Nonprofit Executive Search Firms: 8 Picks for When You Hire

When your nonprofit is transitioning from one executive leader to the next, the process can seem insurmountable. With the direction of your entire organization at stake, it’s no wonder finding the right new hire is daunting.

However, by enlisting the expertise of an executive search firm, your nonprofit can trust that they’ll help you find the best candidate for your open leadership role. Once they’re successfully onboarded, your team will well equipped to achieve fundraising success!

Looking to partner with the right consultant for your nonprofit’s particular executive search needs? Check out our top 8 executive search firm picks:

  1. Aly Sterling Philanthropy
  2. Averill Fundraising Solutions
  3. CCS Fundraising
  4. QTI Group
  5. Freeman Philanthropic Services
  6. Envision Nonprofit
  7. Witt/Kieffer
  8. Janssen & Associates

Ready to find the perfect partner for your upcoming executive search? Let’s dive in!

Aly Sterling Philanthropy is our favorite nonprofit executive search firm.

1. Aly Sterling Philanthropy — Our Favorite Nonprofit Executive Search Firm

Overview

You already know the professionals at Aly Sterling Philanthropy for their unmatched expertise in fundraising consulting. But did you know that in addition to fundraising consultancy they also offer standout executive search services?

With Aly Sterling Philanthropy, your hiring team will be able to focus on the future of your organization while managing the logistics of bringing on your newest team member. By guiding your team through the search process, your nonprofit is sure to find the right individual for the job.

Executive Search Services 

When your nonprofit works with Aly Sterling Philanthropy to find your next executive hire, you can expect industry-leading service and accountability. This includes:

  • Aligning expectations and defining the ideal candidate for your nonprofit.
  • Developing a search strategy and promoting the executive position on job boards.
  • Screening applicants in a thorough, four-phase process.
  • Selecting final candidates and preparing your search committee to make a selection.
  • Integrating the position and onboarding your new hire.

With Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s guidance, you can trust that the executive search process will go smoothly for your nonprofit.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

With their collaborative and holistic approach to the executive search process, by working with Aly Sterling Philanthropy your organization will not only walk away with a new team member, but you’ll also be empowered with a better understanding of how to move your mission forward toward future success.

It’s just this simple: if your nonprofit wants a comprehensive executive search partner to guide you through the hiring process, Aly Sterling Philanthropy is second to none.

Aly Sterling Philanthropy offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s website to learn more about their executive search services!


Averill Fundraising solutions is our favorite nonprofit executive search firm.

2. Averill Fundraising Solutions — Our Favorite Nonprofit Executive Search Firm

Overview

Averill Fundraising Solutions is known far and wide for its expertise in nonprofit consulting services. For seventy-five years and counting, the firm has distinguished itself by providing exceptional solutions for clients from across the nonprofit sector.

When it comes to executive search services, Averill Fundraising Solutions’ consultants will be with your organization every step of the way in identifying candidates, conducting interviews, and aligning your team’s strategy.

Executive Search Services 

By partnering with Averill Fundraising Solutions, you can trust that you’ll uncover the best executive leader to serve your team for years to come. The firm specializes in:

  • Chief Development Officer recruitment.
  • Nonprofit leader recruitment.
  • Hiring strategy assessment.
  • Onboarding strategy alignment.

With Averill Fundraising Solutions as your guide, finding the right new leaders for your organization has never been easier.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

After recruiting your nonprofit’s newest executive leader, your partnership with Averill Fundraising Solutions doesn’t have to end. The firm offers a wide array of nonprofit consulting services in addition to nonprofit executive search that can elevate your fundraising strategy from the inside out.

With Averill Fundraising Solutions at the helm, there’s no limit to what kind of fundraising success you can achieve!

Averill Fundraising Solutions offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Averill Fundraising Solutions’ website to learn more about their executive search services!


CCS Fundraising is our favorite nonprofit executive search firm for temporary hires.

3. CCS Fundraising — Our Favorite Nonprofit Executive Search Firm for Temporary Hires

Overview

As a nonprofit, sometimes big shakeups in the structure of your organization happen. You might have an executive officer unexpectedly leave your organization, or a necessary reevaluation of your strategy could call for a new hire to be made.

