239: Nonprofit Leadership: 3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started (Elizabeth Cushing)
Where are you on Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership? In episode #239, seasoned nonprofit leader Elizabeth Cushing shares some of her biggest surprises along the journey, lessons she learned while leading large-scale organizational growth during a global pandemic, and the three things she wished she’d known before her journey began. Learn the differences between scaling an organization versus scaling the solution, and how large-scale change can affect your overall fundraising efforts and donor development. Elizabeth shares sage advice for every emerging nonprofit leader.
Elizabeth Cushing is the CEO of Playworks, a national organization headquartered in Oakland, CA, that helps schools and school districts make the most of recess through on-site staffing, consultative support, professional development, and free resources. Elizabeth has been with Playworks for 17 years. She became president in 2011, and CEO in 2021. As CEO, Elizabeth leads the senior management team and ensures that all strategic targets are met across the organization. She has spearheaded Playworks’ growth plan, leading the organization through a scaling strategy that took it from partnering with 61 schools in 2004 to nearly 2,000 schools in 2020. Elizabeth has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience with youth development and youth-serving organizations, and as a leader in the youth development field, is frequently invited to speak about Playworks’ scaling experience, and how play supports children’s development and wellbeing.
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