TSB 013: How to Prepare for the 1st 90 Days as a Nonprofit CEO or ED

December 17, 2022

Read Time: 2 minutes

This week's tip: Here is a sample schedule for the 30 days before starting your new role as a Nonprofit CEO or Executive Director.

There's a lot to plan and prepare in the months and weeks leading up to your first day as a nonprofit Executive Director or CEO!

In my experience, it's common to have thirty to ninety days for smaller organizations and three to six months for larger organizations.  The table below assumes the smallest reasonable timeframe to provide the most value.  If you'd like to see a longer timeline, please send us a note or give us a call.

Sample Schedule for you to adapt to fit your timeline:

 

Day of Week
Day
Activity

Fri

-30

Give notice to your current job.

Sat

-29

Celebrate your new CEO/Executive Director job with family and friends!

Sun

-28

Prepare for a hectic week.

Mon

-27

Develop a transition plan.

Tue

-26

Edit transition plan.

Wed

-25

Review the transition plan with your boss.

Thurs

-24

Let your team know about your upcoming departure and what's known about the transition.

Fri

-23

Meet with the person(s) taking over critical aspects of your job.

Sat

-22

Create a list of donors, board members, and key staff you need to meet for the new role and request their contact information.

Sun

-21

Rest

Mon

-20

Wrap up as many loose ends as you can.

Tue

-19

Update your boss on the transition plan.

Wed

-18

Attend an evening event related to your new role.

Thurs

-17

Reflect on why the board hired you and craft your 60-second story to share with others about your new role.

Fri

-16

Reflect on why people donate to the nonprofit you'll be leading and craft your fundraising story.

Sat

-15

Create an outline for your 1st 9 days on the job and start scheduling meetings with donors, board members, and key staff.

Sun

-14

Rest

Mon

-13

Continue to wrap up as many loose ends as possible on your current job.

Tue

-12

Update your current boss on the transition plan.

Wed

-11

Add to your 9-day plan to get you through the first 30 days.

Thurs

-10

Add to your 30-day plan to get you through the first 60 days.

Fri

-9

Clean out your office to work from home or take vacation time. 

Sat

-8

Add to your 60-day plan to get you through the first 90 days.

Sun

-7

Rest

Mon

-6

Take your new Board Chair to lunch to gain insights and discuss plans for the first 90 days.

Tue

-5

Take a Board Member to lunch.

Wed

-4

Take a Donor to lunch.

Thurs

-3

Take your new Executive Assistant to lunch.

Fri

-2

Take your new leadership team to lunch.

Sat

-1

Prepare for any speeches or key meetings during your first week.

Sun

0

Rest

Mon

1

You are a new Executive Director / CEO!

Feel free to adapt this timeline to fit your own and add more opportunities to meet your team and members of the organization.  

The more listening you can do and information you gather, the better off you'll be in the new role.

 

See you again next Saturday!

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Build your dream team using behavioral insights and validated techniques by booking a free People Strategy Call here.
  2. Book a team-building workshop here.
  3. Sign up for executive coaching here.

 

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