Leadership transitions are an opportunity for renewed focus and a
strategic reassessment of the experiences and core competencies
necessary to advance the organization. Engaging a trusted partner in
the process provides peace of mind and the critical distance to select
the right leader to guide their nonprofit into the future.
Our leadership transition services help you thoughtfully
navigate transitions in your nonprofit's senior leadership team.
With years of experience working with boards and executives, no one knows better than us that nonprofit leaders wear multiple hats and bring exceptional passion and commitment to their roles – making the perfect person a little harder to find. We focus on guiding search committees through tough conversations with our values: respect, kindness, and authenticity.
Our goal is to create an efficient and targeted process that maximizes time and resources. We contribute expertise and promising hiring practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Our extensive network of DC area nonprofit professionals enhances search processes and connects our clients directly to a diverse pool of talented applicants.
We believe that you deserve completely customized leadership transition services - from simple succession planning to executive search - that are high-quality, cost-effective and leverage an extensive network of talented professionals.
Succession plan development
Full executive search
Coaching and support
Succession Plan Development
Leadership transitions are inevitable, but potential awkwardness often causes nonprofit boards and executives to avoid discussing them entirely. We will help you face these hard conversations head on with expert facilitation so that your organization can honor and respect its current leader’s contributions while assessing the experience, knowledge, and competencies necessary to support your organization’s evolving vision.
As a first step in their leadership transition planning, nonprofits can hire us to create a customized succession plan to document the policies and procedures to be enacted in the case of emergency and planned transitions. This process helps your board and staff examine all aspects of succession planning, e.g. role delegation, internal communication, planning for financial preparedness, and stakeholder engagement. Over three months, we work collaboratively to facilitate meetings, coach board chairs and senior leadership, and develop documentation to ensure that your organization has a game plan for planned and unexpected leadership transitions.
Each engagement is tailored to your individual organization's needs. Topics typically covered include:
Discuss and determine who will act as executive in the case of an emergency.
Designate a staff or board member to speak to the press and other external stakeholders.
Review financial goals and an operating reserve policy to ensure the organization has resources to weather a transition, such as a temporary dip in revenue or search firm fees to find the executive’s replacement.
Ensure financial management procedures are documented and add second signatories to the organization’s bank accounts.
Update operations manuals to clearly outline organizational tasks, contact information, accounts, etc.
Revisit the current executive director’s duties, responsibilities, and compensation package to ensure the organization can attract the right candidates.
Nonprofits often lack the time and resources to conduct a thorough search. Outsourcing the search process to us provides you access to our extensive expertise and professional network to source and cultivate potential candidates, while minimizing your administrative burden during the search process. We add value to the normal search process by helping design an orientation process and develop a 30-60-90 day work plan so that your new hire gets off on the right foot.
We offer two highly customizable and cost-effective levels of service to accommodate your specific needs and resources.
Full Executive Search Services
Outsourced Project Management
Through a collaborative partnership with your organization’s search committee, we develop and facilitate a comprehensive recruitment plan and manage the candidate selection process. Our work will dramatically increase your organization's capacity, helping to shed apprehensions and view the search through a lens of possibility and opportunity.
We have designed a comprehensive 3-stage process that balances your nonprofit’s opportunities and constraints, needs and aspirations, and unique culture and personality. We see the entire executive search process through from its earliest stages to 90 days after the new leader is in place.
The engagement starts with a comprehensive assessment to ensure consensus about upcoming programmatic, operational, fundraising, and financial priorities. Then, we will:
Create a cohesive timeline with benchmarks for expected activities and deadlines throughout the process.
Advise the board on engaging interim leadership during the process, if applicable.
Advise on a strategy to inform key stakeholders about the transition and maintain communication throughout the process.
Develop a candidate profile through internal and external stakeholder interviews.
Analyze salary, bonuses, and benefits to develop a compelling compensation package.
With this foundation in place, we are
ready to begin to source candidates.
Draft and post job postings and advertisements, as well as facilitate outreach through our diverse networks.
Draft specialized selection criteria to facilitate the search committee’s decision-making processes and ensure the process is fair and equitable.
Manage incoming resumes and conduct initial candidate screenings.
Manage candidate communication and scheduling and develop interview frameworks for the process.
Help the search committee debrief the interviews and match candidates with the specialized selection criteria.
After a comprehensive and rigorous selection, we ensure this exciting and new relationship starts off on the right foot. We will:
Conduct reference checks and background investigations of the finalist.
Negotiate the compensation package, and draft an offer letter and employment agreement.
Develop an orientation process and check in at 30, 60, and 90 days with the new executive and the board chair.
Coaching and support services
Strategic Guidance for Small Nonprofits
We understand that at times of transition your nonprofit may not have the ability to hire an outside expert to design and implement a comprehensive planning, recruitment, and placement process. Because organizations faced with this dilemma are often the ones who need the most support, we offer a modified service that provides ongoing coaching and strategic guidance along the way as you execute the executive search process.
To begin, we will conduct a organizational assessment, stakeholder interviews, and a strategy review. After drafting a leadership profile for the executive search process, we will hold a mini-retreat with the search committee to refine the profile and share best practices for identifying and selecting candidates.
Over the period of your search, we will hold bi-weekly check-ins with the committee, providing advice and support and sharing relevant tools and templates for the committee to complete, such as:
Competitive salary and benefits packages
Language for job postings and strategy for placements and personal networking
Talking points and structure for interviews
Selection criteria for preliminary interviews and final candidates
Hiring processes, including reference checks, preliminary offers, and employment agreements
Onboarding processes and performance management procedures