Are you the CEO of a charity or non-profit organisation? If so, you’ll know that the development of personal and professional skills for leaders in the charitable and non-profit sector is often identified as a priority. However, budgetary restrictions and time restraints repeatedly block access to this type of beneficial coaching.

Whilst we cannot magically-produce extra hours in the day, we can examine the importance of coaching for leaders like you with both a need and a desire to evolve and progress beyond your current state.

Here are 3 reasons why charity and non-profit leaders may be putting coaching and development on the back burner, along with 3 potential solutions to the growing problem.

1. We can’t be seen to be spending limited budget on luxuries

This appears to be a common scenario. Charities and non-profit organisations fear facing scrutiny if they are seemingly frivolous with their limited budgets. They certainly don’t want those who give generously getting the wrong impression about where their donations are going.

However, in order to maximise the value of donations in the changing of people’s lives, the workforces behind these organisations need to be strong and effective. They may be charities, but managers like you, working for these types of companies, have salaries and the same needs as those in any other corporate working environment, with the added pressure of a mission to make the world a better place.

SOLUTION: Look for cost-effective group coaching and development opportunities

Yes, individual coaching can be expensive. So, why not consider researching more cost-effective options whereby leaders could gather with other leaders from similar organisations? It would present an invaluable opportunity to network with like-minded peers, exchange ideas, and develop personal and professional skills combined.

2. I don’t have time to stop and work on myself

Those who work in demanding, senior roles are often juggling dozens of projects at a time, putting in extra hours and rarely having time for themselves. It’s completely understandable, being busy and important can be very time consuming.

However, with so many people on the company org chart looking to you for guidance, relying on you, and requiring your input, neglecting your own development could end up proving detrimental – not only to your company, but to your own health and wellbeing.

SOLUTION: Prioritise self-care and development

You cannot pour from an empty cup. For those at the top of the chain, nurturing personal needs is as essential as any other requirement for a charitable company. Both staff and beneficiaries of the business may suffer if those in the leadership team are stuck in a rut. This can be caused by years of subliminal behaviours and habits that have subtly scuppered progress. Coaching and development can help leaders get out of their own way and move things along more efficiently.

3. I’m not as in need of help as our recipients

It’s the classic component of staying stuck, isn’t it? I’m talking, of course, about guilt. How often has someone said to you, “Finish the food on your plate! There are children starving in the world!” Or, when things are tough, how many times have you told yourself, “Oh well – there are people in the world worse-off than me.” We make our needs seem less by comparison, and the smaller they seem in our minds, the less likely they appear to require work or attention.

Just because you lead a charitable organisation, it doesn’t make your needs any less significant. We all have elements of ourselves that need tending. If we don’t grow and evolve with gentle encouragement, the danger of stagnation becomes all the more prominent. The last people in the world we need to stall, are those like you whose enterprises benefit the lives of those in need.

SOLUTION: Less guilt, more growth

It’s perfectly okay for anyone, no matter their rank or station in life, to need something – especially when it comes to progress. Yes – even you! Professional and personal development often go hand in hand. There may be barriers to your success that you have built up without knowing it. Coaching enables you to break down your walls and get to the crux of the issues holding you back. Group coaching scenarios also make you realise you are not alone in how you feel.


No matter what obstacles lay in the path of non-profit and charitable leaders, solutions and altered perspectives are the answer. Solutions are becoming more available every day, and perspectives change when you make yourself as much of a priority as your work. Ultimately, one cannot happen without nurturing the other. Just because you lead a charity, it doesn’t mean you don’t have needs that also deserve to be met. People need you. All the more reason to know yourself and the things that get in the way of you evolving into the most impactful charitable leader you can be.