THE WHEN & WHY OF INTERIM NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP
Have you noticed a trend lately of more nonprofit organizations hiring interim executive leaders after an Executive Director (ED)/CEO departs? Your eyes are not deceiving you! More and more nonprofit organizations are benefiting from bringing on an interim leader during a time of transition. While sometimes it makes perfect sense to hire a new Executive Director to take over from a departing ED, in many instances it can be advantageous to first bring on an Interim ED for a period of time.
I’m standing in the cafeteria holding a tray of food.
It’s 1979 and I am a freshman in High School. I look around to see a room divided. The black people are sitting on one side, the white people on the other, the Filipinos, the Mexicans in the middle–and I ask myself the question, “where do I belong?” Little did I know this question would permeate the entire rest of my life.
The Valtas team has been incredibly fortunate to identify and hire a consulting team of Interim Executive Directors (IED) with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. We are frequently asked what it takes to be a successful Interim Executive Director.
There are many overlapping skills between someone who serves as an executive leader in a nonprofit and a consulting Interim ED or CEO. There are also a few key differences between a regular Executive Director role and an IED. Each nonprofit has some variability and nuance – different types of business models and program delivery, staff size, and funding complexity all impact the role of a nonprofit leader.
What do I do now?!?
As a non-profit board leader, managing a leadership transition is one of the most important responsibilities you have.
There are a number of different options when your executive director leaves.
Is your organization ready for the scale of the challenges ahead?
Based upon a number of studies, there are as many as one quarter of all nonprofit Executive Directors/CEO’s (“ED’s) who are planning to transition from their role within the next six months. As much as one-third of nonprofits have had two or more executives exit in the past five years. I’m sure you know some of these organizations.
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