Find the best executive search consulting firm for your nonprofit!

9 Nonprofit Executive Search Firms for Dynamite Consulting


Inspiring leadership, strong communication, and passion for philanthropic work — these are some of the qualities you’ll find highlighted in a typical nonprofit executive job description.

However, hiring the right executive leader boils down to more than just checking off traits, but rather finding someone who clicks with your mission and staff on a personalized level.

Luckily, if your nonprofit is new to executive search (or could brush up on your skills), nonprofit executive search firms are there to help you sort through the cookie-cutter candidates and track down your ideal leader.  

These professionals can help you draft job descriptions, coordinate interviews, train new hires, and more to ensure you have a reliable nonprofit team in place for years to come.

What’s more is we’ve already outlined the top nonprofit executive search firms below to help get you on the fast track to philanthropic success — let’s dive in!

Nonprofit Executive Search FirmArea(s) of Expertise
#1 Aly Sterling Philanthropy — Top Pick Executive role development and recruitment
#2 Averill — Top PickRecruiting experience
#3 Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt — Top PickRisk-free executive recruitment
#4 Concord Leadership GroupExecutive coaching
#5 CCS FundraisingInterim development management
#6 Janssen and AssociatesExecutive and board recruiting
#7 McCormack & KristelClient briefing, candidate evaluation
#8 Envision NonprofitExecutive recruitment data analysis
#9 Thomas R. Moore Executive SearchExecutive search, interview management

Take a look at Aly Sterling's executive search firm.

#1 Aly Sterling Philanthropy — Best for All-Around Executive Search

Executive Search Firm Overview

When it comes to helping nonprofits manage every detail in the executive search process, no firm will steer you in a better direction than Aly Sterling Philanthropy.

A Midwest consulting firm, Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s collaborative and holistic approach to executive search has helped nonprofits maximize their development potential time and again. 

Nonprofits of all sizes and backgrounds can also trust this consulting firm for a personalized executive search strategy to fit their evolving needs.

Expert Services

In addition to fundraising consulting, strategic planning, and board governance, Aly Sterling Philanthropy shines in these executive search areas:

  • Designing New Executive Roles — To kick off their service, this consultant works with your team to analyze your development needs before designing a tailored leadership position.
  • Executive Search Marketing — Aly Sterling Philanthropy helps you craft a personalized job description and promotional strategy across on and offline marketing channels.
  • Form an Executive Search Committee — This consultant helps nonprofits track down and organize a well-rounded executive search committee to assist in the hiring process.
  • Screen Candidates — With a four-phase screening process, Aly Sterling Philanthropy analyzes candidates’ verbal, written, and interview skills before completing a reference check.
  • Integrate New Executive Hires — Once you’ve chosen your next nonprofit leader, this consultant will stick around to help you successfully integrate them into your unique operations.

When to Use This Executive Search Firm

Part of the beauty of Aly Sterling Philanthropy’s executive search consulting is how flexible and accessible they are to a variety of nonprofits.

Whether you’re looking to expand your fundraising with a new major gift officer or bring on a fresh development director, Aly Sterling Philanthropy has got you covered with a wealth of nonprofit knowledge and experience.

Why They Made Our Top Spot for Overall Services

Aly Sterling Philanthropy is one of few nonprofit executive search firms with such a comprehensive outline for marketing, interviewing, and training nonprofit executive leaders.

These professionals pride themselves on key executive search strategies such as:

  • Designing compelling leadership positions.
  • Strategically attracting job candidates.
  • Managing timelines and interviews.
  • Conducting thorough candidate interviews and screenings.
  • Engaging internal hiring committees.

With their personal investment and in-depth knowledge, Aly Sterling Philanthropy whittles down your top contenders for nonprofit executive positions in no time.

See how Aly Sterling's stellar consulting for executive search can help your nonprofit.

Check out Averill's executive search solutions for nonprofits.

#2 Averill — Best for All-Around Executive Search

Executive Search Firm Overview

Averill has worked with religious and health oriented organizations, with goals upwards of $90,000,000.

With over 75 years of experience, Averill can help your organization reach its goals with a tailored strategy specifically for your organization.

