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Succession Planning for your Nonprofit: NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.4

Summary of Podcast

Today, what we are going to discuss is: How to prepare your nonprofit for the transition from one leadership to another or in other words, succession planning.

The Nonprofit MBA purpose is to provide new business insights and fresh creative ideas for Executive Directors and their teams that will help them improve their organizations.

Introduction of Stephen

Welcome, everyone. My name is Stephen Halasnik and I am CoFounder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is the leading provider of Lines of Credit to Nonprofits. On a personal level, I have 25-years of experience in building companies and have the privilege to speak with nonprofit Executive Directors on a daily basis. If you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend.

Introduction of Larry

Today, I am excited to be speaking with Larry Moore, Larry Founded Pack Away Hunger in 2009, and that organization has packed over 17 million meals before a successful transition to a new Executive Director in 2019.

Larry also founded The Alliance for Better Nutrition which was founded in 2015 to support the work of organizations such as Pack Away Hunger and has grown to 9 affiliates.  The Alliance provides a way for groups to pack the highly nutritious Nutri-Plenty® meal.

Prior to Larry’s nonprofit experience, Larry spent 30 years in the corporate world, doing Product Development and Supply Chain work.

Larry has been an extensive world traveler and has had A long-time yearning for more meaning in life and that is what led to his nonprofit work.

Larry, Welcome to the Nonprofit MBA podcast.

Summary of Podcast

The first job as a teenager affected his philosophy towards succession planning: He worked for a furniture store and you could not get promoted without training your replacements.

Don’t wait for the board or the Executive Director to raise the subject of succession planning. Just rip off the Band-Aid and discuss it for all important positions.

The succession might happen because of a planned event or due to an immediate unexpected issue. Either way, you need to plan.

Succession planning is an obligation and responsibility for the board and the Executive Director.

Larry read an article about succession planning and it really opened his eyes.

When Larry talked about succession planning with the board, two board members spoke up that it had been a real problem at other nonprofits they were board members.

Start with an open discussion with the board and the staff.

At the next board meeting, they put together a committee to put together a succession plan.

Larry had no intention of leaving immediately and made sure his board understood that.

Creating a plan is great but if you stick it in a drawer, then it is useless so every April, at the April board meeting, they go over the plan and update it.

It was freeing for Larry to know that once he was ready to leave there was a plan and that the nonprofit would be OK.

It is always better to leave a job in a better place than to leave it in a rush.

In the discussions of succession planning, they started to talk about possible candidates internally.

It was good that they had those discussions because those internal people didn’t feel like they wanted the position(s) at this time in their lives.

Succession planning led to more awareness that the nonprofit needed better-written processes and procedures for many positions.

Larry felt delighted that the succession process was eventually done in the right way

Worked with Charitable Advisors who was helpful in finding a replacement for Larry.

Record daily actions that an Executive Director does so that the next person coming in know what is expected and what they will need to do.

During the transition to a new ED, they did a lot of face to face introductions with key suppliers, donators, etc.

You need to feel it is important to get succession planning done.

Look at people internally that you can develop to backfill positions

Past podcasts:

NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.3: Why forecasting is so important to nonprofits

NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.2: What To Do When Your Nonprofits Mission and Operations Go Adrift

NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.1: Keeping it Personal As Your Nonprofit Grows

NonprofitMBA

The Nonprofit MBA purpose is to provide new business insights and fresh creative ideas for Executive Directors and their teams that will help them improve their organizations.

Nonprofit Line of Credit

Financing Solutions is the leader in providing a Line of Credit to Nonprofits.

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