While these uncertain times might be nerve wracking, you can always count on CCS Fundraising to see you through. With their interim development management services, undertaking the executive search process as your organization transitions has never been easier.

Executive Search Services

With their expertise, CCS Fundraising will:

  • Recruit exceptional executive staff members with an eye toward your future.
  • Work with your leadership to promote continued growth and developmental success.
  • Ensure a sustainable team by onboarding new hires in line with your nonprofit’s culture and mission.

When your team partners with CCS Fundraising, you’ll not only select a great new executive to join your ranks, but you’ll also gain keen insight into the steps you can take to ensure lasting success.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Hiring new executives during times of transition for your nonprofit can be difficult, and you don’t want to make the wrong selection. In such a high-pressure situation, it can be easy to miscalculate and make a selection that is out of step with your organization’s future growth.

By partnering with CCS Fundraising, your team can be confident that they’ll provide unique insight and expertise into choosing the right individual for the job at hand.

CCS Fundraising offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit CCS Fundraising’s website to learn more about their executive search services!


QTI Group is another nonprofit executive search firm.

4. QTI Group

Overview

QTI Group is a seasoned staffing firm and human resources consultant that works with organizations in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. With decades of experience and a wide network of professional contacts, QTI Group can help your organization find the right executive hire.

After working with your hiring team to determine your organization’s needs, QTI Group will take the reins and cast a national search for top-level talent so you can focus on your nonprofit’s day-to-day operations and long-term success.

Executive Search Services

If your nonprofit partners with QTI group, they’ll lead you through the executive search process by:

  • Developing positions, conducting marketing strategies to reach candidates, and implementing outreach strategies.
  • Reaching out to exceptional candidates, evaluating applicants, making candidate recommendations, and conducting finalist interviews.
  • Overseeing background and reference checks, finalizing the position, and assisting with follow-up and position integration.

From start to finish, QTI Group has your nonprofit covered throughout the executive search process.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Since they operate in both the nonprofit and for-profit arenas, QTI Group has a unique perspective over the executive search process. With their extensive background in human resources, they’re experts in their class who know a thing or two about what makes organizations of all stripes run smoothly.

If your team chooses QTI Group for your executive search needs, you can be confident that they’ll not only select the right hire for your team, but that you’ll benefit from their vast skillset.

QTI Group offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit QTI Group’s website to learn more about their executive search services!


Freeman Philanthropic Services is another nonprofit executive search firm.

5. Freeman Philanthropic Services

Overview

Freeman Philanthropic Services is a strategic recruitment firm that exclusively serves the nonprofit community. Over the years, the firm has successfully completed over 450 recruitments for nonprofit organizations from across the country.

Founded by Gail L. Freeman, a nonprofit recruitment expert with over 25 years of experience, the firm works hard to find nonprofits like yours the right new employees by drawing on their vast network of connections throughout the nonprofit sector.

Executive Search Services

When your nonprofit enlists Freeman Philanthropic Services to recruit your next executive hire, they’ll carry out the process by:

  • Conducting strategic interviews to determine the scope of the vacant position.
  • Reviewing organizational structure, strategy, financial reports, and more.
  • Working with you to align resources and accurately define the role.
  • Tailoring the search process to your organization’s specifications and needs.

Freeman Philanthropic Group takes a targeted approach to the executive search process that focuses on identifying qualified candidates who not only fit the position, but who also align with your nonprofit’s culture and strategy.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Freeman Philanthropic Services stands out from other executive search firms by emphasizing organizational transparency and strategic planning during the search process. Each executive search is uniquely tailored to each client, and the search process is designed to strengthen stakeholder ties.

If your nonprofit chooses Freeman Philanthropic Services to find your newest executive hire, you can be confident that their search will be uniquely shaped to the needs of your organization.

Freeman Philanthropic Services offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Freeman Philanthropic Services’ website to learn more about their executive search services!


Envision Nonprofit is another nonprofit executive search firm.

6. Envision Nonprofit

Overview

Envision Nonprofit eschews terms like “head hunting” to describe their executive search approach, and prefers that clients think of the process as “matchmaking.” Through the search process, the firm works with your team to find a new hire that aligns with your team’s core values.

