Nonprofit Headhunting

by Staffer Team

Headhunting is defined as “the activity of identifying and approaching suitable people employed elsewhere to fill business positions.”

In the nonprofit world, a standard “headhunter” looks like this:

  • Works primarily with for-profit companies and only some nonprofits
  • May work under a contingency fee structure, which means that a fee is paid “if” a successful candidate is found.
  • Often is not familiar with working with a Board and other stakeholders, and does not have particular expertise related to the position or nonprofit sector.
  • Involves general recruiters, usually with backgrounds in business or human resources.
  • May rely heavily on a standard database of job seekers.
  • Follows a basic recruitment approach designed to fill a vacancy.

Top 5 Nonprofit Headhunting Firms: 

  1. Aly Sterling Philanthropy
  • In addition to their comprehensive fundraising, strategic planning, and board governance services, Aly Sterling Philanthropy offers a collaborative and holistic approach to the search process for nonprofits.

2. Averill Fundraising Solutions

  • Not only does Averill Fundraising Solutions offer tailored fundraising consultation, but they also apply their flexible, experience-driven model to the candidate search process to ensure that your nonprofit finds the right new hire for your team.

3. CCS Fundraising

  • If your nonprofit is up against unique fundraising challenges that require a major change in your organization’s  approach, it may be time to bring different perspectives to your organization by hiring new employees. Luckily, CCS Fundraising is here to help.

4. Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt

  • Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt is an experienced nonprofit consulting firm that specializes in strengthening governance, leadership, planning and fundraising for organizations like yours. With their help, you find individuals with the passion and skills to serve your team well.

5. McCormack + Kristel

  • McCormack+Kristel is an executive search firm that specializes in executive recruiting with an eye for diversity. As their client, the firm ensures that they’ll help you hire the most qualified candidate for the position while also uplifting members of marginalized communities with the skills and passion to make a difference in your field.

In addition, here are a just few suggestions for where to look when it comes to finding the best search firms for your nonprofit organization:

  • Online Information Hubs: Gather information about executive transition planning and compensation studies; ensure your source is credible
  • Nonprofit Alliances: Depending on your sector, your agency might belong to an alliance of peer organizations that share a common vision or cause. Statewide or national nonprofit associations may have experience working with search firms.
  • Personal Recommendations: ask for advice and recommendations of search firms in your own social circles

The initiation of each executive search is an opportunity for organizational advancement, growth, and reflection. One exceptional hire can change an organization forever. If your nonprofit organization is looking to fill an open role, consider


Your cart