Interim Executives Program Eases Leadership Transition

“We actually saved money with an interim executive director and the results
make the investment even more valuable.”
-Eric Coleman, Board President, Montgomery County Association for the Blind

The Nonprofit Center’s Interim Executive Director Program assists nonprofit Boards and staff during times of executive transition. Recognizing that leadership change is increasingly common and sometimes tumultuous, The Nonprofit Center created a now proven model that eases the transition process as an organization works to identify new leadership.

Success with transitional executive directors led The Nonprofit Center to offer the service with other key positions as well, such as Interim Chief Finance Officers.

The Nonprofit Center continually recruits and carefully screens experienced former nonprofit executive directors with specialized skills and expertise that address a range of organizational issues. These select individuals, who are carefully matched to each organization, bring an objective view and professional demeanor to effectively work with staff and Board as an organization prepares to hire a permanent executive director.

The interim utilizes our tested model and then works with the Board to customize the plan and timetable to suit your organization’s culture and current needs. Typically, the program works in two phases, including an initial assessment phase during which the interim fulfills all customary duties of an executive director and works with the board and staff to identify and prioritize organizational issues. This generally takes six to eight weeks and results in development of a work plan for the Interim Executive to successfully address organizational priorities while the Board prepares to hire a permanent executive director.

During the second phase of the engagement, he/she will likely focus on executing the mutually agreed upon work plan priorities while fulfilling all the regular duties of a nonprofit chief executive, including managing staff, working with the board, fiscal oversight, development and fund-raising, etc. In this capacity, the Interim Executive Director is performing the typical duties of the Executive Director with responsibility for daily operations and organizational management – but with an objective eye that no one within an organization can possess.

As part of the “value-add” that The Nonprofit Center offers each placement, an organization can add other expert services that support the organizational transition, including on-site board development by a governance expert, consulting services and on-site training provided by a knowledgeable, informed resource.

Since starting the program in 2006, The Nonprofit Center has successfully placed Interim Executive Directors with a variety of organizations, including:  Center for Autism, Homefirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, Crime Victims Center of Chester County, HelpHopeLive, Hunterdon Land Trust, Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group (now Beacon) and A Woman’s Place.

An Interim Executive allows the Board to get back to Board business, confident that the organization has solid staff leadership that will ensure a successful transition to a permanent leader.

For more information on the Interim Executives Program, contact Lori Moffa, Consulting Director, at 215-951-1709 or moffa@lasalle.edu

Read a case study about one nonprofit’s successful experience with an Interim Executive Director

Get the white paper on how to take the pain out of executive transitions

Read Bridgespan’s views on the role Interim Executive Directors can play in easing a leadership transition