Why Hire a Professional Interim Executive Director

Why Hire a Professional Interim Executive Director?

The need for nonprofit interim executive leadership can occur for a variety of reasons:

  1. During a period of nonprofit organizational transition brought on by a lack of succession planning
  2. Operating concerns that existing management at your nonprofit organization has not been able to address, or
  3. A sudden departure of a staff leader, chief executive, CEO, or executive director (ED) at your nonprofit.

Whether your nonprofit Board intervenes to initiate the removal, or the Executive Director exits for another opportunity, the change is disruptive and causes upheaval for your nonprofit organization and its stakeholders.

Often the first response of a nonprofit Board is “how can we get through this transition quickly and cost effectively with minimum disruption?” In reality, this nonprofit transition is a valuable opportunity for the Board to pause, reflect on where they’ve been, where your nonprofit organization should go and what skills the next executive director should have to move the organization forward. How should you select an interim leader?

Professional Nonprofit Interim leadership enables the organization to take the time to conduct a careful, comprehensive search for new permanent leadership. A nonprofit interim executive provides valuable objective insights into operations, personnel and institutional performance for the Board of Directors and can work with the nonprofit’s search committee to determine important skills and experience required for the next leader.

At Interim Executive Solutions (IES), we call this the “interim management opportunity.” A nonprofit can hire a seasoned professional manager to serve as a catalyst; bridging the management gap while focusing on key issues that need to be addressed to help cultivate a positive, productive, inclusive work environment and build a foundation that will allow the new, permanent leader to be successful.

IES works with nonprofit Boards, nonprofit executive search firms, and nonprofit funders throughout the transition process to stabilize and strengthen the organization and to help prepare the ground for the new permanent leader.

What Does IES Provide?

IES has over 75 Associates who are seasoned business leaders from a variety of different industry sectors and nonprofit organizations. Our nonprofit interim executive leaders can fill vacated Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, COO, CFO and other leadership roles at nonprofits. All IES executives bring a wealth of successful nonprofit leadership experience to their assignments, a history of senior level responsibility and accountability, management team-building skills, membership in the “IES support network” and access to an extensive “knowledge base” of for-profit and not-for-profit management best practices. Because time is critical, IES is able to identify nonprofit interim leaders who are able to move into their assignments on extremely short notice.

IES nonprofit executives are selected for their management style and code of conduct that guide their interactions with nonprofit Board, staff and the community at large. IES professionals are also technical resources with skills ranging from project managing and facilitating nonprofit Board retreats to developing an informational dashboard to support long-term nonprofit strategic planning. IES does not perform search functions, however we partner with many nonprofit search firms to support their work in identifying appropriate, top-notch interim nonprofit leaders on your behalf.

Once IES places a interim leader into your organization, a partner Liaison stays in regular communication with both your nonprofit’s Board and with the designated IES Associate to provide additional support and resources throughout the engagement. This ensures a satisfactory experience for each and every nonprofit organization whom we serve.