Back to News & Stories

15 Inspiring Quotes for Nonprofit Leaders

Nonprofit leaders across our nation are working on the most challenging and important issues of our time. From hunger and homelessness to disease prevention and racial justice, the issues we tackle and the limited resources we do it with can be taxing. If you’re ever doubting yourself or your ability to realize your mission, here are 15 inspiring quotes to keep you motivated and your North Star shining.

15 inspiring quotes for nonprofit leaders from NLC

“Don’t tell us all the reasons this might not work. Tell us all the ways it could work.”

— John Wood

“Leaders become great not because of their power but, because of their ability to empower others.”

— John Maxwell

“Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.”

— Unknown

“The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

— Socrates

“Everything is possible, even the impossible.”

— Mary Poppins

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

— Rob Siltanen

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

— Mark Twain

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.”

— William Pollard

“Fear will give us a reason not to try; hope will give us a reason not to listen.”

— Rob Goff

”Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.”

— Ella Williams

“Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.”

― Roy T. Bennett

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

— Beverly Sills

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

— Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own”

“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.”

— Unknown

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”

—  Leo Buscaglia

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Join our weekly e-newsletter to get exclusive tips, tools and trainings.

Share This Story:

No related authors.

Addressing the Nonprofit Workforce Crisis: 4 Practical Strategies

How to Be a Good Leader: Nonprofit CEOs & Funders Share Their Perspective

Isabella Khalili Joins Nonprofit Leadership Center As New Program Operations Manager