Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(Is An) Exodus of Executive Directors Expected?

Here is another take on the recently released Daring to Lead 2011 report of 3000 nonprofit executive directors from www.PhilathropyJournal.org. The findings would indicate that a significant number of nonprofit executives will be leaving their roles over the next five years due to frustrations with funding, boards, and lack of work/life balance.

Highlights or Lowlights:
· Sixty-seven percent of executives plan to leave their jobs within five years, down from 75 percent in in similar studies in 2006 and 2001.

· With one in six leaders age 60 or older, for example, 22 percent of that group said a loss in their retirement savings contributed to a transition delay.

· Forty-five percent of respondents said their boards had not reviewed their performance within the past year and only 18 percent said their performance review was useful.

· Thirty-three percent of current executives followed a leader who was fired or forced to resign, "indicating the frequency of mis-hires and unclear expectations between boards and executives across the sector," the study says.

· Nonprofits are not prepared for executive transition.

· Satisfaction with board performance was lowest among leaders on the job between one and three years.

· Only 17 percent of organizations surveyed have a documented succession plan, and just 33 percent of executives were very confident their boards will hire the right successor when they leave.

· Eighty-four percent said the recession had had a negative impact on their organization. Forty-six percent said their organizations had operating reserves of less than three months of expenses.

· The study offers a series of recommendations to improve transition planning, understanding of financial sustainability, professional-development options and performance and composition of boards.
In my work, I am seeing fewer nonprofit executives targeting the traditional retirement age of 65 as their date. Even those who are ready to step out of full-time leadership roles in their late 60’s are looking for another paid role – some for the financial aspect and almost all because they value the work and the people in the nonprofit sector. If your organization doesn’t have at least a written Emergency Succession Plan, we can do a short session with your Executive Committee or board to generate some good thinking and draft a plan. Bryan 752-7153

Read the full article here.

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