Successful leadership transitions

Uniting to ensure everyone succeeds

What happens when a founder or long-term leader decides to transition out of their organisation, especially when that person has been the fundraiser for that organisation? The answer is often a time of great instability for the board, staff, stakeholders, and funders. Sadly, there are many cases where organisations have failed to make the change successfully and have closed down. However, this can also be a time of regeneration and growth for a nonprofit, too.

The difference between a transition that succeeds and one that fails lies in several factors: in preparation and planning, in communication and clarity, and in understanding and unity.

This workshop will cover the dos and don’ts of successful nonprofit transitions, using case studies from two South African organisations which have made the change successfully. You will explore what can go wrong, hear of leaders’ experiences through the process, and find out how to manage risk and reputation. Aimed at small- to medium-sized nonprofit organisations, the lessons on navigating change are applicable across a variety of transitions, from planned to emergency successions. How we stand together during times of challenge and change is vital to how we come out the other side.

Who is it for?

Those in small to medium sized nonprofits, especially ones expecting upcoming transitions. Especially useful for those in leadership positions who may be looking at moving on, individuals stepping up into a leadership role, and board members or staff of organisations going through a period of change.

Learning outcomes

  • Learn what a successful transition looks like
  • Find out who needs to be involved in the process, how long it takes, and what is needed
  • Discover the dos and don’ts of a successful transition
  • Learn what you need to think about NOW if your organisation is going through a transition


Pippa Shaper
Coach & NPO Consultant, Pippa Shaper Consulting
Nazma Hendricks
Director, Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust