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Rich Cowles Announces Retirement

Dear Friends of the Charities Review Council:

It is with mixed feelings that I write to inform you that Rich Cowles, the Charities Review Council’s Executive Director of 12 years, and dear friend to many of us, has decided to retire at the end of June.

Rich has been the public face of the Council as it has evolved to serve the needs of our sector, while staying true to the Council’s bedrock mission and values. A prominent example is our transformation from a traditional charity watchdog to what’s been affectionately called a charity “guide-dog,” employing the Council’s experience and expertise to help nonprofits meet the reasonable expectations of donors.
Rich has also led the Council to a position of leadership within the sector through an unrelenting and deeply personal commitment to cultural competence—an effort that has engaged the entire board and staff. And we are pleased that we’ve begun a Campaign for Growth to strengthen the Council’s infrastructure, which will help build a bridge to new leadership and increased impact and sustainability.
As Rich himself regularly verbalizes, periodic leadership change is healthy for an organization, providing an opportunity for injecting new perspectives and new skill sets. So, in that mindset, I know you will join me in thanking Rich for his leadership and service to one of Minnesota’s treasures, and wish him well in his new pursuits.
The Council’s Board of Directors has fully embraced the process of finding a new leader, and the energy and enthusiasm inherent in that process. I am proud to serve on the Board of the Council with a group of wise and dedicated volunteer leaders. We have the extreme good fortune of having been selected by the Chandler Group as its one pro bono client of the year to carry out the search, which is underway.
We seek your ideas and suggestions of qualified candidates. Please contact either Chris Cohen of the Chandler Group or me if you have suggestions of qualified candidates. Chris can be reached at, 952-473-8510. I can be reached at, 651-602-2605. View job description here.

As we get closer to June, we will let you know of the Council’s plans to recognize and thank Rich Cowles and to welcome our new leader.

Thank you for your support of the Charities Review Council,

Heidi Neff Christianson, Board Chair