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5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Lead A Nonprofit Organization

Yitzi Wiener | Mar 17, 2021

Medium.com’s Authority Magazine catches up with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s President & CEO Stuart Graff for a Q&A on leading a successful nonprofit organization.

Growing up in Chicago, Stuart Graff was introduced to Frank Lloyd Wright’s work at a young age, evolving into a lifelong passion for 20th-century architecture and, in particular, Wright’s focus on organic and sustainable architecture that was broadly accessible. Stuart studied engineering at Northwestern, and received his JD from Loyola University, and his MBA from Emory University. After practicing both intellectual property and corporate law for many years, he went on to lead businesses with Newell Rubbermaid and Valspar. In addition to his career activities, Graff has an extensive history of board leadership, volunteerism, and fundraising for arts and social justice organizations. Stuart believes Wright’s constant experimentation and innovation, and his unwillingness to rest on laurels, inspired him to live his own life professionally and personally by always exploring, learning, experimenting and growing.


Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”?

Can you tell us the story behind why you decided to join your nonprofit?

Can you describe how you or your organization aims to make a significant social impact?

Without saying any names, can you share a story about an individual who was helped by your idea so far?

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Based on your experience, what are the “5 things a person should know before they decide to start a nonprofit”? Please share a story or example for each.

Is there a person in the world who you would like to talk to, to share the ideas behind your nonprofit? 

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson” quote? How is that relevant to you in your life?


This Q&A with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s President and CEO Stuart Graff originally appeared in Medium.com’s Authority Magazine in an ongoing series by writer Yitzi Wiener about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact.”

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation