20 questions not-for-profit (NFP) directors should ask about CEO succession

Learn the major factors directors of NFP organizations need to consider for CEO succession.

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Selecting a new chief executive officer (CEO) is one of the most critical responsibilities of boards of directors, especially in small and mid-sized NFPs where the new senior executive will have a significant impact on success.

Planned CEO successions can be unpredictable, especially as many NFPs lack the scope and size to develop internal candidates for the job. Unplanned events can also trigger a change of CEO, requiring boards to act quickly to fill the void. In planned or unplanned situations though, directors of NFPs need to establish a process with clearly articulated board and committee roles to ensure finding the right successor.

Our document, 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About CEO Succession, provides practical guidance on CEO succession planning.

You will learn about:

  • the board’s role in selecting a new CEO
  • the board’s role in ensuring the new CEO’s success
  • ongoing CEO succession planning
  • special circumstances, such as dealing with a sudden vacancy or how to proceed when a director wishes to be a candidate
  • avoiding common mistakes

Additional sample materials include:

  • model CEO profile of success
  • sample NFP CEO leadership profile
  • succession — key roles and responsibilities


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