Often nonprofits in transition feel stuck. An executive director may need to move on or simply take a sabbatical and the board may not know where to turn for help.
I am part of a cadre nonprofit interim Executive Directors trained by the Vitalyst Health Foundation who are here to fill the gap.
As an interim executive director, I come with no agenda, no past and no future with the organization. I am in this position to steward the organization to its next chapter. The work involves dealing with the most immediate challenges and working with the board and staff to set the stage so the next executive director will be successful.
My Background I provide interim executive director services for short-term or longer-term engagements depending on the needs of the organization. I bring skills and training in nonprofit board governance training, leadership coaching, project management, meeting design and facilitation, community engagement and organizational development including an MBA and Masters in Public Administration. I am adept at building partnerships with the various stakeholders that support nonprofits and love being of service to communities.
My approach: First: Determine if there is a fit between my skills and the needs of the organization. If there is, then I will provide an Engagement Letter outlining a Scope of Services to include a timeline, deliverables, estimated milestones, and fee including automatic extensions, if necessary.
Second: Meet with the Board Chair, Board members, and staff members to learn about the people in the organization and why they are committed to its mission. I will take that opportunity to introduce myself, and gain a deeper understanding of organizational challenges and opportunities.
Third: Conduct a more complete organizational assessment to gain insight into the most pressing organizational issues. This will be accomplished with one-on-one Appreciative Conversations (with themed responses so all responses are anonymous) and a review of organizational documents and financials. I will prepare a Findings Report including recommendations for the board.
Fourth: When the board approves the recommendations, I will work with the staff to prepare an Action Plan to achieve the immediate organizational priorities requested by the board.
Fifth: I will implement the Action Plan with staff and we will work together to carry out the activities. Additionally, I will be in listening and learning mode to create a positive atmosphere where everyone’s contribution matters. I will be my job to support the staff while being accountable to the board and maintaining ongoing communication with the board, staff, community stakeholders and funders.
NOTE: All engagements are different and have many moving parts. As an interim Executive Director, I will manage ambiguity, personalities, funding challenges, the external environment, shifting organizational priorities and other unexpected contingencies.