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On the Campbell & Company Executive Search team, we partner with nonprofits to recruit executive and leadership-level positions—which means my colleagues and I receive and assess scores of applications to mission-based organizations on a weekly basis. When it comes to application materials, one of the questions we hear most often is: “Should I include a cover letter with my resume?” The simple answer is YES!

To assist nonprofit leaders in their pursuit of the right position, our team has identified five other cover letter FAQs. Read on for our responses, based on our decades of combined experience in the field and our daily work with exceptional candidates.

Talent Management, Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search, Career Advice

Partnering with an executive search firm helps organizations explore outside their networks to find capable, dedicated leaders. Instead of managing recruitment efforts, staff can focus on work that directly supports the institutional mission while a trained team leads the search process. To make the most of this arrangement, it’s critical for organizations to foster a productive working relationship with their executive search firm.

Over two decades and hundreds of searches, our Executive Search practice has learned what it takes to elevate this important partnership. A successful partnership ultimately means the right new leader driving results at your organization. For nonprofits embarking on their next search, we’ve compiled four ways to get the best return on their executive search relationship.

Talent Management, Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search

In 2017, a LinkedIn profile is a necessity for all nonprofit leaders—absence from the professional networking site can raise a bigger red flag than even the weakest profile. A recent CareerBuilder study found that employers are 57 percent less likely to interview a prospect who doesn’t have an online presence.[1] In many ways, LinkedIn functions as a professional fingerprint. Executive search consultants use LinkedIn to research candidates, confirm work experience, and find contact information. Beyond these basic functions, LinkedIn also provides a means to gauge a candidate’s overall professionalism and sophistication. A sharp profile can make a lasting impression on a search consultant. To this end, my colleagues and I mined our broad experience working with top candidates and put together six recommendations to help nonprofit leaders get noticed on LinkedIn.

Talent Management, Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search, Career Advice

How can we ignite young professional interest in philanthropy and fundraising? On May 16th, Campbell & Company tackled this weighty question during an On the Table lunch at our Chicago office with emerging and established nonprofit leaders from across the city. Organized by The Chicago Community Trust since 2014, On the Table brings together tens of thousands of Chicagoland residents who gather in small groups to discuss our region’s challenges and opportunities. The annual forum serves as a catalyst for conversation, collaboration, and action.

Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search

Over the past 40 years, our firm has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to lead an organization: the vision, drive, temperament, and experiences necessary to set strategy and define direction. Through our partnerships with thousands of organizations, we know that nonprofit CEOs need a diverse set of skills, and fundraising expertise is a critical component of that skill set. During the last 10 years, every head of organization search conducted by our Executive Search practice has included fundraising as a major requirement. 

Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search

Our Director of Executive Search Marian Alexander DeBerry recently contributed to the Giving Institute’s Member Insights blog, delving into the all-important CDO-CEO relationship. Drawing on our Executive Search practice’s extensive knowledge and the experiences of Josephinum Academy President Patti Tuomey, Marian discussed four ways CDOs can develop a collaborative partnership with their CEOs. The recommendations are designed to help CDOs excel in the present and set themselves up for future advancement to organizational leadership positions.

Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search

It's all about the people. 

At Campbell & Company, we know Marian Alexander DeBerry as our Executive Search Director, a
strong leader and accomplished professional highly skilled in her field. She certainly lives up to this image with 20 years of experience in executive search and active involvement in professional associations. Marian is the Co-Chair of both Forefront’s Advisor Member Network and AFP Chicago’s Fellows Program. She is also an annual speaker at the Minority Advancement Institute of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Executive Search


In my experience with senior and C-suite level executive search, I have had the opportunity to look at various ways organizations aim to attract and retain talent. In an increasingly competitive market for fundraising talent, organizations have implemented performance incentive programs – which provide ways to increase pay beyond base salary – to boost their compensation packages. The questions often asked of me, however, is whether incentive programs are ethical or effective, and if so, how do they work. After conducting informal research, which consisted of asking peer nonprofit leaders for their thoughts on the topic, it became clear that there was an opportunity to further explore this area and understand more about how these reward programs work.   Particularly, healthcare institutions have found that performance incentive programs do encourage fundraising staff to meet goals.

Nonprofit Trends, Talent Management Strategies, Healthcare Trends, Campbell & Company Research Findings, Executive Search, West Region

Since joining Campbell & Company’s Executive Search practice six years ago, I have reviewed countless resumes for nonprofits across the U.S. For any given search I’m working on, I receive dozens of resumes, some better than others. There is a lot of advice out there about how to craft a strong resume, and much of it is conflicting, not to mention confusing. Recently, more people have been asking me for advice on their resume – even at the end of an interview, which they got because I liked what I saw on their resume.

Talent Management Strategies, Executive Search, Career Advice