NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Philadelphia, PA, United States, 2006/10/25 - Philadelphia's Nonprofit Center at La Salle University has launched a program to place experienced executives as interim executive directors at nonprofit organizations, to help will the gap while nonprofit organizations search for a new CEO.
With more than 2/3 of the region’s nonprofit leaders planning to leave their current positions before 2010 and no one being groomed to replace them, who will take the helms of the area’s more than 20,000 human service, charitable, and other nonprofit organizations?
To answer this question, The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University has launched a program that includes placing experienced executives as interim executive directors, to help fill the gap while organizations regroup from the loss of their leader.
“Philadelphia is part of a national trend that includes a massive retirement of the baby-boomers as one of the factors impacting the current leaders of many organizations,” said Laura Otten, Ph.D. director of The Nonprofit Center. “Our research found that at more than half of local nonprofits, whose executives are among those with plans to leave in the next few years, there has been “no discussion” whatsoever of succession at either the board or staff level and at 52% of organizations, there is no one in the organization suitable for grooming as replacement leaders.
Even more startling is the finding that no formal succession plan exists in more than 90% of these nonprofits,” she added. In addition to retirement, the desire for increased earning potential and decreased demands and stressors, as well as frustration with boards and fundraising struggles, were key factors in the pending exodus of today’s nonprofit leaders.
Otten also stated that while the transition is often a traumatic time for the organization, it is also an opportune time for board to address key systems and governance issues without being pressured into quickly finding a replacement leader.
“Support through this transition period can determine a nonprofit’s future direction and long-term stability,” Otten said, “and we are finding that for some organizations, the best strategy is to hire a skilled interim executive director to handle day-to-day operation for a limited time while the board works on long-term policy issues.”
Through its Interim Executive Director program, The Nonprofit Center places experienced nonprofits executives for a four to twelve month period, while simultaneously working with the board on specific governance issues. “Research suggests that those groups that use an Interim ED emerge stronger, more financially sound, and with high levels of optimism about the future impact of their agency services,” Otten says.
In the few months since The Nonprofit Center has been working in this area, it has successfully placed two interim directors at local nonprofits.
“This program really filled an urgent and critical need,” said Kristy Buzard, board president of Centro Nueva Creación, a Philadelphia based agency working in youth and family development and neighborhood revitalization. “The Nonprofit Center matched us with a great interim executive director who had exactly the skills we needed to turn the organization around, bringing a fresh and independent perspective and helping us rethink our operational model and strategize for the future,” she added.
The Nonprofit Center is working with a growing corps of experienced nonprofit leaders who enjoy the short term leadership experience and the promise of helping nonprofits emerge stronger and more prepared to handle future challenges.
The Nonprofit Center at La Salle University helps strengthen nonprofit organizations throughout the Delaware Valley so they can better serve their constituents. Through educational programs, board development, training and consulting services and an information and referral network, the Center’s team of experts works with thousands of organizations to enhance their ability to govern, manage and perform more effectively in a competitive environment. Founded in 1981, The Nonprofit Center is a program of the La Salle University School of Business Administration in Philadelphia.