A recent study shows that three out of five nonprofits don’t have a succession plan in place and therefore are not ready for executive transition.
We also know that transition will take place—sometimes planned and sometimes unexpected. A family emergency, a partner’s job offer out of state, or sudden illness can cause an executive director or lead fundraiser to have to leave quickly, threatening your organization’s operations and sustainability.
Even when you want to plan for transition, talking about succession planning can be difficult. From our work, we know that board members may be hesitant to raise the issue even though having a succession plan in place is an evidence-based practice; they may be fearful of the executive director’s reaction.