Nonprofits hungry for new leadership

Nonprofits hungry for new leadership

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Consider these findings from a new report: Nearly a third of New England nonprofit leaders surveyed say they plan to leave their jobs in the next two years, and almost two-thirds anticipate leaving within five years.

Yet 60 percent of their organizations do not have a succession plan.

“Those are sobering numbers,” said Michael Weekes, chief executive of the Boston-based Providers’ Council, a statewide association of human services organizations. “Society really depends on having a strong network of nonprofit organizations with strong leadership.”

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In the past decade, several studies have predicted mass departures of nonprofit leaders nationwide and detrimental consequences. So far, though, the turnover has taken place more gradually. That’s largely attributed to the recession having made it harder for many nonprofit leaders to retire, especially since they frequently have modest salaries and few retirement benefits.

Earlier reports “threatened that, oh my gosh, the sky is falling, the boomers are retiring, and there will be no one to lead the sector,” said Jennifer Chandler, a vice president at the National Council of Nonprofits. “Well, we now know that’s not true, but we still know we’ll be facing a huge leadership transition, and we still have concerns that the pipeline of leadership is fragile.”

To fill that pipeline, the sector is trying to identify and train the next generation of nonprofit leaders, many of whom will be culled from millennials and Generation Xers.

Source Name: 
The Boston Globe
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