Interim CEO Stories: How An Interim CEO Impacted A Non-Profit

Interim CEOs can utilize their vast experience to solve critical problems in an organization. Read on to better understand the capabilities of an Interim CEO and how one of them transformed a large, 40-million-dollar non-profit in just a half of one year.

The organization was a non-profit that operates more similarly to a for-profit. Their problems at the time were spread throughout the organizational structure. Senior managers were concerned about keeping the business alive. They were struggling to find the right person to be the new CEO and were aware of the existence of numerous issues but were unable to pinpoint or address them.

This non-profit organization was in a desperate need of timely and efficient leadership talent. This was the talent they had tried to find with a CEO hire which did not turn out as they hoped, and the position was open again. The right kind of talent is something that can take a long time to find. There can then be on-boarding or training to bring the executive up to speed. In their situation, leadership on-demand was a quick and low risk decision.

The non-profit hired an interim CEO. He started off by reviewing budgets and reducing all expenses that were not necessary. He then adjusted the management structure so more responsibility was delegated to department heads and the entire organizational culture was shifted towards understanding and becoming a part of the bigger picture.

The non-profit also needed changes in how they approached and used new technologies. The Interim CEO revised software management and organized launching of the new smartphone app. He also improved the external communication and opened a new off-site call center.

His estimate was that there should be a decrease in operational staff and an increase in marketing staff – which, once implemented, proved to be a good decision as the sales went up.

The results of the Interim CEO’s engagement were:

  • Donations increased by 34% (observed annually),
  • Dependency on public broadcasters decreased by 23%,
  • Outsourced marketing costs reduced by 60% (the amount of services remained the same),
  • Weekly calls in call centers increased significantly.

The board stated it was “hard to believe” how quickly and easily the transition of the new interim CEO was. He implemented economical, technological, cultural, and operational changes which resulted in sustaining and even improving the business of the large non-profit; all of which happened within only six months. The board did decide to offer the interim CEO a longer-term role with the company.

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