Averill has conducted over 35 capital campaigns for hospitals and health care facilities!

Expert Services

Averill offers top notch nonprofit consulting services:

  • Campaign Planning and Feasibility Studies — Before you send your first solicitations, Averill will prep your team for success in your capital campaign by assessing how prepared you are to handle the undertaking.
  • Campaign Direction — Whether you’re fundraising for your annual fund or another project, Averill will stay with you every step of the way to help your leadership make smart directorial decisions.
  • Embedded Staffing — Averill will embed staffing for partners if you need more help on the ground from day to day. You can bring on Averill staff both in the interim during times of need and long-term for assistance with training.
  • Leadership Learning and Executive Search — Looking for your new leadership team but don’t know where to start? Ready to refresh your executives and volunteers on industry best practices? Averill can help, offering workshops and retreats as well as recruiting strategy.

When to Use This Executive Search Firm

Averill is perfect for religious and health-oriented organizations, but can work well with any type of nonprofits.

Why They Made Our Top Spot for Overall Services

Averill is your partner in crime when it comes to executive search. With proven success in the recruiting department, Averill can place talented individuals at your nonprofit. They’ll work with your organization’s culture and needs to find the perfect staff member to join your team.

Averill Fundraising Solutions has 75+ years of combined experience with executive search.

See how Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt can help your organization by providing executive search consulting.

#3 Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt — Best for Risk-Free Executive Search

Executive Search Firm Overview

Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt are an exceptional executive search consulting firm for both new and established nonprofits.

With an expansive local and national network, these professionals are devoted to helping nonprofits fill critical positions like senior development professionals, chief executives, and other nonprofit leaders.

However, it’s this firm’s golden policy that cements their chief spot on our list: if your new executive hire leaves within six months of Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt’s services, they’ll conduct a second round of searches for free!

Expert Services

On top of executive recruitment, Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt offers a host of top nonprofit consulting services:

  • Fundraising Counsel — This consulting firm prides itself on a variety fundraising expertise from major and annual giving to capital campaigns and government funding.
  • Planning and Leadership — With strategic thinking, Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt helps nonprofits realistically define their goals and develop powerful tactics for achieving them.
  • Research and Analytics — Through prospect research, wealth screening, and data modeling, this consulting firm digs deeper into nonprofit connections to strengthen fundraising and hiring strategies.

When to Use This Executive Search Firm

If your nonprofit is brand new to executive search (or working with a nonprofit consultant) Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt’s trustworthy platform can help ease you into their consulting services.

Why They Made Our Top Spot for Overall Services

By far one of the best reasons to partner with Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt is their promise to secure a top executive leader free of charge if your initial new hire leaves after only six months.

This risk-free guarantee more than helps give nonprofits with minimal executive search experience (or who have been burned in the past) peace of mind knowing this firm is there to assist as long as you need them. 

Not to mention their vast nonprofit network can help you narrow down executive candidates across all regions and specialties to meet your needs.

Check out how Ter Molen Watkins and Brandt can help your organization with executive search.

For executive search consulting, see how Concord Leadership Group can help you.

#4 Concord Leadership Group

Executive Search Firm Overview

Concord Leadership Group’s top priority is to improve nonprofit staff performance and satisfaction through innovate executive leadership.

Using an original blend of character studies and neuroscience findings, this executive search firm develops top-performing executive leaders trained in strategic planning and unified growth.

In particular, their executive coaching service is most commonly used to revamp CEO and board member roles as well as fundraising management.

Unique Services

Concord Leadership Group specializes in many nonprofit executive search areas including:

  • Executive Coaching — This service is used to help brand-new or poorly-oriented executive leaders to improve nonprofit staff relations and create a compelling mission.
  • Strategic Intensives — These flexible and extensive workshops help nonprofits set clearly defined goals and arrange a comprehensive strategy for reaching them.
  • Staff or Team Training — This executive search service can range from team building and organizational development to imparting key skills like fundraising and marketing.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Concord Leadership Group aims to get the root of your nonprofit’s challenges using their three-part executive search model:

  • Discover your talents — Using their Personal Leadership Assessment, this firm analyzes nonprofit executive officials’ natural leadership skills to help target personal and organizational areas for growth.
  • Identify your leadership model — By defining an executive leader’s operating model, this firm can determine which leadership methods best serve your organizational talents as well as identify tactics that are causing damage.
  • Set the right goals — This executive search firm is devoted to helping nonprofit achieve a better understanding of their abilities and mission to form feasible development goals.

