When a Board Member Calls for Advice Tips on Being Helpful Without Being Intrusive

  • Pull together and share resources on the latest executive transition and leadership succession theory and practice, and the services available.

  • Provide contact information for other nonprofits that have undergone successful executive transitions.

  • If the CEO is leaving under circumstances that could pose legal problems, assist the board chair in seeking appropriate legal help.

  • If the board needs advice on different exit strategies or severance options for the outgoing CEO, assist the chair in locating human resources assistance.

  • Help the board chair avoid the temptation to make a hasty new hire; explain that organizations sometimes hire interim leaders.

  • State your commitment to continue to provide support, if that is your foundation’s policy.

  • Explain how to apply for transition-related funding, if your foundation provides that assistance.

  • Advise an examination of the financial situation, particularly cashflow, as well as financial systems and personnel.

  • Encourage strategic thinking about an external communications plan, covering what needs to be said about the transition, to whom, and by whom.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Executive Transitions.