Throughout the process, Envision Nonprofit will work with your board and staff to develop a strong foundation of leadership with an eye towards organizational growth. Additionally, they’ll leverage data to see if current members of your organization are the right fit for the position.

Executive Search Services

Envision Nonprofit approaches the executive search process through comprehensive data analysis. Their strategy comprises of the following steps:

  • Identifying staff and board expectations for the new hire.
  • Developing a candidate profile based on their perceptions of the ideal candidate.
  • Crafting personalized recruitment messages tailored to each prospective candidate.
  • Conducting preliminary phone and in-person interviews with each candidate.
  • Selecting top prospects for the final round of interviews with your search committee.
  • Conducting onboarding followups at the 3, 6, and 9 month benchmarks.

From square one, Envision Nonprofit works with your team to identify the right candidate for the job based on a proven process built on data.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

In addition to their executive search, Envision Nonprofit offers a number of leadership development support services to strengthen your nonprofit’s team from within.

Once they help your team identify where and how to grow, you’ll be better equipped to bring on a new executive hire who fits in with your organization’s blueprint for future success.

Envision Nonprofit offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Envision Nonprofit’s website to learn more about their executive search services!


Witt/Kieffer is another nonprofit executive search firm.

7. Witt/Kieffer

Overview

Witt/Kieffer serves a variety of organizations across many sectors: academia, tech, healthcare, science, and the nonprofit field. With such a wide variety of clients, the firm has developed a  network of contacts that your nonprofit can access to help find your next executive leader.

When working with your organization, Witt/Kieffer specializes in executive searches for chief development officers, chief diversity officers, and other senior leaders.

Executive Search Services

Throughout the executive search process, Witt/Kieffer will be by your nonprofit’s side to help you select the most qualified candidate for your new job. Their search process consists of:

  • Customizing the search to fit the needs of your nonprofit.
  • Interviewing board members and other senior leaders to assess your organization’s perception of the ideal candidate.
  • Researching candidates both inside and outside your field to broaden the search pool.
  • Advising during on-site candidate interviews and assisting in the final selection process.
  • Staying in contact with your team after the hiring process concludes to ensure a smooth transition.

From beginning to end, Witt/Kieffer’s thorough approach to executive search is sure to bring forward exceptional candidates for your nonprofit’s vacancy.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Witt/Kieffer is unique in that they have developed a proprietary database of over 600,000 professionals that they use to identify qualified candidates for their clientele.

A group of 20 analysts maintains this database and curates original research for clients with every single search, meaning your nonprofit is more likely to uncover the right individual for your team.

Witt/Kieffer offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Witt/Kieffer’s website to learn more about their executive search services!


Janssen & Associates is another nonprofit executive search firm.

8. Janssen & Associates

Overview

Janssen & Associates is a full service recruitment and transition consulting firm that serves organizations in the nonprofit sector.

Specializing in interim Executive Director referral, the firm will help guide your organization through your leadership transition as smoothly as possible.

Executive Search Services

When placing your new executive hire, Janssen & Associates emphasizes the importance of providing a smooth transition for your team. Their services include:

  • Leveraging their extensive network of professionals in socially-conscious sectors to identify the right executive hire for your nonprofit.
  • Placing interim Executive Directors within organizations in transition who will help your team find the right permanent placement over time.
  • Offering grant-based leadership placement for struggling nonprofit organizations on based on need.

Because they focus on the nonprofit executive search process exclusively, Janssen & Associates has developed expert insight over the years into the unique needs of organizations in the sector.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Janssen & Associates provides “full-and-phased” executive search services so that your nonprofit is able to find the right new hire on a timeline that works best for your organization.

In addition, the firm offers a 12 month guarantee that the candidate they help your team find is the right one for your nonprofit.

Janssen & Associates offers nonprofit executive search services.

Visit Janssen & Associates’ website to learn more about their executive search services!


With so many exceptional options, your nonprofit is sure to find the right executive search firm to guide you through your upcoming hiring process. Good luck!

Check out some of these additional resources to supplement your nonprofit’s executive search:

Develop your nonprofit with fundraising software.

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