Daring to Lead 2011
CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Meyer Foundation have recently published Daring to Lead 2011, the third study in the series which began in 2001. A total of 3,000 development executives were surveyed for the study. According to MAP for Nonprofits July 27 Newswire, 225 nonprofit leaders in our region were surveyed and our regional results are consistent with the overall study.
It is no surprise that the nonprofit sector is now experiencing the generational handoff that has been anticipated for the past 10 years. One-third of those surveyed anticipate retiring within five years. The surprise is that, despite this fact, only 17% of the nonprofit organizations surveyed have a documented succession plan.
The role of the board of directors is crucial in leadership succession, but this study found that the majority of nonprofit boards are not dealing well with succession planning. Many nonprofits fall short in these two key areas:
- Even though financial stability is essential for smooth executive transition, a minority of nonprofit boards are active in fundraising or advocacy.
- The relationship of the board of directors and nonprofit executive is crucial. Yet 45% of executives didn’t have a performance evaluation in the past year. Also, 39% of those surveyed spend only five-ten hours per month on board related activity.
The nonprofit sector is one of our nation’s largest employers and there are many younger leaders preparing to step up to executive positions. Boards of directors and executive directors can ensure a smooth transfer of leadership by creating thoughtful succession and transition plans, conducting annual performance reviews, and working diligently to stabilize the finances of the organization. Most of all, boards and executives must recognize that transition extends beyond the day the new executive steps into his or her office. The relationship between the executive and board must be nurtured as much as the relationship with the organization’s benefactors.
For a complete copy of the study, visit http://daringtolead.org/.
HBH Consultants can help with executive transition plans. Contact us to learn more about the process of preparing for executive transition and how we can work with you.