Leadership Transition from a Nonprofit Perspective
It is critical for nonprofit leaders to plan for founder or key leadership transitions. The sustainability of the mission and purpose of the organization is at stake.
For nonprofit leaders, it is important that you put systems in place as well so that the organization is sustainable without your presence. Getting a 2nd in command ready to step in and beginning to share with them the leadership, decision-making, and key relationships on the board, with funders and staff is critical. Current trends for project funding vs more flexible operating funding has dramatically hindered nonprofit organizations from training up associate directors, and others ready to run the organization. And as more baby boomers retire from the nonprofit sector they leave an extreme vacuum. When possible, making a good transition is needed. When that is not possible, executive coaching for the new leader to support them in their development is a powerful intervention.
For nonprofit organizations, the transition process may take longer than 5 years of planning as you will likely need to get the board on the same page with the plan, identify a successor, and raise money for the salaries and to get the technical support you need for leadership transition and sustainability planning. I had one client who was able to get his leadership transition plan funded. The process was extensive. Strategic planning, board development work, working with the staff, updating policies and procedures, and coaching both the executive retiring and the new leader coming into the position of executive director. If you find your self and your organization in this position, feel free to contract me for a free consultation.