Prepare, Pivot & Thrive - Succession, Strategy, Sustainability & Search


Workshops that TransitionGuides Offers


Workshops for Nonprofit Executives, Boards and Funders - Have One Of Our Experts Speak Your Conference or Gathering

Sustaining and Building Great Organizations through Succession Planning, Leader Development, and Executive Transition Management

90-Minute Workshops: Introductory/Awareness Workshops
Provides an understanding of key concepts and best practice tools of succession planning and/or executive leadership transition management; Ideal for conference tracks.

  • Introduction to Leadership Succession and/or Executive Transition Management
  • Executive Transition and Leadership Succession Clinic

Half-Day Workshops
For executive-board leader teams; Can be offered as a general workshop for executives, boards, and funders.
Provides an understanding of key concepts and best practice tools of succession planning and leadership transition management; includes key strategies; next actions and roundtable

  • Introduction to Leadership Succession and/or Executive Transition Management
  • Leadership Succession Planning for Executive and/or Boards – Options for Moving Forward

One Day Workshops
Introduces succession planning and guides executive-board teams through a process to begin the development of an emergency succession plan for their own organization.

  • Succession Planning for Executives and/or Executive-Board Teams
  • Supplemental Coaching Opportunity: Coaching Sessions (30-45 minutes) on site at workshop or as follow-up within 30-60 days

Two Day Workshop Exclusively for Founders and Long-Term Executives "Next Steps Workshop"
An intensive workshop which provides a confidential place for executives to reflect and explore complex, sensitive, personal and organizational issue relating to planning their succession and transition over the next year to six years. Offers peer and resource consultant support. Networking and support from consultant team specializing in founder and long-term executive transitions.

Tailored Workshops for Nonprofit Networks, Associations, Foundations and Funders
Workshops and Integrated Programs on Executive Succession and Transition – Addressing the Coming Sea Change in Executive Leadership

  • Executive and Board Relationships: A Social Contract Approach
  • Succession Planning: Risk Management Plus
  • Legacy, Sustainability and Succession Planning: Preparing the Way
  • Leadership and Legacy: Ensuring Future Impact Through Succession Planning
  • Combination Workshop and Succession Coaching for Members

For more information about our workshop program, speakers and costs,
call Melody Thomas at (202) 955-7242


Next Steps



The Next Steps Workshop

Succession and Sustainability Planning for Nonprofit Founders & Long-Term Executives

Are You a Nonprofit Executive Who's Thinking About Leaving Your Executive Position Within the Next 1 to 5 Years?

Join us for two days focused on you, your legacy and how to prepare yourself and your organization for your eventual transition from the chief executive role!

This is the Next Step in ensuring that when the time comes to retire or move on, both the executive and the organization are well prepared to not only endure the transition but to thrive.


Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28, 2015 - Baltimore, MD
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm, both days
Location: The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Address: 701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Audience: Chief Executives and Founders
Early Registration: $400 before June 15, 2015
Late Registration: $495 after June 15, 2015
Registration Includes: resouce materials, continental breakfast, lunch,
workbook, complimentary book, and a free 30-minute coaching session
Downloadable Flyer: Click Here
Register Now: Click Here 

For the latest Next Steps information (the Learning Community at Raffa) click here!


Raffa, formerly TransitionGuides, has taken the best from over 35 previous sessions and added new content on the connection between leadership succession and organizational sustainability as well as changing demographics and the need for diverse leaders.

Next Steps includes:

  • An overview of the sustainability planning, succession planning and executive search and transition planning processes. 
  • Understanding appropriate board and staff roles in planning, communications and succession strategies.
  • Small group discussions in cohorts that address tailoring the succession plan to your personal needs and to the realities of your organization.
  • Brainstorming sessions for sharing emerging strategies to meet the challenges to organizational succession and sustainability planning that our challenging economy presents.
  • A post-workshop check-in call from the facilitators 30 to 90 days after the workshop.

You'll leave Next Steps with:

  • A new view of where you are individually, professionally and organizationally with succession and transition.
  • A rich understanding of what will be required of yourself, your organization and your board to be prepared for your eventual transition.
  • An individual and organizational guide to succession, sustainability and transition planning with alternative timelines and processes you can tailor to your situation.
  • Clarity about the path and action items that need to be addressed to plan your transition and build capacity and sustainability, whether your departure is one to five years away, or if you are not yet certain about a date.
  • Your concerns mitigated by hearing from peers who have successfully transitioned.

Who Should Attend: Next Steps is exclusively for nonprofit founders and long-term chief executives. The intentional small workshop size – limited to 27 participants – provides a safe, confidential space for you to focus on personal, professional and organizational issues related to your transition and succession planning. These "difficult to talk about" topics are thoughtfully guided by facilitators who are national experts. The workshop provides the right place and time for planning, rich discussions among peers through interactive presentations, individual exercises, small group work and panel discussions.

