The Boston Globe profiled Third Sector New England's Courage in Leading program participants this week. All of them are longtime leaders of local nonprofits, members of a generation who came of age in the tumultuous 1960s and ’70s, channeled their idealism and political activism into socially conscious careers, and are now stepping down. They are part of a looming wave affecting organizations of all sizes across the country: the expected exit of large numbers of veteran nonprofit executives, many of them baby boomers who shaped the charitable sector and whose departures create the risk of a widespread leadership vacuum.
Nearly a third of New England nonprofit leaders surveyed say they plan to leave their jobs in the next two years, and almost two-thirds anticipate leaving within five years. Yet many organizations do not have a succession plans. Our upcoming report on nonprofit Leadership in New England profiles the challenges of succession planning and many other trends that are shaping the future of nonprofits in our region.