Interim Executive Director Pool
When your executive director leaves, you need to quickly find a seasoned and qualified interim chief executive. To help fulfill this need for nonprofits based in the Atlanta area, Successful Nonprofits™ started the Interim Executive Director pool. The pool consists of a core group seasoned nonprofit executives who have already transitioned to retirement or full-time consulting. Each professional that may be referred for your interim executive position has been carefully screened by Successful Nonprofits™ and is able to “hit the ground running.”
5 Steps To Hiring Your Interim Executive
We conduct an initial cursory evaluation of the organization to determine the greatest challenges and issues your organization will experience during the interim period. As part of this evaluation, we will outline any programmatic, development, finance, human resources, programmatic or other operational issues the organization needs to address during the interim period. We present the results of the evaluation to the governance or search committee to ensure the evaluation results are accurate.
Using the evaluation results, we create an interim executive director job description that is specific to any challenges or issues the organization will face during the interim period. Because the job description will emphasize the skills necessary to address identified challenges, the job description is different from the one your search committee will draft for the permanent position. For example, one organization may need an interim with strong fundraising skills to complete a major campaign while another organization may need an executive with excellent financial management skills to address deficiencies in a recent audit.
We disseminate your approved interim position announcement to all of the prospective interim executive directors in our pool. Interested candidates submit their application materials directly to us, and we provide you a package with all qualified applicants. We may also advertise the position if there is not sufficient interest among our pool of candidates.
Your search committee or board will determine which candidates to interview, and we will provide you with suggested interview questions to aid in your selection process. You may also choose to check references, conduct any required background checks or conduct other vetting.
After selecting your final candidate, your search committee will negotiate with the candidate. When hiring an interim executive, there is often a lot to negotiate:
- Will the interim be a contractor or as an employee?
- Can the interim enroll in your employee health and retirement benefits?
- Is the interim eligible for vacation or paid time off?
- And, of course, how much will the interim be paid?
When negotiations begin, we will serve as a resource to discuss any concerns you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions About Interim Executive Directors
An interim executive serves as the senior staff member on a temporary basis while the organization seeks a permanent CEO or executive director. Interim executives normally work 25 to 30 hours per week, and duties typically include supervising staff, reviewing financials, advising the board, attending board meetings, and meeting with funders.
The nonprofit CEO or executive director plays a crucial role in maintaining the stability and success of an organization. Not only does the executive supervise key staff, but CEO or executive director also plays a unique role in regulatory and funder compliance, budgeting and financial oversight, risk management, and operational decisions. Organizations facing a gap in leadership often experience decreased regulatory compliance, damaged relationships with funders, role confusion among staff and board, and decreased effectiveness. For this reason, engaging an interim executive is a widely accepted best practice.
One of the most difficult challenges your next permanent executive will face is being compared to the immediate past executive. If the last CEO or executive director was well liked, your next executive director may have an uphill battle getting staff buy-in and support. In this situation, an interim executive will serve as an important buffer between your outgoing executive and your next permanent executive, and pave the way for a more effective relationship between the new CEO or executive director and the staff.
Keep in mind that the best qualified interim executives also have active consulting practices. Most interim executives work on-site three days each week and are available at other times as well. Most qualified interims have decades of nonprofit management experience and have honed the ability to work efficiently. This enables them to meet your organization’s needs while being on site just three days per week.
Our principal consultant Dolph Ward Goldenburg has professional expertise in managing nonprofits in times of transition. As a chief executive, he has a track record of helping multiple organizations transform themselves from while remaining faithful to their core mission. He also has extensive experience as an interim executive and has completed the Interim Executive Director Training offered by the New York City Support Center for Nonprofits. Goldenburg understands what it takes to be a successful interim and has been building a pool of prospective interim that meet this criteria.
For a flat fee of $2,500, we conduct the brief organizational evaluation, draft the position announcement, send the announcement to the interim executive director pool, and provide you with support during the screening and negotiation process.
The cost for interim executive services depends on a number of factors, including size and complexity of the organization, length of engagement, and location of engagement. Typically, the interim executive directors are paid the same total compensation as the last permanent executive, though most experienced interims also have minimum fees.