Career Partners International – Seattle’s Annual Social Sector CEO Trends Report Finds Need for Succession Planning

Posted January 29, 2015

Career Partners International - Seattle's Annual Social Sector CEO Trends Report Finds Need for Succession PlanningChapel Hill, NC (1/29/15) – The 2nd Annual Social Sector CEO Trends Report by Waldron, a consulting firm that helps attract, engage and inspire effective leaders and is an equity owner of the global executive coaching and talent management services provider Career Partners Internationa, found a large disparity between perceptions of succession readiness among CEOs and leadership teams in nonprofit organizations.

Released in conjunction with the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, the report targets senior executives and leadership teams from the largest nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits and charitable foundations in the United States. This year’s survey provides insight into the need for organizations to anticipate and plan for a scarcity of leadership as more leaders reach retirement age and the number of organizations continues to grow.

Survey results indicated that 90% of CEOs perceive that their organizations provide next generation leaders with access to development opportunities compared to only 52% of leadership team members. Additionally, 87% of CEOs state that succession planning is very important, yet less than 30% have a plan in place. Sixty-two percent of leadership team members aspire to become CEOs, but only 27% report they feel prepared to take that role today.

“The survey exposes a disconnect between CEOs’ and Leadership Teams’ perceptions of succession readiness,” commented Tom Waldron, Founder and CEO of Waldron. “It reveals a strong need for more open conversations around leadership and a consistent emphasis on transition during strategic planning conversations.”

“This research is extremely important for organizations within the nonprofit sector,” added David P. Hemmer, President and CEO of Career Partners International. “Succession planning is a key aspect of organizational success, and in the case of nonprofits the stakes are even higher.”

The survey collected responses from individuals in leadership positions at nonprofits, NGOs and foundations with budgets and/or assets above $100 million. The nonprofit sector is the third largest employer in the United States with more than 2.3 million organizations according to research by Colorado Women’s College and the Nonprofit Almanac 2012 Factsheet. The sector has experienced fast growth, with 24% growth from 2010 to 2012.

For more information on the annual Social Sector CEO Trends report or to read the most recent report, visit the Knowledge Center at

About Career Partners International

Career Partners International enhances organizational performance and people’s lives every day! As a global leader in talent management consulting since 1987, organizations of all sizes and industries trust Career Partners International for the very best outcomes to their most challenging and important talent strategies and initiatives. With the most experienced and respected consultants in more than 45 countries, Career Partners International provides clients with one-on-one access to local experts in talent development, career management, executive coaching, outplacement and career transition services to successfully assess, engage, develop and transition talent to drive organizational performance. More information may be found at

About Waldron/Career Partners International – Seattle                                                 

Founded in 1982, Waldron is the consulting partner strategic leaders choose to help attract, engage and inspire effective leaders. Waldron provides a unique combination of executive search, leadership development and career transition services across sectors and industries. Our passion is helping people and organizations realize their full potential and increase their impact. Headquartered in Seattle with offices in Portland and San Francisco, Waldron is an equity-owner of Career Partners International, a global talent management firm, serving its clients in over 270 locations worldwide.

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