Building a Diverse Leadership Team with Jailan Adly

Is your nonprofit struggling with building a diverse leadership team? Are you facing difficulty when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent? Are you finding it hard to compete with the corporate sector? These are all common challenges within the nonprofit sector, but you’re in luck! 

Our guest today, Jailan Adly is an expert on nonprofit leadership talent search. She’s helped countless organizations build successful diverse leadership teams by finding top talent for nonprofits. On today’s episode, she dives into the challenges many nonprofits face in their talent search, how to set both candidates and organizations up for success, and strategies for building a safe environment. She also discusses why she thinks CFOs are one of the most challenging roles to fill and what nuances come with attracting a nonprofit CFO. 

Plus, Jailan gives practical tips for job seekers in the nonprofit sector and how both job seekers and organizations can leverage technology. And most importantly, she discusses how a diverse and proximate leadership team can make huge strides in decolonizing the nonprofit world. 


About Jailan

Jailan Adly is a seasoned social impact executive and strategist with experience navigating organizations through pivotal transitions and periods of growth. Jailan leads GoodCitizen’s East Coast hub and supports the organization’s business development and strategic initiatives. Jailan joined GoodCitizen to help social sector organizations find extraordinary leaders to move the needle forward on complex challenges.

She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from George Washington University and has spent her entire career forging mutually beneficial partnerships between diverse stakeholders from the private, public, and social sectors to build the capacity of impact-driven initiatives, individuals, and organizations. Through her work with PYXERA Global and Taproot Foundation, she supported numerous corporate social responsibility programs for Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Novartis, SAP, MetLife, John Deere, and Medtronic in more than 20 countries. She has created and led global fluency workshops to prepare business professionals to provide high-caliber consulting services to enterprises, entrepreneurs, and NGOs in emerging and frontier markets.


Read the podcast transcript here


Episode Summary

On today’s episode, you’ll learn how to attract and retain top nonprofit talent by setting candidates and the current leadership team up for success including:  

•Challenges nonprofits are facing with talent search in the post-covid world (3:55)

•Setting up candidates and organizations up for success (6:00)

•Things to consider when attracting and retaining top talent (9:45)

•Strategies for providing a safe and successful environment for new leaders (14:00)

•The nuances of a nonprofit CFO role (18:30)

•Why it’s important to assess the skills and leadership styles of the executive team in the search process (23:10)

•How tech plays a role in the search for nonprofit leaders (27:00)

•Advice for job seekers in the nonprofit sector (29:45)

•Strategically using ChatGPT (34:45)

•How proximate leadership helps decolonize the nonprofit world (39:40)



“I think there’s a tendency to kind of fast forward to, ‘Well if we just hire diverse candidates, we’ll be okay.” But if the organizations don’t actually do the work, oftentimes they’re setting candidates of color up for failure.”

“I think there’s a conversation and a discussion that needs to be had sector-wide, right? Where the folks who are arguably dealing with the most stress, ’cause they’re on the ground doing the work, are yet nowhere near as paid as those deciding who gets the funding because of where the money is held in.”

“The advice I would give candidates in the non-profit sector and, and frankly, in any sector is: get really clear on not just the issue areas you want to work in, but the function area that you want to work in as well.”

“A prosperous nonprofit is one that has its eye on the ultimate outcome of the impact.”


Huge thank you to our sponsor!

This series is sponsored by Blackbaud, the essential software provider for the organizations and people who change the world. Blackbaud has been working with finance professionals at nonprofit and social good organizations for almost 40 years with its Blackbaud Financial Edge, NXT Fund, accounting software expertise, and services. You can streamline your financial operations, strengthen your accountability, and make data-driven decisions to increase your impact. To learn more, visit   



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Blackbaud Nonprofit Accounting Software:   

Keep up to date with the podcast: @100degreesconsulting

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