Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, September 19, 2011

About Interim Executive Director Services

There are many times in the life cycle of a nonprofit organization when it is appropriate to hire an interim CEO (or executive director) instead of bringing in permanent leadership:
  • The loss of a long-term leader or founder,
  • A change in strategic direction,
  • Time to review long-term strategy,
  • A financial or other management crisis that requires special skills,
  • Consideration or negotiation of a merger.
Interim staff leadership during a period of transition gives a board of directors the time necessary to make appropriate strategic decisions. The use of a consultant as interim brings additional industry experience to the table in guiding the board through the strategy setting and transition process.

I have served as an interim executive director for five different organizations, each with a unique situation, and each with successful results for that organization.
  • Two of my interim assignments resulted in successful mergers. One of a small, single-program agency into a larger regional organization, and the other of a mid-sized multi-program, single-topic agency into a larger regional organization. In each case I served as part of the negotiating team, protecting the interests of my client, and managing communications to staff, as well as managing day-to-day operations of the organization.
  • A third assignment began with merger negotiations, but for strategic reasons the merger agreement was never completed. At that time the focus of the assignment became stabilization and sustainability of the organization before beginning a search for a new, permanent executive director.
  • With another organization, I was asked to bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy after mismanagement by the previous executive director. My focus here was on bringing in new funding, re-negotiating a building purchase agreement, cutting the operating budget by 20%, and rebuilding the board from four to eleven members, before beginning the search for a new, permanent executive director.
  • In only one situation was I asked to investigate, and then implement, a plan for bankruptcy and an orderly shut down of operations. Before proceeding with the shut-down, I held private interviews with all stakeholders, including funders, clients, board members, and others in the community, as well as other nonprofit leaders who had gone through bankruptcies.
To discuss the needs of your organization, please contact me at ken at If I feel we may have a fit, we will arrange an initial meeting at which we will discuss your organization's situation and needs and create a personalized plan.

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