In this episode, Season 3 Episode 2 (S3 E2) "Investing in New Executive Directors, Part I," we speak with the Open Society Foundations (OSF). You'll gain valuable insights from a major funding institution about why they believe it’s important to invest in the nonprofit workforce by supporting new executive directors. You'll hear about important research on the value of investing in new executives from a new OSF report that draws upon the experiences and voices of hundreds of new E.D.s. This is a resource that you can use with your funders, your board, and others.
The issue of healthy executive transitions was important before 2020, and it's even more important now, as diverse new executives are hired into challenging pandemic workplaces. Executive transitions are a crucial inflection point for new managers, organizations, staff teams, board members, and supporters involved in the process. And, perhaps most importantly, they also impact the communities who rely upon organizations for services.
As more organizations hire “historic firsts” – women, people of color, LGBTQ people -- as their top executives, too many of these leaders are unintentionally being "set up to fail", rather than supported to succeed. Funder practices can be part of the solution, or part of the problem. So having a major funder like OSF become part of the solution in a very public way is important progress, and it’s something you can leverage in your own talent-investing efforts!
This episode explores Talent-Investing Principle #4: Talent Justice is Essential. This principle says that racism, sexism, classism, and other inequities are baked into the deficit of investment in the nonprofit workforce. Thus, talent-investing must advance intersectional racial equity in order to be successful.
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- In Support of Those Who Take the Leap (downloads available on this page: Full Report, Executive Summary, Messages to Donors, and Top Advice for New Executive Directors)
- Open Society Foundations
- Panorama Global
- New Executives Fund at Open Society Foundations
- Leadership Transitions Funders Group of Philanthropy NY
- Leadership Funders Group
- Making (Or Taking) Space: Initial Themes on Nonprofit Transitions from White to BIPOC Leaders