Leadership Transitions

Leadership transitions are an inevitable part of every nonprofit’s life cycle. While these transitions can be daunting and often carry an emotional weight, the leadership transition and development process can benefit both the people involved and the organization.

Leadership succession is an opportunity for investing in your overall organizational strategy and growth. It’s also about much more than finding a new executive. Whereas succession planning is the ongoing planning for emergency or even planned-for departure of an executive, leadership transition is a time-bound, three-phase (prepare, search, onboard) transition from one leader to another.

We are here to help your organization prepare for a new leader, set you up for a successful search process, and then circle back to ensure a smooth onboarding.

Benefits & Outcomes of Leadership Development

  • Assess the current state of your organization and plan for a transition that entails minimal operating and financial disruption.
  • Build capacity for the board to meet their responsibilities related to succession planning.
  • Mitigate risk related to a transition, such as missing out on opportunities or relationship atrophy.
  • Identify qualities and skills needed for a successful leadership search.
  • Honor the exiting leadership and create a good start for new leadership.
  • Identify ways for the board to support and develop a positive relationship with the new executive leader.
  • Clarify expectations in relation to the transition, both in the preparation and onboarding phases.



Our 2-Phase Approach

Our services are designed to bookend the middle phase of an executive transition — the search — to make the process more generative and successful for everyone involved.

1. Prepare

2. Onboarding

A woman holding a baby chick in a chicken coop.

From our clients

“Propel was invaluable in our search for a new executive director for our farm organization. The strategic services team led our board and staff transition team through the entire process, and helped forge an inclusive and productive framework for our search including a timeline, understanding of staff roles, and clarity about who should be involved in the hiring process. We are grateful for Propel’s expertise and knowledge around leadership transitions.”

Megan O'Hara, Board Member, Main Street