Above all, Concord Leadership Group helps nonprofit staff and leaders better connect with their roles so they can regroup with stronger problem-solving and team-building strategies.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Contact Concord Leadership Group to work out a personalized executive search pricing package.

Take a look at Concord Leadership Group's executive search consulting.

Check out CCS Fundraising's executive search consulting.

#5 CCS Fundraising

Executive Search Firm Overview

With 70 years of philanthropic consulting experience (and counting!), CCS Fundraising is an executive search firm that nonprofits can rely on during times of change.

CCS Fundraising offers hands-on interim development services to help nonprofit executive leaders transition into new roles with confidence and a fluid understanding of your operations.

They also serve a wide range of nonprofit demographics including: healthcare, higher education, faith-based, arts and culture, and more.

Unique Services

In addition to providing transitional guidance for executive leaders, CCS Fundraising offers these nonprofit services:

  • Campaign Management — This keystone service is designed to help nonprofits plan and execute winning capital campaigns and fundraising communications.
  • Strategy, Evaluation, and Planning — CCS Fundraising helps nonprofits maximize fundraising potential with planning and feasibility studies and development audits and assessments.
  • Data Analytics — With research practices like prospect research, predictive modeling, and portfolio optimization, this firm uses unparalleled facts to set your nonprofit goals in motion.
  • Learning and Leadership Development — CCS Fundraising offers executive tools and curriculum to enhance fundraising roles and nonprofit organizational structures.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

This executive search firm not only works with your development team during interim executive management, but their host of learning and leadership services are hard to match anywhere else including:

  • Leadership advisory sessions that provide holistic one-on-one consultation with nonprofit executive leaders.
  • Interactive board development programs that increase nonprofit knowledge, support, and philanthropic culture within your organization.
  • Custom learning guidance in the form of a dynamic forum based on years of nonprofit experience.

CCS Fundraising is there to help reshape your nonprofit’s structure while introducing key best practices for executive leadership.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Reach out to CCS Fundraising for a tailored pricing package on executive search services.

CCS Fundraising can provide your organization with consulting for executive search.

Janssen and Associates provide stellar consulting for executive search.

#6 Janssen and Associates

Executive Search Firm Overview

Janssen and Associates is a full-service executive recruitment and consulting firm that caters to both the nonprofit and corporate sectors.

With a specialty finding interim executive directors, this firm comprises a diverse team of executive search professionals and an even larger network of socially-conscious connections. 

They also uphold an optimistic philosophy that identifies organizational crisis and turns it into an opportunity for better staffing, compensation, and collaborative programming.

Unique Services

Within their bundle of executive search services, Janssen and Associates offers nonprofits:

  • Executive Recruiting — One of the more popular services, this firm strives to find the one unique person to fill your executive leadership needs and even provides a guarantee on the placement of your new hire for up to a year from their start date.
  • Interim Executive Director and Interim Director Placements — Janssen and Associates helps nonprofits better understand their need for an interim executive leader before establishing a tailored plan for finding a top-notch candidate.
  • Board Development — This service covers many specific developmental areas from board recruiting and transition consulting to succession planning and consulting referrals.
  • Executive Coaching — With short and long-term options available, this service is directed at both recent college graduates and those who are new to the nonprofit industry to provide a solid foundation from which grow.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Describing the nonprofit as a vital force in their community, Janssen & Associates is committed to making a difference with nonprofit board members. They recognize the problems that come along when a nonprofit’s government doesn’t agree with its business and view nonprofit leaders as individuals who strive for a better community.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Contact Janssen & Associates for a qu0te on their services.

Check out Janssen and Associates' executive search consulting.

See how McCormack and Kristel can help your organization by providing executive search consulting.

