How to Apply Corporate Coaching Techniques to Your Nonprofit

How to Apply Corporate Coaching Techniques to Your Nonprofit

One of the biggest mistakes a nonprofit organization can make is to assume that it should operate without a strong corporate mindset. Let me explain. When we enter into the philanthropy arena, the need for transparency and accountability significantly increases. Most of the time the survival of the nonprofit or NGO (Non-Government Organization) depends upon contributions from the corporate community. If the organization exhibits poor operational processes and systems it sends a negative message to those who might otherwise provide much needed funding.

That reason, among others, is why corporate coaching is a great idea for your nonprofit or NGO. While nonprofit coaching generally centers around the essential skill of fundraising, corporate coaching provides different techniques that are critical to the success of your mission. 

Different Perspective

Corporate coaching can provide a valuable outside look at the inside structure of your organization. Nonprofit leaders need perspective and many times that is hard to come by. Having a professional who understands business principles can greatly impact the effectiveness of a leader.

Likewise, a corporate coach can offer a safe place for the leader to express the frustration of working in the grind of a nonprofit organization. A corporate coach offers the ability to listen with no agenda or personal gain involved. Having a business professional to talk with offers the opportunity for expressing authentic feelings without the fear of losing a team member or important donor.

In the corporate world, business is gained or lost on the ability of the executive to develop strong relationships. The same is true for the nonprofit executive. A corporate coach understands the importance of developing relationships and is skilled in coaching the leader on how to increase his or her EQ (emotional intelligence). This is a skill all successful leaders need in both the profit and nonprofit arena.

While nonprofits generally have authentic missions and goals, their teams many times are dysfunctional and toxic. A corporate coach can bring team building techniques to the organization. A strong team that is cohesive and aligned will yield much more effective results. Creating a healthy culture is something that does not come through osmosis or happenstance. It takes work and determination from the leader. A coach can provide the tools and resources to achieve a culture of teamwork and overall health.


Perhaps the most significant contribution a corporate coach can offer is accountability. Having someone who is on the outside hold a leader accountable develops trust and respect from his or her team. The best way to build loyalty among those within your circle of influence is to exhibit accountability in all that you do as a leader. This takes humility and discipline but results in a strong leader and powerful team.

There are numerous similarities and applications for corporate coaching and nonprofit coaching. The important thing is to make the investment to grow and develop as a leader.

Choose to connect with corporate coach for your nonprofit organization and you will make a difference!

If you're a nonprofit leader looking to take the next step to improve your organization with coaching, check out our leadership course!