About Us

We are purpose-driven, mission-motivated people. This is at the core of who we are as individuals. We are a retained executive search firm focused exclusively on the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. Our partners and professionals are deeply experienced; we bring more than 70 years of combined nonprofit and philanthropy expertise to every search engagement. We are national and global – in our scope of work, our clients’ reach and impact, and the talent pool we access.

Our ultimate client is those whom our client organizations serve – the beneficiaries, the consumers, the clients, the users. If they are better served as a result of the executive whom we placed, then we have met our professional objective – placing transformative leaders.

We take our work together seriously, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We bring a sense of humor and humanity to our partnerships with clients and candidates. Executive search can be exciting, inspirational, and fun!

Our Approach

Real Leadership and Real Community

A Partner leads every search. We bring the resources of a large firm with the client focus and service of a boutique. We partner with our clients and candidates, bringing tenacity and creativity to the engagement. We believe in and take action on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Community (“EDIC”) because we believe in the values of social and economic justice and in the research-based business benefits that EDIC delivers to organizations. We “walk the talk.” We are active volunteers in the worlds of philanthropy and nonprofits. We serve on Boards of Directors; we are philanthropists. We have peer insights into and understanding of the challenges and issues that face Search Committees, Boards of Directors, and executive staff.

We are known for our integrity, professionalism, commitment to mission, and EDIC.

Our style and view

Consultative, Inquisitive, Observant, and Impact-Oriented.

Leadership transition is an inflection point in an organization’s evolution. It can be a time for thoughtful, strategic organizational introspection. To this end, we see ourselves as a trusted adviser, offering objective, professional, high-value counsel. We work in strategic partnership with our clients, establishing a heightened level of mindshare about the organization and its culture, changes and challenges, to form the right questions and identify the critical success factors and key metrics. We create a finely honed lens through which to view candidates; this lens reflects the acuity of our understanding of the client’s needs and the candidates’ skill sets and experience as well as motivations, aspirations, and values.

At Carlson Beck, our objective is to enable our clients to make a well-informed, contextual decision regarding the best candidates for their organization. We engage deeply with our clients, obtaining input from Board members, staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and community partners. We also engage in a deep, detailed, and holistic fashion with candidates. We seek to gain insight into the “whole person” that each candidate brings to the search process and their executive leadership role.

Two Chairs and a lamp

We understand what’s at stake – your organization’s future.