Since its introduction in 2002, The Next Steps workshop has helped over 550 executives, with tenures ranging from 5 to 35 years, face these difficult decisions and ensure that their hard work and leadership legacies endure.

After the Workshop: You will take home a complimentary book of your choice, Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide by Tom Adams. You will also take home a USB flash drive of the workshop workbook and additional materials, articles, templates and timelines as a resource tool for you and your organization. Finally, you will have access to one of the workshop facilitators for a 30-minute free telephone consultation to discuss topics from the workshop, how they relate to you and your organization and receive support tailored to your needs! All this comes with your immediate registration to the Next Steps workshop.

What Others Experienced... Testimonials from Next Steps workshop participants

After accomplishing the primary goals leading my prior organization, I began seeking a position that would allow me to have a more systemic and regional impact on people and communities in need. I attended the Next Steps workshop and found it to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help provide a structured transition from my previous organization, but it also prepared me for my new chief executive role where I succeeded a retiring long-term executive. As a younger CEO, I realize that the Next Steps workshop was critical for a successful transition.
Glen O'Gilvie, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Nonprofit Advancement (Washington, DC)

It was a great Next Steps Workshop! The "Leadership Development & Emergency Succession Planning" workbook and CD will be invaluable and worth the price of admission. The presenters' experience and real-life stories will help guide us in avoiding pitfalls of the "sustainability planning" process. I'm ready to assist the board to develop our Emergency Backup Plan by using the worksheets provided at the Next Steps Workshop. THANKS! Douglas Rauthe, Executive Director, Northwest Montana Human Resources (Kalispell, Montana)

The workshop has made all the difference in how I've proceeded since then, not to mention helping me make the actual decision! Thank you for providing me with two extremely important days of information, enlightenment and a way to plan my future in a very different manner. When I used to think about my retirement from this work, it seemed as if there was a big flat wall in front of me, but now I'm really looking forward to life after the Maine Humanities Council. Dorothy Schwartz, Executive Director, Maine Humanities Council (Portland, Maine)

"This was an extremely valuable investment of my time and resources. Next Steps is an eye-opeing venture into solid planning both for healthy, viable organizations as well as those going through challenging changes."
Phyllis Haynes, Arkansas Foodbank (Little Rock, AK)

"These two days made me realize and learn so many things, especially the importance of succession planning and transition management to ensure that the agency will continue to exist after I retire."
Evelyn Marcha-Hidalgo, Intercultural Family Services, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA)

Being both a long-term executive and a founder, I found the Next Steps workshop very helpful. I learned much from the experience and knowledge of the presenters, facilitators and literature. For me, taking care of myself and focusing on where I was helped to focus on the process and challenges. Fellow 'journeyers' sharing their issues and stages made it more enlightening as I applied it to myself.
Robert McMahon, Executive Director, SCO Family of Services (Glen Cove, New York)

"This session is extremely beneficial for any nonprofit executive who wants to leave his/her organization. Having attended this session and the one by CompassPoint in California, this was a much better session. Thank you!
Cathey Brown, Executive Director, Rainbow Days (Dallas, TX)

I have a much deeper understanding of succession planning and its importance. I found the whole workshop compelling and thought-provoking. I'm so glad I came. I've developed an action plan! Margie Hale, West Virginia Kids Count Fund (Charlestown, WV)

"I had been hesitant in thinking my departure was too distant, but I'm glad I am thinking about this now."
Betsy Nelson, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (Baltimore, MD)

"Exceedingly valuable session. I expected a lot, but it greatly exceeded my expectations. I feel motivated and focused on what to do next."
Trudy McFall, Homes for America (Annapolis, MD)

"This workshop helped me to clarify and bring into focus my understanding of the transition process. I feel ready to develop my plan and set a date."
Gretchen Overdurff (Greenbelt, MD)

"A worthwhile investment in time and money. The training provided me with great clarity on my steps towards leaving the organization."
Terry Rubenstein, Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Funds (Baltimore, MD)

"It's imperative for the future of your organization."
Ron Simmons, Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (Washington, DC)

"The workshop opened up a range of possible tools for me to take back to our board and staff to strengthen our organization. I was unaware of the depth of information available to keep from reinventing the wheel."
Janet Henry, Maine Philanthropy Center (Portland, ME)



We Wrote the Books on Nonprofit Leadership Transition



The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations      
by Tom Adams

Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO        
by Don Tebbe
Click Here for More Information
Chief Executive Transitions:
How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO
by Don Tebbe