To understand the difference between a chief executive officer, or CEO, and a president, you might think of the CEO as the "promise maker" and the president as the "promise keeper." Students searching for Difference Between CEO & Executive Director found the links, articles, and information on this page helpful. Key Differences Between a CEO and a President However, your nonprofit’s effectiveness can be hampered when the board and executive director step on each others toes. Strategic Management. He or she presides over every event that takes place in the company directly or indirectly. The biggest difference between nonprofit CEOs and CEOs of for-profit companies is that the former must be able to lead fundraising efforts and … For California nonprofit public benefit corporations, the President is the CEO, and if there is no President, the Chair of the Board is the CEO, unless the governing documents provide otherwise. for Teachers ... Executive Director Vs President in a Non-Profit. In contrast, the CEO primarily contributes by forming a bridge between the internal and external environment of organizations. The President/CEO in Nonprofit Organizations In the latter part of the 20th century, businesses began to add CEO to the title of either their president position or board chair position. Running a successful nonprofit takes an active board of directors and a dedicated staff led by a capable executive director. The chairman of the board may sometimes take the role of CEO, but this is typical only if the person is heavily involved in the business. Unlike a corporate CEO, a nonprofit executive has a smaller role in planning the strategic direction of the organization. Working with the board, which sets the course of the nonprofit, the CEO provides advice on the practicality of the board’s vision and individual wish-list items, based on the CEO's knowledge of the organization’s budget, resources and staff expertise. Nonprofit CEOs also need to be able to mobilize volunteer efforts and drive interest in the organization. * The objective was to clearly designate which of the two had final operational authority, … In fact, I often say that relationship is the single most critical sign of a healthy nonprofit. President vs. CEO. As I mentioned above, for your convenience I created a one-page overview of the roles of the board chair and Executive Director. The personal relationship between the CEO and the board chair at a nonprofit will depend on the personalities of the individuals occupying those roles as well as the nature of the nonprofit organization. Some nonprofits tend to appoint business leaders as chairmen while hiring program specialists as CEOs. For instance, in non-profit organizations, an executive director frequently does the job that a CEO and a president would do in a for-profit company. 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