At Keynote Search, we believe in simplifying the high-level recruitment search process so you can focus on your bottom line. Fewer environments are more dependent on such a precise, carefully orchestrated focus than non-profit organizations. Getting the very most out of available resources requires the right executive for the role and our team has worked closely to realize this for several such organizations.

Ironically, our own focus is simple: empower your workforce with ideal figurehead candidates, driving your available workforce towards a more seamless, collaborative, supportive operating environment. This is conducive to more opportunities to engage audiences, encourage compelling new partnerships, and inch further along towards your collective achievements. A combination of thorough vetting and post-hire support ensures that your new executives aren’t just a great fit; they’ll also help your existing team achieve great things. That’s the Keynote Search way.

So, what does it take to perform an effective executive search for non-profit applications? First, we make sure they have an appropriate skill set, risk-free background, and demonstrated suitability for the role in question – after all, you can’t just put anyone at the helm to weather any storms ahead! To narrow our searches for you further, we also pay close attention to personality traits; motives, values, preferences, how receptive candidates are to different management styles, and work ethic are just a few examples of the many criteria we evaluate for each executive candidate. Nothing is left to chance, much like every opportunity your organization has to spotlight causes critical to your mission. We are your non-profit executive search firm.

Non-Profit Clients We Have Partnered With

Common Roles

Keynote Search is proud to have helped the nonprofit sector achieve continued or greater success by securing nonprofit leaders for great roles. These include the following and more:


  • C-suite Executives
  • Executive Directors
  • Vice President (VP – level roles)
  • Director-level roles


  • Administrative
  • Community engagement
  • Development
  • Finance/accounting
  • Health and human services
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Partnerships / corporate relations
  • Philanthropy

Sub-Sectors Served (Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels)

  • Industry associations
  • Charities
  • Community healthcare providers
  • Community centres
  • Development agencies
  • Festivals
  • Foundations
  • Professional regulatory and licensing bodies
  • Schools
  • Sports organizations

Get in touch with our sector leaders to learn more

Contact Us

Our Success-Based Guarantee

We’ve refined – and redefined – our nonprofit executive search process to the point where you can be assured of optimal results. That’s why Keynote Search provides a 12-month success-based guarantee to ensure your continued satisfaction. Combined with thorough onboarding and executive coaching, we harness the latest technologies and proven innovations to ensure a comprehensive vetting search process – but we don’t stop there. Our post-placement services are intended to address any questions or concerns – whether by yourself or your new executives – to ensure the best possible long-term performance and maximum retention. Think of it as our way of helping you ensure optimal morale, departmental performance, and progression towards your nonprofit’s intended milestones. In many ways, everyone benefits from this holistic and considerate approach – all the way down to those whose causes you’re fighting for.

Ready to make a key difference with the Keynote Search team? We’re excited to roll our sleeves up and get to work. Contact us today to get started with our services.

NPOs: Capitalizing on the Purpose-Driven Workforce

The ability to portray an NPO’s mission and the organizational impact on people’s lives to make a difference in the community or globally should be used as an advantage in the war on talent.

Non-Profit Executive Search Hiring Guide


This guide has been created to prepare Board Members and Senior Leaders at Non-Profits for your next executive level hire. Whether it be a CEO, Executive Director, CFO, COO or another Director level position, this guide walks you through the considerations and recommendations for both topics of discussion and processes to follow in order to successfully hire and ensure the peak performance of your next executive.


We specialize in supporting executive search and talent needs for Non-Profit Organizations

“When our Executive Director retired, we knew that we would need to find a strong replacement. We didn’t know how to get the process started, where to look or how to message potential candidates to clearly articulate our value proposition. We engaged Keynote and they truly took the time to understand exactly what our organization was about and the type of individual we would need to lead it. We felt we were working with a short timeline, and Keynote was clearly up to the task. They provided a short-list of exceptional candidates and guided us through the interview process. Keynote went above and beyond our expectations in helping us find the perfect candidate, and they clearly understand the Not-For-Profit sector. They were incredible to work with, I highly recommend their services and would not hesitate to turn to them again.”

Rob Dale
Board Member - youturn

“Run Ottawa is an NPO that operates a running club for Canada’s capital and organizes multiple annual events, including Ottawa Race Weekend, the largest multi-day running event in the country. The Board of Directors engaged the team at Keynote to help find a new leader after a long-time president stepped down. Keynote guided us through the entire process from start to finish, including redefining the role, establishing our search criteria, attracting candidates, interviewing applicants, creating a short list, conducting detailed interviews, completing an offer, and onboarding our new Executive Director. They were with us every step of the way, which was crucial for a volunteer board, and provided valuable guidance and insight. They presented us with a diverse field of candidates from which we chose an outstanding leader who has already had a huge impact on the organization during a time of great uncertainty. We were very grateful for their hard work and very happy with the outcome.”

Mark Sutcliffe
Chair - Board of Directors - Run Ottawa

“Keynote Search played a vital role in setting us on a path towards our long-term success at the Ottawa Board of Trade. We engaged Keynote for a CEO search and are delighted with the outcome and process that got us there. We would highly recommend Keynote to any business or organization seeking a new executive level hire. Keynote took a keen interest in all facets of our organization to ensure they had a grasp on how a potential candidate could provide executive leadership, value and fit within our culture. They went above and beyond to market the opportunity to a targeted group of individuals that they had screened in-depth to ensure that an extremely impressive short-list of candidates was presented for review by the Board’s Executive Search Committee.”

Ian Sherman
Chair - Board of Directors - Ottawa Board of Trade

“Keynote was exceptionally valuable as CaRMS recruited for a newly developed Chief Technology and Innovation Officer role. In a highly competitive market for talent, Keynote was integral to our success in hiring an outstanding candidate and supporting the organization in their onboarding. We are delighted with the result.”

John Gallinger