When is an Executive Director not an Executive Director? When the not-for-profit contracts with a firm to "run their organization for them: have a person who would act as Executive Director plus do all the administrative management that goes along with running a not-for-profit." And what’s the difference between "acting" as an Executive Director and being one?
Though not in possession of the back story, The Nonprofiteer suspects that this is a nonprofit Board aspiring to run itself without any pesky interference from professionals. Rather than risk a power struggle, it will hire an administrator to (odds, anyone?) raise the money for the agency while it, the Board of Directors, does "policy." The firm hired won’t be able to say, "The Board has to work on fundraising" because it will have been hired for the very purpose of fundraising; and the firm hired won’t be able to say, "You’re leading this agency in the wrong direction" because it will have been hired to "run" the agency not to lead it. It raises an interesting question about the usual dynamic between Boards and Executive Directors, which are more meetings of equals (or knife and throat) than principal and agent. If the usual Executive Director is NOT a pure agent of the Board, what is (s)he? And if (s)he is, what is this Board trying to accomplish?