Nonprofit Newswire | . . . and Creative Disruptions

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February 8, 2010; | The strains and challenges of nonprofit leadership are well documented. How would our sector fare if more nonprofit executives were able to take a paid sabbatical to refresh, renew and gather new momentum? According to a recent report by Compasspoint Nonprofit Services entitled Creative Disruptions: Sabbaticals for Capacity Building and Leadership Development in the Nonprofit Sector, organizations whose leaders have taken advantage of a sabbatical end up with a variety of benefits, including development of a larger range of leaders as other senior managers step up in the director’s absence, better governance as boards plan for the temporary departure of their CEO, and an innovative set of activities as nonprofits reach a point of “creative disruption” with the emergence of new energy and new ideas. Writers Deborah Linnell Tom Wolfred conclude that, based on surveys with 61 sabbatical beneficiaries, their interim replacements and staff and boards of their organizations, paid sabbaticals represent a best practice for nonprofit leadership development and organizational renewal.—Lissette Rodríguez


  • Karin Wandrei, PhD

    I was in the first cohort of sabbatical winners from TCWF and it changed not only my professional life but my personal life. I learned there’s life outside of work and that there’s no point in worrying about work when you aren’t at it because it won’t change anything. I also learned my self-care is integral to the health of my agency and that I have served as a role model. My strong advice if you win a sabbatical award is that you make the separation from work as strong as you can or else I think you will undermine its purpose. I can’t tell you what it was like to wake up every morning for three months and not feel the responsibility, especially as I traveled South America.