Preparing for the unexpected

Do any of the following apply to a nonprofit you are associated with? Valued employees are finding other jobs or reaching out to Board members with concerns Some long time funders are not renewing their support The cash flow forecast shows signs of trouble (or you are not even getting a cash flow forecast) Your long time leader is planning to step down and people are nervous Stress levels are rising These situations typically get worse before they get better, so if you are seeing any of these signs, it’s time to get really curious in order to avoid allowing […]

Barbra Kavanaugh joins IES Partnership

We are thrilled to announce that Barbra Kavanaugh has joined our Partnership. Barbra has many years of interim leadership experience following a career in law and nonprofit management, and co-Founded and directed the DC-based Interim Executive Network. Now based in Florida, as an IES Partner Barbra will be integrally involved in ensuring our client engagements lead to strong, sustainable nonprofits that are delivering on their mission and can attract, retain and support their next great leader. With access to over 130 pre-vetted seasoned professional nonprofit leaders throughout the country, Interim Executive Solutions can quickly respond when transitions, whether planned or […]

Fall 2023 events

Having worked with over 60 nonprofits from New England through DC and beyond over the last year, mostly in the capacity of interim EDs, Interim Executive Solutions Associates and Partners are helping many nonprofits be more sustainable, resilient and effective in achieving their missions. Connect with us at one of these workshops and conferences to learn what you might do to increase your organization’s resilience and sustainability during a time of transition. October 2, 8-5, visit our table at the Providers’ Council Convention, Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA October 12, 2:10-3:15, learn about Preparing for and Navigating Executive Leadership Transitions […]

How an Interim COO can strengthen your Nonprofit

IES’s experience placing and supporting Interim COOs has shown them to be a great way to strengthen nonprofit operations and the management team. They can be helpful in support of new EDs or experienced EDs planning to transition out, as well as those looking to improve their infrastructure and the capacity of their team. To learn more, we recommend this article from Investor News: What Should I Budget for an Interim COO f

Nonprofit resilience

In the last few years, nonprofits have endured the pandemic, a tight job market with increasing mobility and wages, a challenging and ever-changing funding environment, prescient social movements and much more. Having worked in interim leadership roles with about 60 nonprofits in the past 12 months, Interim Executive Solutions professionals have learned a lot about what makes a nonprofit resilient. In partnership with Isis Latham from Primerica, this recent webinar addresses issues such as: Adequate funding Adaptable operations Internal controls Talent management and accountability, and Crisis management protocols If your nonprofit is experiencing or anticipating a leadership transition, now might be the best time to […]

Executive Search and Interim Leadership: Complementary Transition Partners

Interim Leadership and Executive Search are complementary to each other and provide nonprofits in transition with the highest probability of finding, attracting and ensuring the long-term success of a new leader. Interim leaders assess all aspects of operations and partner with nonprofit boards and the existing staff to create a positive, high functioning and sustainable environment that can attract and support a new leader. They then enhance the executive search process by identifying key leadership characteristics that will be needed, and preparing the staff and board to onboard and support the successful candidate. Read this white paper to learn more.

ChatGPT and Interim Leadership

I asked ChatGPT “Why is interim leadership valuable for nonprofits?”   Here was the response: Interim leadership can be highly valuable for nonprofits for several reasons: Continuity of operations: Interim leadership can ensure the continuity of the nonprofit’s operations during a period of transition. When a key executive or leader departs, the organization can experience a gap in leadership, which can disrupt the day-to-day operations. Interim leadership can help fill this gap until a permanent leader is found, ensuring that the nonprofit can continue to function and fulfill its mission. Stability and reassurance: Interim leaders can provide stability and reassurance […]

Interim Leadership

Getting You to What’s Next Interim Executive Solutions was founded to provide seasoned interim executives to nonprofit organizations in transition. We work for your nonprofit’s Board of Directors to fill a temporary executive vacancy and to help build the leadership capacity of your nonprofit for long-term stability. Our team of nonprofit professionals also offers specific skill sets that may help nonprofits solve a particular problem or establish a new tool or capability within their organization or among a network of organizations. Through IES, you can contract for interim executive leadership services for nonprofits, mentoring/coaching to develop leadership skills and consulting […]

