7 Key Trends Impacting Non-Profits

July 11, 2023 – Having arrived at the halfway point of the year, the non-profit and social impact practice at Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group, recently pulled together some key trends they have been seeing. In a new report, managing directors Michelle Bonoan and Marissa Delgado and managing associate Tiara Muse identified seven key themes:

1.Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Access

“The focus on DEI continues, with a strong push to hire leaders of color and build equitable, inclusive cultures,” said the report. “Candidates are prioritizing organizations and sectors that have advanced on their DEI journey and are looking critically at those that have not. Our practice has noted an increased awareness of accessibility as a key concern when it comes to DEI, and has seen a movement toward focusing on ensuring that non-profits are creating inclusive and accessible environments. This includes everything from building accessible web sites to being a welcoming, inclusive workplace for team members with a wide range of disabilities.”

2. Pay Transparency

Seventeen states and counting have passed laws around pay transparency. This is a trend that seems to be here to stay. “These laws, which are aimed at closing the racial and gender pay gaps, typically require job postings to explicitly list a salary range and may also prohibit potential employers from asking candidates to provide a salary history,” said Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group. “Organizations that are not prepared to follow these emerging guidelines may find themselves falling behind when it comes to hiring. Candidates are increasingly demanding salary transparency early in the process, and might just move on from a potential organization that does not offer up this information. Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group’s policy is to post a good faith salary on any job description posted on our website, and we are prepared to help clients work through this process and its implications.”

3. Longtime Leaders and Founders Stepping Down

“We have seen a significant increase in long-term executive directors, presidents and CEOs stepping down,” said the report. “As we move away from the COVID era, leaders who may have otherwise retired in 2020-2021 have begun to do so en masse. We are also hearing from CEOs and executive directors who are simply exhausted or burned out from the stress and pressure of leading through the pandemic. Many of these leaders are considering career changes that take them out of CEO role and allow them to focus on being individual contributors or pursuing consulting work.”

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Recruits Chief People Officer for Brooklyn Academy of Music

4. Increase in Internal Candidates

The firm’s non-profit and social impact practice says it has observed an increase in the number of internal candidates in its engagements. “While it would have been rare several years ago, it’s now not unusual to see more than one internal candidate express interest in a leadership role,” said the report. “The high number of founder and long-term leader transitions noted above have created opportunities internally for many rising leaders who have a deep personal connection to the missions and organizations they serve but may have felt stagnant in their career growth because of flat organizational structures or a lack of opportunity to advance.”

Recruiting the Right CIO for a Non-Profit
Chief information officers are an indispensable tool for helping organizations fulfill their mission for the social or demographic they serve. A major investment in differentiating a non-profit, a quality CIO requires a unique set of technical and cultural skills. So how does one identify the right CIO for their non-profit? A new report from DHR Global’s Ted Yemm and Sal DiFranco explains that there are several factors to consider to help you make the right hire. “Organizations are increasingly using technology to distinguish themselves, improve speed to market and drive efficiency,” the report said.

5. Changing Boards

Many boards of directors look and operate much differently than they did before 2020. “We’ve seen an increase in board members who have full-time jobs in addition to board service, which often means they have less free time than some of their retired predecessors,” said Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group. “This has led to a decrease in board engagement in many of our searches, as it is difficult to get a busy board engaged in a comprehensive search process. We have worked to adjust our processes to reflect this new reality, while also ensuring that boards understand that a comprehensive, effective, and rigorous process requires time and commitment.”

6. Remote Work

It’s clear that some version of remote work is also here to stay. For the most part, the candidates the search firm engages with are not interested in relocating, much less commuting to an office five days a week. “Organizational leaders are continuing to struggle with how to build culture and promote collaboration in a mostly virtual environment,” said the report. “This specific leadership challenge is becoming more and more of a core competency that emerging leaders will need to demonstrate in order to be competitive candidates.”

7. Longer Transitions

“We have seen average transition times between jobs grow to 6 or more weeks, especially at the top level,” said the report. “Leaders moving from one organization to another are taking great care to ensure that they leave on a good note and also give themselves enough time to decompress and be ready for their next chapter. It’s important that search committees and hiring managers take this longer transition time into account when setting timeline expectations.”

Diversified Search Group is a family of firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. Koya Partners is a part of the Diversified Search Group and is dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Koya works broadly at the senior-most levels of the mission-driven field in philanthropy, social services, arts and culture, and social justice, among others.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Selected to Find New Leader for TransitCenter

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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