Is your founder looking at retirement? Is your Executive Director leaving your organization?

NAO’s Executive Transition Services has supported hundreds of nonprofits during critical executive change. Our unique team of experienced Interim Executive Directors provide management continuity, organizational assessment and interim leadership to help organizations prepare for new leadership.

Value proposition

Rapid Response
An Interim Executive Director can be placed in an organization in a fraction of the time it would take to hire a new Executive Director. This allows an organization to take the time for a thoughtful and successful transition.

Quality Assurance
NAO’s vetted Interim Executive Directors have a minimum of 10 years of experience and a proven track record of previous successful assignments with clients working with funders, staff, constituents and board members.

NAO ensures that the Interim Executive Director will match an organization’s requirements, is highly qualified with the appropriate experience and is the right fit for the interim position. Strategic placement allows the Interim Executive Director to be productive from the outset, have an immediate positive impact and minimize risk.

The Interim Executive Director will be an experienced nonprofit executive who brings objectivity, organizational development knowledge and best practices to assist your transition. They bring a valuable neutral perspective to the organization.

NAO will engage an Interim Executive Director who is accountable to the organization and to NAO. Interim Executive Directors are responsible and accountable for managing an organization until it is time to hand the reins over to your newly hired Executive Director.

Staff Support
The Interim Executive Director will provide leadership to staff by managing ongoing operations, listening and resolving concerns and building confidence in the executive search process through regular and appropriate communications. The Interim Executive Director will also prepare staff for new leadership.

What does an Interim ED do?

  • Sustain and support day-to-day operations
  • Assess organizational needs and clarify priorities
  • Work with board and staff to ensure continuity of development activities and other time-sensitive projects
  • Assess and report to the board on the organization’s overall operations
  • Guide board and staff in moving towards transition
  • Prepare the groundwork for the new executive leader

The process

  • Initial intake for the assignment
  • Assess available consultants and review factors such as technical skills, subsector experience, mission alignment and organizational culture
  • Determine appropriate consultant match/fit for the organization
  • Schedule potential interim consultant-client meeting to evaluate fit and discuss proposed scope of work
  • Discuss and accept proposal and NAO/client signoff on contract


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:

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