More than two-thirds of nonprofit executives plan to quit their jobs within the next five years, both in Minnesota and nationally, a new survey has found.

Their departures are sparked in part by baby boomer retirements. One in six of the 3,000 nonprofit leaders surveyed is over age 60. Many would leave sooner, but the recession eroded their retirement savings, the survey found.

The recession is fueling the exodus in another way, namely by cranking up leaders' anxiety and frustration, according to the survey by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, based in California, and Meyer Foundation of Washington, D.C.

"I continue to be astonished that such a high percent of people plan to leave their jobs,'' said Judy Alnes, executive director of MAP for Nonprofits, a nonprofit management consulting organization based in St. Paul that helped with the survey.

"That is happening side by side with a strong level of passion and enthusiasm for their work,'' she said. "We find those to be interesting juxtapositions.''

In spite of the mass exodus of leaders, only about one in four nonprofits surveyed had documented succession plans. One in 10 executives said that not having a successor influenced his or her decision not to leave.

The findings in Minnesota were similar to those nationally, said Alnes, but there were a few differences.

•Nationally, 33 percent of executives surveyed said their predecessor was fired or resigned. In Minnesota the figure was 22 percent.

•Nationally, 45 percent of executives did not receive a performance evaluation in the past year, compared to 37 percent in Minnesota. Only a third of the executives labeled the review "useful.''

That figure concerned Alnes, since a job review is "basic good management.''

The good news behind the survey is that "it's a great time to be an emerging leader in the nonprofit world,'' she said.

To see the full report, go to www.mapfornonprofits.org.

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511