Successful Nonprofits Podcast

Just released: this podcast on Why You Need an Interim Executive Director, features a conversation between Dolph Goldenburg, an experienced Interim Executive Director, and David Harris, our Managing Partner. Here is what you will learn: The role of the Board Interim ED as thought partner, listener, and learner Setting time and scope expectations Benefits of hiring a professional interim Hiring your new permanent ED Finding and hiring your interim ED Please send your feedback to

Interim Leadership for Nonprofits – the Podcast and other resources

Our Managing Partner, David Harris, was recently featured on The Nonprofit Show podcast with Julia Patrick and Jarrett Ransom. This 30 minute podcast provides a great summary of interim leadership and where it might fit in your plans. For more in-depth information, you might review this recent webinar featuring IES partners Sarah Bingman Schott and David Harris on Leadership Transitions. If you prefer to read a summary, here it is.

In 2021 we got almost 20 nonprofits to what’s next

2021 has been the most inspiring year yet for our interim leadership team and we are proud to share that our Associate, Sarah Bingman Schott, has recently become an IES Partner as we continue to grow. Last year we had the privilege of working with almost 20 nonprofits throughout New England and New York, many of which extended our engagement so that we could better prepare their organization for a new leader. Moreover, our team of experienced interim leadership Associates has more than doubled as individuals and nonprofits are recognizing more and more the value of having an interim leader […]

Getting to What’s Next: Nonprofit Leadership Transitions

As the pandemic wanes, leadership turnover at nonprofit organizations seems to be increasing. For an in-depth primer on Succession Planning, review this workshop, conducted for the ECCF Institute for Trustees and the National HBS Nonprofit Board Summit, then ask yourself: “Is your organization ready”? Here are 5 questions to consider: Is your organization stable and sustainable? Is the CEO job well-defined, streamlined and doable? Is the Board ready for the transition and is its vision clear? Is a strong executive team in place and well prepared? Is the outgoing leader ready to transition, professionally and personally? Professional interim leadership gets nonprofit organizations ready […]

Interim Leadership In Action

Here are some recent leadership transitions that Interim Executive Solutions team members have helped organizations navigate. As Rainbow Child Development Center contemplated its next Executive Director, the IES team advised the board as to how to manage the transition, which search firms to consider and how to onboard and support the new ED. An IES Associate then worked with the outgoing ED to ensure all policies and procedures would be maintained in this highly regulated environment before taking over as Interim ED. Subsequently he handled the delicate task of preparing the staff and parents for new leadership and reopening during […]

Ensuring your Nonprofit Mission Survives the Pandemic

Nonprofits are designed to have a mission or cause, the focus of what they doing. The day-to-day work, ideally, is in service of that mission. Sometimes, however, the focus becomes more about the organization itself than necessarily about the mission. The staff, the communities being served, and the funders are all important stakeholders that influence a nonprofit and its direction, so, particularly during the pandemic, it has been easy to lose focus on the purpose of the organization; the mission or cause. To ensure long term survival, and indeed the opportunity to thrive, thereby saving as many jobs as possible […]

ACES: A framework for managing through periods of change

In today’s world, change is a constant for nonprofits. This is especially so in crises such as the current Covid-19 pandemic. As staff leaders and nonprofit board members, your approach to change can be more consistent. The ACES framework, developed by Interim Executive Solutions, provides some guidance: Assess the situation – where are you now? Contain the crisis – shore up current operations Explore options – are there pathways to increase viability? Sustain the mission – develop and execute your plan. For more information on the ACES framework and how nonprofits are applying it, view the recent webinar, download the […]

Nonprofit 411: Using Board and Staff Surveys to Drive Continuous Improvement

Nonprofit 411: Using Board and Staff Surveys to Drive Continuous Improvement SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 BY ADMIN By Davis Harris, Interim Executive Solutions Representing all voices, and hearing from all voices, are not the same thing. Nonprofits have become acutely aware of the need to bring diversity to the staff and to the board, but that does not necessarily mean they are hearing diverse perspectives. Organizations function best when all perspectives are considered but there is often too little time or opportunity in board meetings, staff meetings or even 1-1 conversations to explore differences based on background, lived experiences, or vision for the future. […]

