Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Tag: Retirement

A New Report (with Tools) For Deciding on Extended Executive Transitions

Download your copy of the report and its tools here. I have a friend who has a hard time leaving any gathering…a meeting, a party, the restaurant, the office. She stalls, complements the host, promises to reconnect, pulls a thread for a new conversation, sets up the next... more

The Long Goodbye

A decade ago, concern about the exit of the baby boom generation from nonprofit leadership started to take shape. The dominant narrative which emerged predicted the sector was headed into a crisis – so many boomers would be leaving positons that organizations would be unable to fill top jobs unless... more

New Roles, Few Rules

The Life After Leadership Project began interviewing leaders in 2012 about the immense generational transfer of talent that is getting underway, and collected information and reflections from over 600 participants through extensive interviews, surveys and focus groups. New Roles, Few Rules, the third in a series of reports, tells a vivid story... more

Is it a Crisis?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has featured our new report publication The Leadership in Leaving in their article "Calling it Quits" (pdf). For years we heard that the leadership transitions in the nonprofit sector – the one from aging boomers to the next generations – would result in a mass... more

The Nonprofit Leadership Crisis We’ve All Been Waiting For

Earlier this week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on an interesting phenomenon in Charlotte, North Carolina. It appears that nonprofit executives there are finally proving right the 2006 theory that a mass exodus of long-term nonprofit leaders was on the horizon, as 35 of the city’s nonprofits have changed leaders in the last year. The sector has been talking about this Bridgespan study for years - worrying whether a leadership crisis would really come to pass, and if up to one million leaders would actually transition out of their positions in the next ten years. To date (the recent phenomenon in North Carolina notwithstanding) the sector has found that this mass exodus hasn’t really happened.  Long-term nonprofit leaders, especially those from the Baby Boom generation who are entering retirement age, simply aren’t leaving in the same numbers that early analysts had predicted.  The questions that still need to be answered are why aren’t they leaving, and what do they plan to do next?

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The Leadership in Leaving

Building Movement Project, in partnership with Encore.org and Clohesy Consulting, recently completed a study on long-term nonprofit leaders over 50 and how they are thinking about their futures.  Here, Frances Kunreuther illustrates the potential impact of this transitional moment for the sector - as 10,000 people turn 65 every day and leaders in the Baby Boom cohort begin to think about transitioning out of their current leadership roles. 

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The Leadership in Leaving

This report is the second in a series that examines different aspects of a transformational moment for the nonprofit sector, as the baby boomer cohort begin to trainsition out of their current leadership roles and contemplate their next stage of work and life. It focuses on the nonprofit leader’s decision to leave a long-term executive position. More specifically, the report highlights and explores the leadership in leaving as an often neglected aspect of a nonprofit leader’s role that is a key in understanding and successfully completing the exit process.

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The Next Stage: Leaving Long-Term Leadership

This Report from the Field, written by Frances Kunreuther and Tim Wolfred, presents how some long-term leaders in the large Baby Boom cohort – both those who have exited and those who are planning their departures – describe the process of leaving and figuring out what is next. The findings – based on two in-depth focus groups – draws from the research and experience of its authors who have been collecting information through the lens of succession planning and from surveys/interviews on defining this new stage of life and work.

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Leaving Long-term Leadership

Building Movement Project recently teamed up with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Fellows Network and Tim Wolfred an expert on executive transitions (who consults for his former employer CompassPoint in his new stage of work) to conduct focus groups with older leaders in the nonprofit and public sectors. The results can be found in Reports from the Field: The Next Stage: Leaving Long-term Leadership which offers some important insights that confirm our other findings. The Report highlights both the personal stories and structural barriers facing those who have recently left their leadership positions and those still in leadership who are thinking about their next move. It offers some of the challenges in leaving and points out how we need to move from seeing these experiences as individual problems to one that is collectively shared. Here, Frances Kunreuther reflects on what the implications of these findings are, both for long-term leaders contemplating their own transitions out of executive roles, and for the sector as a whole.

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The New Lifecycle of Work

As long-term leaders in the nonprofit sector think about life after they leave their current jobs, two things become clear: they are not planning to move into traditional retirement, and they want to continue to contribute to the common good. This report, done in partnership with Civic Ventures and Clohesy Consulting, describes the findings from a survey of long-term nonprofit leaders age 55 and older and how they view their next stage of life.

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