Is your Executive leader leaving your organization?

NAO has conducted more than 130 successful Executive Directors/Chief Executive Officers and senior leader searches for 501(c)(3) public benefit nonprofits in Oregon. We bring more than 15 years of experience and a mission-based relationship-driven approach – working in close partnership with our clients.

What we do

As Oregon’s nonprofit sector membership association, NAO brings unique expertise, extensive connections and a nonprofit lens to finding the right leader for your organization.

An executive transition is an opportunity to take stock, identify leadership needs, recruit strategically and onboard carefully. NAO brings unique expertise, extensive connections and a nonprofit lens to finding the right leader with the right set of skills, leadership and cultural fit for an organization. The process includes facilitating the recruitment, managing the timeline, asking the right questions and guiding the board to achieve a successful result. Executive Search Services offers:

  • Extensive knowledge and connections to local, regional and national networks to attract qualified, diverse candidates
  • A track record of successful placements of executive directors in organizations of all sizes and life cycle stage
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Clear communications with board, staff and other stakeholders
  • Attention to ensuring a strong match/fit between the organization and prospective executive, taking into account organizational culture, life cycle stage and priority skill sets
  • Assistance in identifying specific onboarding steps to support following finalization of hire
  • Strategic onboarding to support integration of the incoming executive

Start to finish, We’re Here

Depending on your organization’s unique situation and needs, some or all of the following steps may be appropriate.

Transition Planning
Develop and deliver support to board and staff in understanding and honoring the contributions and legacy of the exiting executive, clarify remaining work and develop a timeline for the executive’s departure. In addition, develop and implement a communications strategy and plan for key stakeholders and the broader community.

Discovery and Development
Work with board and staff to develop a shared understanding of the trends, opportunities/challenges, strengths, core values and aspirations for your organization. Determine how these findings will inform and guide the search process for the next leader.

Roles and Responsibilities
Develop a work plan and timeline, clarify roles and responsibilities for board, staff and departing executive before moving forward. This early work creates the conditions for success throughout the entire search process.

Work with the search committee to create a robust recruitment and outreach plan that incorporates personal and professional networking, advertising and social media.

Interview Process
Prior to assessing candidates, NAO guides the search committee to develop agreed-upon criteria based on the new executive profile. Finely tuned interview questions are crafted and support is provided to the search committee as it conducts candidate interviews and debriefing.

Screening and Evaluation
NAO asks the tough questions and offers perspective to the search committee based on proven experience and the successful placement of executives. In addition, NAO manages communications with candidates ensuring that responses to candidates are timely and that the process is transparent.

Final Stages
At the final stage, NAO supports the organization with interview rounds, stakeholder meetings, facility tours and other activities designed to determine whether finalists are well suited to the opportunity. Reference interviews and background checks are conducted and support is provided to board leadership to develop the employment offer and negotiate terms.

Hiring and Onboarding
The process does not end with acceptance of the employment offer. A successful hire requires a strategic and intentional onboarding plan. NAO works with the search committee and/or transition committee to develop a plan that identifies orientation activities, including introduction to key stakeholders and establishes performance goals for the incoming executive’s first year on the job. This process sets up the incoming executive for success – both internally and in the broader community.


NAO offers below market rates for Interim Executive Directors who typically work an average of 25 hours/week. Rates vary based on an organization’s geographic location, operating budget size, salary of the prior Executive Director and the scope of work. Organizations are often able to fully cover the cost of their Interim Executive Directors from salary savings.

To receive a preliminary service quote, complete and attached this consulting services request form to A member of the consulting team will be in touch with you within 3-5 business days.

Ready to get started? Join NAO!

NAO’s consulting services are offered exclusively to NAO’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit members. In addition to accessing these wide-ranging and expert consulting services, NAO members enjoy resources, access to professional development events, digital and printed publications, cost-saving benefits and networking activities. Membership is based on an organization’s operating budget size.

To learn about NAO’s consulting services, contact:

To learn about NAO membership, contact: