Nonprofit skills

Competency Model

to create well rounded, empowered young leaders for Austin’s social sector.

In Austin’s growing social sector, what does it take to be a well-rounded, competent nonprofit leader?

After surveying and interviewing roughly 80 nonprofit executives and managers from different nonprofit fields, YNPN Austin has used the community’s feedback to provide a framework of necessary skills and abilities catered to the unique needs of the Austin nonprofit community. By building on the four competency areas (Self-Management, Communication & Relationship Management, Professional Skills and Nonprofit Competence), young professionals will have the necessary skill sets to excel professionally and personally. These skills are meant to be universal and are applicable to any young professional in the social, public, or private sector.

YNPN Austin will use the Competency Model as the foundation and guide for our professional development and educational programming.

Emotional intelligence (EI)
Work/life integration & time management
Equity, diversity, & inclusion (EDI)
Communication & Relationship Management
Active listening
Facilitation & conflict management
Courageous conversations
Professional Skills
Social media / marketing
Data analytics
Computer literacy
Leading others & managing up
Nonprofit Competence
Financial literacy
Project management
Skillset Descriptions

Self Management

Flexibility & Adaptability: The ability to be responsive to varying situations and personalities.

Emotional Intelligence: The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships.

Work/Life Integration and Time Management: Understanding your limits and having the ability to create healthy balance and excel in productivity.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Personal commitment to the values of creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment and social sector.

Professionalism: Integrating and understanding of your work environment and how to progress professionally.

Communication & Relationship Management

Written and Verbal Communication: Clearly and effectively communicate at all levels of literacy.

Active Listening: Active process of making a conscious decision to listen and understand the message of the speaker; requires the use of all your senses.

Courageous Conversations: Giving and receiving feedback, negotiation, resolving conflict in environments of high stakes and high emotions.

Relationship building (networking) Includes the ability to network and create meaningful relationships that promote teamwork, collaboration, and partnership.

Facilitation and Conflict Management: The ability to manage the interpersonal dynamics of groups and individuals within the workplace.

Professional Skills

Social Media Marketing: Using social media platforms for professional purposes.

Data Analytics: Understanding the value of data and the ability to analyze and interpret data in context.

Computer Literacy: Ability to use a variety of current technological softwares and devices in a professional capacity.

Leading Others and Managing Up: Motivating and inspiring others, including those that do not report to you.

Project Management: The process of supervising, delegating and organizing a project and a team.

Nonprofit Competence

Board Governance: Understanding the role of nonprofit boards, the policies, systems, and structures, and how to effectively advance the mission as a board member.

Fundraising: Identifying, soliciting, tracking and stewarding charitable relationships and funds that sustain an nonprofit organization.

Financial Literacy: Understanding, developing, and monitoring budgets and understanding financial sustainability within nonprofits.

Advocacy: Seek to influence outcomes affecting the lives of the people served by your mission (through public policy)

Strategic Planning: The process of defining the strategy and direction of an organization’s mission, making decisions on allocating its resources to realize the goals and mission.


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