Nonprofits face leadership upheaval

As Baby Boomers reach retirement age, nonprofits must begin planning for a massive leadership transition in the sector, a new study says.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report, “2004 Executive Leadership and Transitions Survey,” that focuses on the career plans of 2,200 nonprofit executive directors across the U.S.

Baby Boomers represent more than seven in 10 nonprofit leaders in the U.S., the study says, and more than half of nonprofit leaders are over  age 50.

The U.S. workforce as a whole includes 72 million Baby Boomers and 38 million members of Generation X in line to fill the jobs the older cohort will leave upon retirement.

There will be two major waves of transition, the first underway and continuing through 2010, and the second peaking in 2020, the study says.

The rate of transition is increasing, the study says, with about 65 percent of respondents planning to go through a job transition in the next decade, compared to 57 percent who changed jobs or retired during the previous decade.

To prepare for transition, the study says, current executives and their nonprofits should begin grooming younger managers and making any adjustments in compensation and benefits packages to ensure they are in line with the market.

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