How to Balance the Mission and the Business as a Nonprofit Leader (Jim Warren)

July 2021

Many nonprofit leaders struggle to maintain their passion for the organization's mission as they grapple with the management realities required to run a complex nonprofit business.  If you're wrestling with that "mission versus business" tug-of-war, Jim Warren is the perfect person to know.  Jim is the Executive Director of the Carolina Raptor Center, and brings his energy and wisdom from 40 years in the nonprofit sector to episode #113 of the Path Podcast.  Jim and I discuss what's helped him maintain his passion over the years as well as the practical approach he's taken to leadership development, life-long learning and building a team of talented staff and board members.

"I'm not doing my job if I'm not preparing my team members for the next step on their career journey."



Jim Warren has been at the Carolina Raptor Center since January of 2006, and has served as its Executive Director since May of 2011.  Jim's journey in nonprofit leadership began as an intern with the Charlotte-area YMCA, and led to a job offer from that organization before graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He continued to develop his leadership skills as the Superintendent of Aquatics for Mecklenburg County, NC, and then as Associate Executive Director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and Chief Operating Officer for the Upper Marlboro YMCA in Rock Hill, SC. He returned to the Raptor Center as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and then assumed the senior role.  Jim notes the best part of his job is working with others who are passionate about CRC, both staff and volunteers. (Who wouldn't love driving into a nature preserve each day?). IN case you were wondering, if he were reincarnated as a raptor, he would be a Great Horned or Barred Owl, "because they seem laid back, but they know how to get down to "business, and are extremely protective of their families."  Jim enjoys mountain biking, snow skiing, hiking, spending time with my family, reading, and listening to music.