CEO Succession planning is no longer just for retirement | Bryan Orander

About this session

Research has consistently shown that 60-70% of nonprofit Executive Directors/CEOs expect to leave their current roles within the next five years. Anecdotally, successful young leaders seem to be looking for new challenges even sooner. The resignation, retirement, or dismissal of an executive director/CEO is a significant event in the life of a nonprofit organization. That critical leadership transition can be a time of opportunity if the organization is thoughtful and prepared to move forward.

Are you prepared?
What’s your plan if your senior leader gives a year’s notice or becomes ill, or your younger leader gives you a few week’s notice?


Bryan Orander of Charitable Advisors will be leading a group consulting/coaching opportunity this September/October around succession planning and preparing for leadership transition. Two organization representatives will attend two working sessions with Bryan Orander and four other nonprofits focused on the same tasks:

  • Create or update your ED/CEO Emergency Succession Plan
  • Create or update back up and development plans for senior/key staff
  • Discuss and update board leadership development plans and strategies
  • Explore implementation around timelines or circumstances specific to your organization

In each case, you can bring your existing documents into the conversation for review and refinement or start with Charitable Advisors templates and match to your needs.

Where else can you get a customized succession and senior staff development plan in a month’s time for less than $500?

What are the requirements?  

  • Two representatives from each participating organization. For most organizations, the ideal participants would be the Executive Director/CEO along with their board chair or another Executive Committee member.
  • Commitment to attending both working sessions plus about an hour of preparation time and an hour of homework between sessions plus agreement to send a copy of your final documents to someone else in the group, or Bryan– for accountability.
  • Confidentiality – participants will range from being on the verge of retirement to preparing for the unexpected and some information may not be public knowledge. Everyone is requested not to share conversations and information about the other participating organizations.
  • A laptop will allow you to work more efficiently during the session and also seek feedback from the group on any written or visual materials.

When are the sessions dates? 

First session:  Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Last session:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Where is session hosted? 

Charitable Advisors, 8604 N. Allisonville Road, Suite 115, Indianapolis, IN  46250.  (Across the street from Kittles)

The deliverables 

  • New or updated ED/CEO Emergency Succession Plan
  • New or updated back up and development plans for senior/key staff
  • Board leadership development plans and strategies
  • Explore implementation around timelines or circumstances specific to your organization, such as:
    • Assisting in assembling a “plan of action” and timetable for a departing executive director/CEO.

Session content


  • Send current succession plans and development plans to Bryan
  • If no plan – Draft Emergency Succession Plan template

Session 1
Identifying what makes a good story

  • Specific scenarios/ Q & A
  • Emergency Succession
  • Staff Development
  • Defined Departure planning
  • Self-assessment of readiness for a transition


  • Update documents from Session #1
  • Review Session #1 discussions with staff/board leadership
  • Have senior/key staff complete back up plan worksheets

Session 2
Selecting and drafting the stories

  • Review and discussion of homework
  • Staff Development planning
  • Board leadership development
  • Implementation planning
  • Specific scenarios/ Q & A


  • Submit final documents within 30 days (by end of November)

What is the cost?

 General investment is $495 for the two session series.


Questions?  Contact Bryan Orander at Bryan@ChartiableAdvisors.com

About Bryan Orander

Bryan Orander is founder and president of Charitable Advisors and publisher of the Indianapolis Not-for-profit News. Over the last five years, Bryan has supported more than 25 nonprofit CEO/ED’s leadership transitions for organizations ranging from four to over 400 staff member and annual budgets ranging from a few hundred thousand to over $20 million.  Bryan Orander was one of the first consultants in the country trained in the Executive Transition Management (ETM) model — Prepare, Pivot, Thrive — developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Bryan’s training and practical experience can help support your board and staff leaders through a successful transitions.