Date: 03/16/2021
Time: 1 pm eastern
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leader:  Brad Lebowsky, MBA, Nonprofit Consultant
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs by SHRM
Price: Webinar $295; Webinar + Download $349 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: Volunteer coordinators, HR, executive directors, finance, department heads, program leaders, in house counsel, managers and supervisors


Plan for smooth senior management transitions‒including the inevitability departure of your executive director sometime in the future. Avoid bumpy, emergency, management changes if you can.  They obviously will be disruptive to your important mission. The best way to have an orderly transition is by following a formal succession plan. but according to BoardSource’s research only one quarter of nonprofits surveyed had a formal succession plan in place.

From the executive director down to department heads there are certain questions which should drive any management succession. For example: what future challenges can the organization expect, what skills will senior management need to deal with these challenges, is the necessary management talent already in house, if it is, what additional training do they require, and based on your answers, should we promote from within or look outside to fill the position? These and other important considerations should all be considered in a formal succession plan.

The further up the management ladder you go the more likely the decision will be to recruit from the outside. This is most obvious when it comes to recruiting a new executive director or CEO. Executive transitions hopefully will go smoothly, but they can also be filled with unanticipated obstacles depending on whether the management change was anticipated or is being done on an emergency basis. When it comes to recruiting a new executive director there are several different groups that will be directly involved: the board, senior level staff, likely a recruiter, and possibly even the departing executive director depending on whether the change is voluntary or involuntary. Your grantors and major donors will also be looking over your shoulder trying to gauge how a change in management will impact the organization and its mission.

Your search should follow a formal succession plan.  It is best to begin the search as soon as possible. That way you’ll be able to deal with all of the twists and turns that inevitably occur when recruiting a new executive director.  Please join Brad Lebowsky MBA, a nonprofit consultant with more than 25 years’ experience, as he discusses the development of your organization’s formal succession plan‒highlighting key areas the plan should cover and potential traps to be on the lookout for.


During this informative webinar Mr. Lebowsky will discuss:

  • Why a formal succession plan is necessary
  • Putting a team together to write the succession plan
  • Topics to include in a written succession plan
    • Positions covered (e.g., executive director, senior executive staff, board members)
    • Persons currently filling these positions and their expected retirement dates
    • Future challenges and needs of the organization
    • Current staff potentially able to move into leadership roles (e.g., necessary training and retention strategies)
    • Promote from within or recruit from outside–retaining a recruiter, time to recruit,
    • expenses, updating job descriptions
    • Interviewing candidates‒the role of the Board and senior executive staff
    • Onboarding the new executive director or other senior level staff‒a board responsibility
  • An orderly transition versus an emergency transition due to a termination, unplanned resignation, or death
  • The role of the current executive director in an orderly transition
  • Starting early‒6 months for an orderly succession
  • When to use an interim leader and cross training senior executives
  • Risks associated with emergency transitions‒loyalties to the departing executive
  • Keeping everyone informed. Why your grantors and donors will be very interested


Brad Lebowsky, MBA, earned his degree with an emphasis on nonprofit management, specializing in finance and budgeting. Brad has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience and is a sought-after speaker, author, and nonprofit consultant. His areas of expertise include budgeting, finance, grant writing, strategic planning, board training, retention of donors, employees, volunteers, and professional development. He is also the author of Downsizing: Alternatives for Companies; a resource for those affected and has produced a podcast. The Career Mentor is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Brad can be reached at His overriding goals are to grow people, communities, and resources for nonprofit organizations across the country.