Executive Search

Hiring an executive director is the most important role of a nonprofit board. It is also a challenging task, requiring a broad set of skills and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, as well as considerable time to complete. I offer a professional and cost-effective option that will allow the board to focus on the needs of the organization during a transition.

After decades of working in and leading nonprofit organizations, I have the expertise to conduct executive searches for high-quality, visionary leaders for your nonprofit. I also have extensive connections in our local nonprofit community.

Here’s an overview of how I will help your organization conduct a successful search:

  • Assess the organization and the needs of the position.
  • Draft a compelling job description that lets potential applicants know that the board has put significant thought into what the organization is looking for in its next ED.
  • Help you find a strong pool of qualified candidates through existing networks, targeted advertising, and community leaders.
  • Collect and screen the numerous applications for those that best meet the qualifications.
  • Conduct comprehensive reference checks that go beyond confirming dates of employment.
  • Help the board conduct the full interviews in a way that brings forward the most important information on the candidate.
  • Manage staff involvement, including securing confidentiality for internal candidates and ensuring staff have a voice in the final choice.
  • Facilitate the final negotiation process with both the candidate and the organization.
  • Plan a strong onboarding process for the new executive director.

These tasks take well over 100 hours to complete – imagine doing it yourself and adding on all the time it would take to learn how to do this. Best of all, I offer these services at a price that is affordable to nonprofit organizations.

I have led six executive searches in Lincoln, Omaha, and statewide for a wide range of nonprofit organizations. I’m happy to provide references.

Contact me at ingrid@ingridkirst.com or 402-730-2532 to discuss your executive director search needs.

“Over my career, I have been involved in multiple search committees. I have NEVER been involved in one that went as smoothly as the NAMI NE Executive Director search!!! In partnering with the NAMI Board Ingrid was able to cast a large net and we ended up with a pool of 60+ candidates. Ingrid vetted this pool and brought 9 highly qualified candidates to the Selection Team. During this entire process Ingrid facilitated all of the interviews, background checks, partnered to develop interview guides, etc. At the end of the process, the Selection Committee felt very comfortable selecting our new ED. Without Ingrid’s diligence and expertise, I do not believe NAMI NE would have found an ED with the talent and experience that we needed.” -Kenneth McCartney, NAMI Nebraska Board President

“Ingrid’s expertise was a wonderful addition to our executive director search process. We particularly appreciated the preparation work she organized prior to the actual commencement of the search. Those conversations within the Board as well as with staff and community stakeholders were essential to informing our process and decision-making. In addition, Ingrid’s approach to both the preparation work as well as the actual search provided ample opportunity for discussion, but also gentle redirecting when necessary. Her professionalism is impeccable.” – Michelle Sitorius, Voices of Hope Board Chair

Read a case study for how one organization found that my help made a tremendous difference after they tried to manage a search themselves.