Board and Executive Leadership Collaboration in a Time of Crisis

Crisis situations, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, demand that a nonprofit board and the executive leadership work together far more closely than would normally occur. This is because the circumstances can impact: Mission and vision (what you do), Funding and budgets (the resources available), Governance processes (decision-making authority and documentation), Stakeholders (impact on staff, clients, supporters and others), Management priorities (how the ED will be evaluated), and ultimately The core values of the organization (how your actions will be perceived). While the chief executive oversees day-to-day implementation of these issues, responsibility for approving and monitoring execution is actually the […]

Interim Executives: Providing Stability in Times of Uncertainty

By Brian Krehbiel Times of disruption and uncertainty are times in which organizations tend to seek help from interim executives. I’ve noticed this phenomenon over more than two decades of providing interim executives to hospitals and health systems. When the future is cloudy, organizations are often reluctant to fill open positions with permanent hires, and instead look to executives who can serve them capably for a finite period of time. Interim leadership buys the organization valuable time and generates a feeling of organizational stability. What many organizations may not realize is just how much benefit and return on investment they […]

Nonprofit Survival in the Era of Covid 19

Dateline 3-19-20: The next few weeks are going to test us all and will require very challenging decisions we would never dream of having to make under normal circumstances. For many nonprofits the initial instinct for survival may mean minimizing unnecessary costs, no matter how unpleasant such decisions may be. On the other hand, this may be a time to critically review programs, assess resilience and sustainability, and envision new ways to achieve your mission. As many people have time on their hands and are captive audiences as they wait out Covid 19, it may even be the time to test […]

Resiliency: A Diagnostic for Success by Steve Stanton (Part 2)

Part one of this blog attempted to make the case for nonprofit resiliency. Here Steve Stanton shares a diagnostic model for organizational resilience based on seven core elements. A Clear Organizational Identity: Are we aligned as to who we are? Do we have continuous and aligned focus and flexibility on core issues? Relevant Mission: Is it clear why we are here and what our core purpose is? Vision: Can we articulate what our eventual success will look like? Strategic Plan: Do we know what the organization’s critical goals, actions, and measures are? Is the plan continuously renewed? Do we know […]

A New Model for Nonprofit Resiliency by Steve Stanton (Part 1)

Some nonprofits need to improve their marketing, and others have to focus on building up their boards, but ALL nonprofits need to improve their resiliency. Resiliency means the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. This ability extends beyond flexibility and encompasses far more than “capacity building”. A resilient organization is able to find ways to succeed in all types of conditions and to bounce back whenever problems arise. To quote a cliché, resilience is the ability to “keep calm and carry on” in all types of situations, to extend success in good times and to recover quickly in troubled times. […]

The big misses that non-profits do not do well or could be more effective at

Every nonprofit we encounter has different strengths and weaknesses but there are a few common challenges and blind spots that many of them share. Here are just a few: The first rule of a nonprofit is that you actually have to make a profit or a surplus (what you call it doesn’t matter but you cannot run a nonprofit sustainably at a deficit). Mission achievement is often used to justify deficits and while they may be okay in the short term they cannot be allowed to last. Profit is not a dirty word. Objective program assessment: each program an organization […]

Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments – Gap Analysis

Prepared for the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments by Interim Executive Solutions, LLC. Executive Summary This gap analysis brings together two “big data” sources— Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) town profiles and United Way’s 211CT data—alongside interviews with municipal officials and nonprofits to identify gaps in service delivery in southeastern Connecticut. We use demographic and financial data by municipality and region to offer a socio-economic backdrop to the regional human services ecosystem. We then explore unmet human services needs by municipality and the region overall. Finally, we offer perspectives on patterns of unmet need, assessments of the information available, and […]

Capacity Building Tips for a Stronger Nonprofit

A Crowded Field The National Center for Charitable Statistics’ website reports that Massachusetts has 19,037 nonprofits who reported financial information to the IRS in 2008, 34.4 nonprofit organizations for every 10,000 residents. Rhode Island, surprisingly, had almost a quarter as many – 4349 or 47.4 per 10,000 population. Neither of these rates compares favorably with large conservative states like Texas (20.3) or even other, larger liberal states like New York (28.4) or California (22.6). New England seems to grow nonprofits almost twice as fast as everybody else.If there are too many organizations chasing too few donor dollars, then the nonprofit […]

News to Use

This list of readings on nonprofit management offers a range of articles, posts, stories, reports, data and more that we hope will be of interest to and useful for nonprofit organizations. New articles are posted in our “News to Use” monthly newsletter. Please subscribe here.