What’s the Difference Between a Manager and a Director?

A common problem in the non-profit realm is the relative murkiness of the director role in the organization.

Leadership in for-profit corporations is relatively clear-cut, though not necessarily simple. Boards of Directors are responsible for high-level functions, including strategic-level oversight of operations and financial position, managing and supervising upper-level managers, and making sure that the fiduciary duties they owe the company are being fulfilled. Managers in these companies are in charge of implementing the strategic-level initiatives and policies of the Board of Directors. The overarching goal, of course, is to maximize value for stockholders, who are the owners of the company.

These roles in the not-for-profit ream, however, can be unclear or unstructured. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the organizations are small and the reporting structure flat. It is common for a non-profit founder to wear several hats, especially at the startup stage.

So what does a not-for-profit Director actually do? Simply put, a good director raises or donates money, and makes sure program services are administered in a responsible and sustainable way. If you find yourself doing day-to-day management activities as a director, it’s time to find new managers.

Posted by Casey Crowley