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Bridgestar Issues "The State of Nonprofit Hiring"

Survey Found Signs of Expansion and Continued Economic Challenge

Boston, MA Oct. 18, 2004 Planned hiring for senior managers is lagging in the nonprofit sector, according to a new survey of members conducted by Bridgestar, a nonprofit organization building a peer network of senior nonprofit leaders to support and strengthen the sector. The survey suggests that nonprofits may be delaying replacement of departing senior managers and that few are contemplating expansion, perhaps because of the challenging funding climate or the difficulty in finding qualified candidates for open positions.

For job seekers, the stronger opportunities for employment are with larger organizations and for organizations dealing in youth development. Fund raising and program oversight led the "wish list" of recruiting needs.

The survey, available in the October issue of "Leadership Matters," the monthly newsletter for senior nonprofit executives published by Bridgestar, polled executive directors in September about their plans for hiring senior managers in the coming six months as well as their experiences with turnover of senior management in the past year. The survey is also available at

Each month "Leadership Matters" picks a different theme designed as a conversation about how to build and sustain effective nonprofit organizations. "Leadership Matters" is available to all Bridgestar members or, for a complimentary subscription, please email In September, "Leadership Matters" published a crisis management case study featuring Marsha Johnson Evans, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. Previous issues have focused on topics such as the role of the nonprofit COO, improving nonprofit accountability, as well as best practices in compensation and performance evaluations.

"Our survey provides a view of hiring trends across the diverse nonprofit sector, with the suggestion that the economy is continuing to pose a challenge," said David Simms, Managing Partner, Bridgestar. "It is also possible that, consistent with our own experience in working with members, some organizations are having difficulty filling senior management positions," said David Simms, Managing Partner, Bridgestar. "We continue to believe that leadership is a continuing critical issue for the sector. This feedback strengthens our resolve to help organizations find executives with the right skill sets and experience for senior management roles – and individuals find the roles that will be most rewarding for them."

The August issue of "Leadership Matters" published a comprehensive "Guide to Navigating the Hiring Process," offering best practices to define the position, write the job description, screen resumes, interview candidates and assimilate new hires.

"At a time when there are more people looking for work than there are positions, nonprofits can take specific steps to identify senior executives with the appropriate skill sets," added Simms.

About Bridgestar
Bridgestar (, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, is a nonprofit organization building a member-driven community of individuals and organizations working to strengthen their careers, their institutions, and the nonprofit sector. Established in 2003, Bridgestar's goal is to attract, educate, connect and support leaders – established and aspiring – for greater effectiveness and social impact.

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