Monday Morning Meet Your Leaders – Linda Czipo
President & CEO
Center for Non-Profits
1. What is one of the most important qualities of a great leader?
If I have to choose just one, I’d say integrity – as a leader, your ultimate responsibility is to honor and uphold the trust placed in you, and to model a strong commitment to ethics and excellence throughout the organization. Others would include perseverance, accountability, and the ability to assemble and cultivate a talented, dedicated team.
2. How does your organization take our community to the next level?
As a champion and “go to” resource for and about New Jersey’s charitable non-profits, the Center for Non-Profits helps to shore up individual organizations and the non-profit community as a whole. We educate policy makers about how vital non-profits – employers of 10% of the state’s private workforce! – are to the social and economic well-being of our state. We advocate for public policies, like charitable giving incentives and fair fundraising laws, to foster a favorable environment for non-profit missions. We’re regularly tracking how the economy and public policies are affecting non-profits’ ability to do their work, as in our annual Trends and Outlook reports, and we research other New Jersey non-profit practices, such as our forthcoming salary/benefits and diversity reports.
Individually, we directly strengthen thousands of organizations each year, by answering management and compliance questions from our Non-Profit HelpDesk, giving presentations, workshops, webinars, and professional development training, and linking non-profits with the information and resources they need. And we provide opportunities for non-profits to convene and connect with each other and with other allies, most notably at our statewide conference each December – with 600 attendees, New Jersey’s largest annual conference for non-profits.
We’re also a membership organization, with non-profit members throughout the state. As a non-profit ourselves, we also know how important it is to stretch resources, so we offer a wide range of cost-saving programs, discounts and other benefits to help members make their budgets go as far as possible.
3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Reading, listening to music, brainteasers, things to help me decompress when I’m not working. I’m an aspiring photographer but still have a lot to learn, so I’m trying to improve that as a craft.
4. What is your favorite food/recipe and why?
I really like to cook when I can, so it’s hard to pick! Italian food, especially pasta, is comfort food for me and a real weakness. I make a mean cheesecake, and I recently obsessed for months over making homemade sourdough bread until I got it right.