • Emotional Intelligence & Fundraising
  • Branding and Digital & Analog Tools
  • Importance of In-Person Connections
  • Volunteer & Staff Development
  • Personal & Organizational Knowledge Management
  • Succession Planning & Good Goodbyes

Primary Course Learning Outcome

Create a personal professional development plan that demonstrates the student’s understanding of the potential nonprofit leadership roles that the student aspires to, the occupational outlook for these roles, the skills and qualifications necessary to be successful in these roles, and the resources available for obtaining those skills and qualifications.

Supporting Learning Outcomes

  1. Articulate the unique role nonprofit organizations play in the United States.
  2. Articulate the most critical skills for successful nonprofit management.
  3. Articulate the similarities and differences between the various Humanist and non-theistic movements to the larger nonprofit and religious organizational landscapes.
  4. Articulate the aspects of identity-based leadership and what it means to practice Humanist values when leading organizations and working within communities.
  5. Reflect on their path forward for professional development as a Humanist Leader.
  6. Create a set of resources as a learning community for future use as nonprofit leaders.