Unfortunately, all too often when nonprofits are confronted with unexpected (and sometimes even expected) leadership transition, the goal is just to survive until the next hire. As I discussed with Colleen Bozard of ccbozard consulting during “Slow Your Roll: Hiring an Interim Director” on Coffee Conversations, interim leadership is an effective tool to help small nonprofits navigate change. Often, small nonprofits are concerned about the costs associated with interim directors; however, the right interim director can provide an organization a myriad of benefits that FAR outweigh any costs associated with their engagement.
A few of these benefits are as follows:
providing stability for staff and operations;
assessing organizational culture;
assessing strengths and weaknesses of the organization;
communicating with stakeholders;
providing an unbiased perspective;
identifying skills sets needed in the next leadership;
assisting with the leadership search; and
buying the search time to be done properly and fully.
Some key characteristics and qualities to look for in an interim director include skilled change manager and communicator, experienced Executive Director in the nonprofit sector, and thorough knowledge of financial management. Your local nonprofit membership association is usually a good resource for consultants providing interim director services.
In many cases without the use of an interim director transformative success is unlikely. So can your small nonprofit afford to hire an #interimdirector? YES! In fact, your nonprofit can't afford NOT to.