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CEO Searches for Nonprofits

Securing the leaders you need for the greatest impact

When you partner with Development Guild to recruit your new CEO, President, or Executive Director, you benefit from our roots as a strategic planning firm and over 45 years of executive search experience across the nonprofit sector. 

Hiring a new leader is the most critical decision made by Trustees and Board members. Recognizing the significance and uniqueness of each CEO search, we are committed to supporting you through every step of the process. With our guidance and support, you will recruit an exceptional leader who is effective, motivated, and committed to delivering extraordinary outcomes.

A successful CEO search results not only in the welcoming of a new leader, but also in the solidifying of a shared vision for the organization, as well. It’s critical that your leadership achieve strategic internal alignment; this will be a priority of the engagement. By doing so, your organization will become well positioned to attract the highest caliber of talent.

We are experienced in working with search committees, governing boards, and leadership teams to articulate the strategic priorities and goals and to develop and communicate the strategic opportunity for the position. In all cases, you benefit from a rigorous, fair, and transparent approach, which extends from in-depth research and a multi-layered vetting of candidates to the shaping of a customized decision-making process. As a result, a good process creates a great outcome.

The key to a successful nonprofit CEO search

If you are seeking a new leader to advance your organization’s mission and leadership in the field, ensure that you partner with a nonprofit CEO search firm who understands the impact that the right talent can have.

At Development Guild, we specialize in nonprofit CEO executive searches. We are one of the top CEO executive search firms in the country, and as a result of our industry knowledge, years of experience, and expansive network of connections, we have developed an executive search process that is effective, thorough, and inclusive. As our client, you will be assigned a team of talented consultants who are experts in executive search. When you engage the consulting services of Development Guild, you will partner with dedicated, passionate people who are committed to seeing your organization succeed.

Achieving strategic internal alignment 

All your stakeholders must have a shared vision for the ideal profile of your new leader and their impact; we help make that happen. Creating this internal alignment–and a customized executive search process–means that your organization is well-positioned to attract the highest caliber of talent.

With counsel and partnership, you will be able to successfully understand and navigate the priorities of all parties invested in the search’s outcome – including the search committee, governing body, and/or leadership team. 

A rigorous, fair, and transparent approach

You can anticipate an executive search process that includes extensive market and candidate research, a multi-layered vetting of candidates, effective outreach that reaches talented professionals not currently job-seeking, and a customized decision-making process that works best for your team.

Are you ready to begin the search for a new leader? Please contact us to discover how we can help you find the right candidate to fill any leadership position within your organization.


How can we help you?

For 45 years, Develoment Guild DDI has partnered with nonprofit organizations nationwide to achieve their most ambitious goals. Whether you need new talent, fundraising or campaign solutions, or strategic counsel, we can help.

Provide us with some context, and we will connect you with the right consultant.


What is the nonprofit CEO search process?

At Development Guild DDI, we will work closely with you every step of the way to ensure that we are able to find a highly-qualified candidate who will take your organization to the next level. 

Our partnership begins with a focused, strategic assessment so we can gain a deep understanding of the dynamics of your organization. This allows us  to develop a fully customized nonprofit CEO search process that is in complete alignment with your organization’s needs, opportunities, and priorities. We conduct in-depth research, which includes mining our extensive database of connections, reaching out to new talent, and utilizing promotional strategies, to build a strong candidate pool. The benefit of working with a nonprofit CEO search firm like Development Guild is that we have strong relationships with nonprofit professionals who may not be actively seeking a career change, but trust in our ability to align their skills and longterm goals with our clients’ needs – and are happy to take our calls. Once we have developed a strong, diverse candidate pool, you will review and then interview your top candidates. Lastly, you choose the finalist candidate. 


How long does a CEO search take?

The length of a nonprofit CEO search varies, based on the needs of the organization and because of the thoroughness of the process. At Development Guild, our team of professionals ensures that we have performed our due diligence with every single CEO search. Before we present your organization with a pool of potential candidates, it’s important that we can say, with absolute certainty, that we have conducted thorough, in-depth research regarding their suitability for the role.  

When we began our search for a new Executive Director, we had never heard of COVID-19. By the final stages of the search, we were completely virtual. We are so glad we hired Development Guild. Their team was expert at helping us navigate the changing circumstances and complete the search while remote. Because of them, we didn’t lose any momentum.

- David Foster, Board Chair

We always trust Development Guild’s ability to deliver results; that’s why we engaged them to partner with us in recruiting a talented new Executive Director. Their collaborative and responsive approach and the terrific end result confirmed we made the right decision.

- Mark Horgan, Board Member

We are so glad we decided to partner with Development Guild to find our new President & CEO. They added tremendous value – in how thoroughly they screened candidates, in how well they prepared us for each interview, and in how effectively they served as a go-between for our board and the candidates. We were especially impressed by how thoughtfully and carefully they handled each candidate. Our community is very close knit so this was important to us. It was a challenging search with a unique profile, and Development Guild delivered.

- Suzy Loughlin, Former Chair of the Board