Thoughts on Hiring a New CEO or ED

A friend who is board chair of a local nonprofit called to ask me about hiring a new ED. The long-time, founding ED of his organization had given notice. Nothing was broken, the ED just felt it was time to move on. My friend knew that I had participated in ED searches and wanted to know if I could give him an overview of the process and share my thoughts. He also recognized that hiring a new ED or CEO is one of the most important jobs of a nonprofit board. This is what I shared. 1. Communications I cannot… Read more

Changing Aspirations Is Hard

I spoke to a CEO who was brought in to make changes. The organization was being passed over for funding. The previous CEO had been there a long time, had created an aspirational vision for the organization, and was well liked by staff. Board and staff had embraced the aspirational goals of the previous CEO. The new CEO had to lead board and staff to embrace a new vision. Be Clear About a New CEO’s Mandate As told by a nonprofit CEO somewhere in the USA. When you come into a job as a new CEO, there are all kinds… Read more

Process Matters Even with an Internal Candidate for ED

I spoke with a new executive director who had been elevated to that role after serving as deputy director. She described how her board created a transparent search process to make sure she was a good fit for the position. She further explained that going through an interview process was also good for her because it helped her articulate her strengths and vision. Develop a Profile to See if an Internal Candidate Is a Good Fit As told by an Executive Director somewhere in the US Transitions matter and people don’t think enough about succession and leadership. For the last… Read more

How Do We Keep Helping the Kids?

I spoke to the board chair of an organization that works in community mental health. Reflecting on the last year and a half, he described how the board focused on making sure their organization could continue providing vital services. He expressed their commitment to the core work which meant the board stepping up to raise sufficient funds. Kids’ Problems Don’t Go Away As told by a Board Chair somewhere in the U.S. My organization serves kids and families coping with mental illness, substance abuse, and violence. We work in schools as well as directly. When COVID hit, the board’s first… Read more

Nonprofit Boards Are Guardians of Precious Community Assets

As told by a nonprofit CEO somewhere in the US I had a great conversation with the CEO of a nonprofit about managing through crises – as we all have been doing this past year. He talked about trust and honest communication. He listens to his board and communicates frequently and openly. He understands that boards ask hard questions because they are stewards of a precious community asset. But that also means they have to understand the clients they serve. Trust Is Key to Managing Through Crises A little background. Our organization is over 70 years old with about 225… Read more