Looking for Leadership as a Nonprofit Funder (Robb Webb)

May 2023

Does your nonprofit embody the leadership qualities for which major funders are looking? Nonprofit leaders who are best prepared when applying for funding can save themselves precious time and set their organization up for success if they seek to understand what philanthropic leaders are evaluating. But how do you know what funders are actually looking for? In episode #209 of Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership, Robb Webb, Director of Rural Church at The Duke Endowment, shares how they address community needs and what they're looking for when considering an investment. We examine what Robb identifies as three key characteristics funders look for: financial strength, community need, and distributed leadership. As a nonprofit leader himself, Robb shares his 70/20/10 framework for managing teams and setting attainable professional development goals.  

"You must consider what you're not doing well, what you do well but not enough of, what is getting in the way, and what new things you can try."



Robb Webb serves as Director of the Rural Church program area of The Duke Endowment. Webb joined the Endowment in January 2006 as a program officer after serving as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Healthcare Resource Associates. He is a member of the Board of Visitors for Duke Divinity School and the Parish Ministry Fund. He serves on advisory boards for the National Fund for Sacred Places, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and the North Carolina Council of Churches. He is also consulting faculty at Duke Divinity School, teaching a class on leadership in the rural church. Webb holds degrees from Davidson College and Duke University and is an ordained deacon in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has served the Western North Carolina Conference on the Board of Ordained Ministry and as vice-chair of the Council on Campus Ministry. Through the Rural Church Division of the Endowment, Webb has engaged in North Carolina food initiatives such as hunger relief through rural United Methodist churches, community partnership development through Come to the Table (with RAFI), and most recently, the development of the World Food Policy Center at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy. He believes churches can serve as catalysts in their communities, contributing to human, community and economic advancement.