When a Grantee 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
  • Assist the board chair in seeking appropriate legal help if the CEO is leaving under circumstances that could pose legal problems
  • Assist the board chair in locating human resources assistance if the board needs advice on different exit strategies or severance options for the outgoing CEO
  • 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.