About the Strategic Framework

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Project  Background


The Developing Emerging Leaders Framework was created in response to feedback from sector leaders on the challenges of succession and leadership development. They identified a growing need to support and develop effective nonprofit leaders capable of delivering quality programs and services and leading increasingly complex organizations in a demanding social and financial climate. Senior leaders in the nonprofit sector recognize that successful succession planning and the long-term sustainability of their organizations will rely on the effective positioning and development of leadership from within.

The Developing Emerging Leaders Framework approaches leadership development through an organizational lens. The principles and practices identified in the framework are indicators of organizational success in supporting and cultivating leadership.

Who are Emerging Leaders?


We believe that emerging leaders refer to individuals who demonstrate leadership potential and who are seeking a career path in the nonprofit sector. They may be positioned at any level in an organization and may have skills developed outside of the nonprofit sector. Emerging leaders are identified because of their potential for leadership growth and future contributions to their organization.

Why a Framework?


A strategic framework is a structure that supports something else. It identifies connections and relationships and provides a way to coordinate approaches to large and complex issues. It is ‘strategic’ because it focuses on priorities and deals with themes and principles rather than being prescriptive about details and outputs.

Purpose of the Framework


The Developing Emerging Leaders: An Organizational Approach is a strategic framework designed to:

  • Build the infrastructure that will allow the nonprofit sector to address leadership development in a structured and targeted manner.
  • Develop a common understanding of leadership development
  • Establish a common language when discussion, strategizing and collaborating for leadership development.
  • Approach leadership development through an organizational lens and identify the organizational practices that effectively support the development of leaders. 


The Developing Emerging Leaders Framework includes an organizational assessment tool to help you identify the extent to which your organization employs effective leadership development practices. The assessment is located at  www.knowledgeconnector.ca.