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CEO Searches for Nonprofits


Our approach to CEO, President, and Executive Director searches draws upon our roots as a strategic planning firm and over 40 years of executive search experience across the nonprofit sector. 

We believe that 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 our clients through every step of the process. Our guidance and partnership culminate in the recruitment of an exceptional leader who is effective, motivated, and committed to delivering extraordinary outcomes.

As we see it, a successful CEO search results not only in the welcoming of a new leader, but in the solidifying of a shared vision for the organization, as well. Employing our deep planning experience, we partner with leadership to achieve strategic internal alignment. This ensures that the organization is 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, we use 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.

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

Development Guild truly took the time to understand the organizational and deaf culture, The Learning Center for the Deaf’s place in the deaf community, and the kind of leader we were seeking. The Development Guild team was always available, which created a bond with our search committee. We were all impressed by how smooth the search process was, as well as the exceptional candidates we were presented, and our new CEO, Sarah Glenn-Smith, is a real star.

- Ralph Hinckley, Board Chair