First organized in September 2002, NNSC emerged due to a growing concern that the niche nonprofit executive search industry had become more complex and sophisticated, but that few resources existed for developing best recruiting practices or for addressing contemporary nonprofit leadership transition issues.

For a variety of reasons both practical (cost, internal promotion opportunities, lack of search firm interest) and cultural (voluntary governance, mission-oriented focus, organizational standards) the emergence of the specialty of nonprofit executive search was slow to expand.

New Era

Today, things are quite different.

  • Nonprofit organizations have become larger and more complex. This growth has precipitated nonprofits to be far more sophisticated and they are now competing for the same talent pool as Fortune 50, 100 and 500 companies in many cases. This pool is wider, more diverse – with unique individuals doing unique and interesting things in different organizations than what was previously a traditional talent source! DEI design thinking will support using ways to attract this unique game-changing pool.
  • Nonprofit compensation has reached higher levels. Because of this competitive labyrinth, nonprofits are constantly reviewing compensation surveys to remain compensatory competitive. Additionally, nonprofit boards are not only approving increased salaries, but are identifying more and more creative incentives to either entice candidates to join or team members to stay!
  • Nonprofit boards have raised the bar for performance standards. Performance delivery has been increased by far because the competitive funding market is more intense than ever and with the current pandemic, forward thinkers with different perspectives will be the on-demand talent. Organizations will need to, in many cases, toss the proverbial playbook and think differently! You do that through opening up the talent pool to diverse thought-partners.
  • Competition for nonprofit leaders who can truly make a difference has escalated. New pockets of talent will need to be uncovered for search practices to thrive. Utilizing a new model that accounts for diversity, equity and inclusion will serve to open these pockets with dynamic, experienced and forward-thinking candidates!