Ep 182: Why Every Nonprofit Leader Needs a Coach (with Laura Zielke and Darian Heyman Rodriguez)

by Joan Garry

Nonprofit coaching can be transformative, but there are different styles as my guests Laura Zielke and Darian Heyman Rodriguez demonstrate in this compelling and actionable episode.


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Today I sit down with two incredible guests — Laura Zielke and Darian Heyman Rodriguez — to explore the power of nonprofit coaching. As a former “player” turned coach, I truly believe in the transformative potential of coaching for nonprofit leaders. And, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible impact that nonprofit coaching has on leaders who make this investment.

As a nonprofit leader, you face a unique set of day-to-day challenges that can be downright overwhelming to tackle alone. From navigating complex fundraising strategies to managing board dynamics to leading the overall day-to-day or your org, the weight of these responsibilities can take a toll.

That’s where coaching comes in. It’s not just about having someone to bounce ideas off or vent to (although that’s pretty important too!). Nonprofit coaching is a powerful tool that can help you unlock your full potential, overcome obstacles, and achieve extraordinary results for your mission and the community you serve.

In this episode, I dive deep with Laura Zielke and Darian Heyman Rodriguez, two remarkable individuals with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. Laura, a certified life coach and entrepreneur, and formerly the Director of Innovation and Content at the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, brings a unique perspective to coaching, while Darian, an accomplished fundraiser and best-selling author, offers insights from his years of helping people help. 

Together, we explored different approaches to nonprofit leadership coaching and unveiled the universal attributes of a great coach. We also discussed why coaching is not just a luxury for leaders, but an essential investment in your career and your organization’s mission.

But it doesn’t stop there. By the end of this episode, you’ll understand the transformative potential of coaching and how it can propel your leadership journey to new heights. You’ll gain insights on what makes someone coachable and how you can measure the success of your coaching engagements. Plus, we dive into the nuances of coaching leaders from marginalized communities and the valuable lessons learned along the way.

So, if you’re a curious nonprofit leader who wants to take your organization to new heights and make a lasting impact, you’ll want to listen to this episode. Join us as we dive into what leadership coaching for nonprofit leaders looks like and the incredible benefits it offers.

Tune in to learn:

  • What is leadership coaching and why is it beneficial for nonprofit leaders?
  • What are the key reasons why nonprofit leaders need coaches for their personal and professional growth?
  • How can nonprofit leadership coaching help you navigate challenges, boost your confidence, and make a bigger impact?
  • What should you look for when choosing the ideal nonprofit coach for your unique needs and aspirations?
  • How can nonprofit coaching support leaders from marginalized communities and promote equity within the nonprofit sector?
  • What are the success markers of a nonprofit coaching engagement, and how can you ensure you’re getting the most out of the experience?


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Laura Zielke

Laura Zielke is a certified life coach, entrepreneur, writer, and penguin fanatic living in North Carolina and weekending at her condo in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She’s spent the past six years working alongside me serving executives and board members in the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, and has recently launched a new coaching business called “My Living Tapestry.”

Contact Laura Zielke

About Darian Heyman Rodriguez

Darian Rodriguez Heyman is an accomplished fundraiser, nonprofit consultant, public speaker, and best-selling author. He began his life’s work “helping people help” during his five-year tenure as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation, after which he wrote Nonprofit Fundraising 101 and edited Nonprofit Management 101, in addition to leading Numi Foundation and co-founding GenderSmart.

Contact Darian Heyman Rodriguez