Knowing that nonprofit stability relies on stable leadership, the Casey Foundation and partners got a good look at the executive landscape through a survey that provided baseline data on top management transitions in nonprofits and the career paths of current leaders. With many baby boomer execs getting ready to retire, this report offers recommendations to position NPs for a smooth transition to new, more diverse leadership.
Why an executive transition plan is so important when nonprofit leaders leave
Findings & Stats
Nonprofits (NPs) are vital to the social, civil and economic fabric of our communities.
The average nonprofit executive director is a white woman in her 50s with about 6 years of executive experience.
The Color Gap
84% of NP executives are white while 58% of the organizations they lead serve communities of color.
Repeated executive turnover often leads to extended periods of non-profit under-performance.
75% of NPs had stable leadership (1 or 2 top executives) over the previous decade at the time of this report.
Statements & Quotations
The increasing number of transitions provides an opportunity to increase the number of people of color in leadership positions in the nonprofit sector. At the same time, we should note that in the long term with the overall leadership shortage across sectors, talented people of color may become even more difficult to attract to nonprofits.
While the survey suggests that the nonprofit sector is already making improvements in benefits packages, organizations need to continue this trend, regularly reviewing their compensation and benefits packages to ensure they are at market levels.
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