#7 McCormack & Kristel

Executive Search Firm Overview

McCormack & Kristel, a nonprofit and philanthropic-focused firm, is a national provider for executive search consulting services.

With founders Joseph McCormack and Michelle Kristel, the firm’s clients receive McCormack’s recruiting expertise and Kristel’s nonprofit executive experience to make for the perfect pairing. 

Their offices in California and New York allow them to serve a wide range of organizations, everything from public health to advocacy, human services to social justice, and more.

Unique Services

McCormack & Kristel implement a 4 phased service for nonprofits:

  • Phase 1 — This phase includes a client briefing, research, and progress review so the firm can gain critical insight into your organization.
  • Phase 2 — McCormack and Kristel’s phase 2 includes sourcing, evaluation and presentation of candidates, followed by a progress review, of course.
  • Phase 3 — The third phase consists of client interviews, reference checking, and a progress review.
  • Phase 4— Their final phase included negotiations, a search closeout, and a follow up, followed by their staple review.

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

McCormack & Kristel proves their dedication to their clients by giving unwavering effort and personalized attention until their engagement is completed.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Contact McCormack & Kristel to learn more about using their services.

McCormack and Kristel can assist your nonprofit with executive search consulting.

Envision Nonprofit can provide excellent consulting for executive search.

#8 Envision Nonprofit

Executive Search Firm Overview

Envision Consulting looks at their executive search practices as matchmaking, using a series of tools and metrics to measure both personalities and a cultural fit that will extend beyond paper forms like resumes.

Envision Nonprofit focuses on working toward growth as they work with nonprofit boards and staff, keeping furthering your cause at the top of their agenda. 

Their firm looks for talent and collaboration skills to keep your organization running at the top of its game. Their goal is place hardworking, talented leaders where they need to be.

Unique Services

Like we mentioned before, Envision Nonprofit knows it all starts with the leaders, so they’ve broken their process down into 4 easy steps:

  • Assess & Define — Envision Nonprofit creates a candidate profile during this step. They’ll analyze your nonprofit’s leadership and methods to understand what your organization needs in a leader.
  • Recruit & Source — Envision then posts on job boards and reaches out personally to prospective candidates. They make sure to craft warm, personal approaches so your job opening doesn’t get looked over.
  • Interview & Analyze — When candidates are selected, they’ll go through phone and face to face interview so Envision can select the right individual for your organization.
  • Executive Interview Panel — The best candidates participate in the final interviewing process where the organization’s recruiter and search committee can score without bias. Envision helps your organization with a final decision and will even make 3, 6, and 9 month onboarding check ins!

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Envision Nonprofit knows typical head hunter searches simply don’t work. Instead, they take the time to carefully craft personalized messages to engage all of your prospective candidates.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Contact Envision Nonprofit to request a quote on their services.

Check out Envision Nonprofit's executive search consulting services.

Check out Thomas R. Moore's executive search consulting.

#9 Thomas R. Moore Executive Search

Executive Search Firm Overview

Thomas R. Moore performs executive searches specifically for nonprofits and has done so for over 25 years.

Founded in 1991, Thomas R. Moore is located in Dallas-Fort Worth and services organizations in Texas and across the United States. 

Their firm is focused on filling your vacant positions with “top-notch” fundraising specialists, giving your organization the most talented and qualified individuals to select from.

Unique Services

Thomas R. Moore’s services offer multiple features, created to help you find the perfect fundraising specialist, like:

  • Position Profile
  • Candidate Research Plan
  • Targeted Candidate List
  • And more!

Why We Recommend This Executive Search Firm

Even after you’ve found and hired the perfect candidate, Thomas R. Moore will check in with your organization for up to 12 months to make sure you’ve found the perfect match.

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Contact Thomas R. Moore to request a quote and discuss their services.

See how Thomas R. Moore Executive Search's consulting services work for nonprofits.

Remember, these firms can help you with everything from job descriptions to interviewing candidates! So now that you have our top 9 nonprofit executive search firms, you’ll definitely find the perfect candidate to fill your vacant position. Happy searching!

If you’re looking for more information about consulting firms and fundraising, take a look at these resources:

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