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

Transition Guide for Executive Directors - Nonprofit Executive Search, Succession, and Planning


What an exciting and challenging job! It's hard to imagine anything more fulfilling than successfully leading an organization committed to an important public purpose. Our communities and the people and institutions we serve rely on your leadership to add value, hope and opportunity.

At the same time, being an executive director can be lonely, frustrating and, in some circumstances, a miserable experience. Our work and research point to three keys to success for executives:

1. Crefully picking the right organization to lead and getting started well;
2. Partnering with your board and staff around a clear mission, strategy, and business plan; and
3. Knowing when and how to prepare the organization for your departure and leaving gracefully.

Thriving, well-led organizations and their executives are self-reflective, keep an eye on where they are in their organizational life cycle and development, and use internal and external resources well.

If you are an executive director who is planning his/her departure, we suggest reviewing the Executive Transition Overview, especially the Transition Tips for Departing Executives. We also have a piece for founders and successors.

If your are a founder, please see the Founder article in this section as well as Founder Case Studies and the Founder Transition Lessons.

If you have just been hired as an executive director, you may find our Tips for Arriving Executives to be useful.



The Next Steps Workshop
Succession and Sustainability Planning for Nonprofit Founders & Long-Term Executives


Monday-Tuesday, January 26-27, 2015 - Washington, DC
Time: 9:00am-4:00pm, both days 
Location: Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation
Address: 1250 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036
Audience: Chief Executives and Founders
Early Registration: $400 before December 1, 2014
Late Registration: $495 after December 1, 2014
Registration Includes: resource materials, continental breakfast, lunch, 
workbook, complimentary book, and a free 30-minute coaching session
Downloadable Flyer: Click Here
Register Now: Click Here

Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28, 2015 - Baltimore, MD
Time: 900am-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: resource materials, continential breakfast, lunch,
workbook, complimentary book, and a gree 30-minute coaching session
Downloadable Flyer: Click Here
Register Now: Click Here