We work with social entrepreneurs and their funders to develop and evaluate programs, build organizational capacity and culture, and raise money. Our best work is with organizations poised for growth, turnaround, or pivot. We have been providing strategy, social impact reporting, and fundraising services since 1998.
We are connectors, communicators, and creative problem solvers. Over the years, we have raised millions for good and great causes. We’ve taught hundreds of workshops and classes, developed dozens of strategic plans, and advised nonprofit and philanthropy leaders—in the United States and in places around the world. We’ve made grants, managed programs, served on boards, and directed organizations. We’re about strategy, alignment, structure and improvisation in service of making a real difference on problems that matter. And we don't shy away from the tough stuff with executives, boards of directors, staff, or donors.
WE'RE IN LOVE.
(Appropriately and professionally, we swear) with people leading organizations that work toward innovation—novel ideas that can have economic impact.
OUR COLLEAGUES AND CLIENTS.
Combine enterprise with social services or pursuit of social change. Make philanthropic investments in fresh approaches directed at meaningful change.
We come in when you need to evaluate strategy and impact, or when you are facing a turning point for growth or renewal.
WE'RE UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
We’re reworking our site and cooking up some new stuff.
Program Design and Evaluation
Strategy and Change Management
Workshops, Facilitation, and Coaching (click circle for topics)
Fundraising and Grantseeking
My goal was to start the day by centering the work around impact. From my pre-retreat survey of a community foundation board of directors and conversations with its leadership, I understood them to be facing a pileup of open program and policy issues with no clear path for making decisions. There was an underlying question about whether everyone agrees[…]
Thinking about what an annual board orientation and training session might look like for your board? Board Orientation Planning Tips for Executive Directors and Board Members: Every time a new member joins the board, you are working with a new team. Take time to help people get to know each other and start establishing trust. Over the[…]
Q: How many board committees should our nonprofit have? A: As few as you need. Lots of Executive Directors and Board Chairs make what turns out to be a burdensome mistake by setting up a traditional board structure with lots of committees. There’s Finance, Development, the Executive Committee, the Audit Committee, and Board Recruitment and Development, and[…]
STAR TREK LOGIC MODEL Goal: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Resources: Starship Enterprise (best ship in the Federation) Warp drive Multiethnic Crew Transporter Phasers Communicators (flip phones) Timeframe: 5-year mission Programs Outputs Results (changes in[…]
At least three times last week I found myself referencing the basic elements of a logic model (aka theory of change). Once, when a colleague and I were discussing what learning to assess among individual participants in community service programs. And then, when introducing our capable intern to the wild world of grant writing. What could our client[…]
Sometimes as leaders (and consultants working to help leaders with organizational growth and change), we just feel stuck. Stuck in the middle of a sticky, dense, complex, uncomfortable, irritating, nagging problem that we cannot seem to get beyond. For some reason (usually reasons, plural), this time, we can’t see the components — or the overall, or[…]
Posted last week on LinkedIn: I woke up this morning worrying about the kind of funding problem that at some time or other worries all kinds of leaders involved in community building, social service, opportunity, and various kinds of world-fixing and change-making. Grant funding usually carries with it restrictions of use, of timing, of connections, of this and[…]
Last year in January, I was invited to give a talk at my alma mater, the University of Kansas, to help set up a weekend charrette for student teams to create architectural and design solutions to community problems related to water and food security. The slides here helped me tell the story of our evolving work to co-design a comprehensive, innovative strategy[…]