Leadership Succession

Did you know that between 60 and 75% of nonprofit executive directors plan to leave their positions in the next five years? Did you know that 10 to 15% of nonprofits hire a new executive every year? (National study conducted in 2006 by CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation.)

What would happen if your chief executive left today?

Does anyone know what she does? Would he take all the knowledge with him? All the donors? Would your organization be able to pay the same salary for an equivalent replacement? Is the board strong enough to lead the organization through a transition?

Would the organization survive?

Succession planning guides the board of directors and current leader through these and other questions. It is an ongoing, continuous process that boards (with their chief executive) implement to:

• Create the conditions for the incumbent chief executive to succeed

• Understand the organization’s current and future strategy

• Ensure that a sound infrastructure is in place

Through succession planning, the board gains a greater understanding of the chief executive’s job and mutual expectations, develops an emergency leadership transition plan, and learns the importance of board assessment and CEO evaluation.

If you are interested in learning more, BoardSource has a great publication by Nancy Axelrod,  Chief Executive Succession Planning: Essential Guidance for Boards and CEOs.

You can also join me for our upcoming workshop, Nonprofit Leadership Succession, on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 8:00-10:00am at Northern Trust, 3450 E. Sunrise Dr.

Send me an email. I’d love to see you there!


Laura Alexander

Laura Headshot 2014