Finding Success as a New Nonprofit Leader (Aaron Randolph)

March 2023

How do you find success as a new nonprofit leader? Starting any new business is difficult, and while similar, starting a nonprofit has a whole host of unique complexities. In Episode #203 of Your Path to Nonprofit LeadershipAaron Randolph shares his best advice for others looking to start, fund and run a successful nonprofit organization. Aaron navigated the "big three" - new leader, new organization, new community and thoughtfully recounts the lessons learned that can help you as well.  Specifically, we explore four key functions of successful senior leadership and the value of conducting a thorough community assessment.

"There is no substitute for doing the work."



Aaron Randolph is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Carolina Youth Coalition (CYC), a nonprofit organization that nurtures and propels high-achieving, under-resourced students to and through college. Aaron earned his Master's in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013 and a B.A. from Cornell University in 2011. A native of Lake City, FL, he relocated to Charlotte, NC in 2017 with his wife, Lizzy, from Baton Rouge, LA. Driven by a fervent belief in the power of education to create lasting generational change, Aaron began his career in education as a City Year AmeriCorps member and social studies teacher before finding a passion for college access work through joining the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition staff in 2015. Since moving to Charlotte, Aaron has led Carolina Youth Coalition's launch and growth from serving 40 students in 2018 to over 300 high school and college students this school year. Through CYC, students in the program have earned over $45 million in scholarships and grants and two-thirds are attending four-year universities across the state and across the country completely debt-free.




As a firm, PMA Nonprofit Leadership is constantly developing content and programs to help you in three distinct ways.  The first way is to help you be a thought leader in the nonprofit sector by producing weekly content through our podcast Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership. The second way is through individual coaching, training and our unique Mastermind Nonprofit Leadership program. The third way is to help your nonprofit organization through support of its strategic planning, board & staff development, and fundraising. Through our exclusive partnership with the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership, we also  guide aspiring nonprofit leaders through the virtual New Development Professionals cohort training program, as well as the annual Leadership Gift School, now entering its 10th cohort season.  Let us know how we can help you! Join our community by signing up for our free resources here, and schedule a call if you'd like to learn more about ways we can help you on your journey to nonprofit leadership.