We work with social entrepreneurs and their funders when their organizations are ready for growth, turnaround, or renewal. We design and evaluate programs, build organizational capacity and culture, and raise money.
We are connectors, communicators, and creative problem solvers. Over the years, we have raised over $70 million. 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 and alignment, inclusion and equity, 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.
With people leading organizations that build practical, meaningful economic impact.
OUR COLLEAGUES AND CLIENTS.
Combine enterprise with social services or pursuit of social change. Make philanthropic investments in directed at meaningful change. Increase economic opportunity. Invest in communities. Work sustainably and inclusively.
We come in when you need to refine a program, raise more money, evaluate strategy and impact, engage a collaborative, or when you are facing a turning point for growth or renewal.
Service Year Alliance
Mississippi Delta Council
Program Design and Evaluation
Strategy and Change Management
Workshops, Facilitation, and Coaching (click circle for topics)
Fundraising and Grantseeking
Last week, I wrote a bit to encourage new executive directors, especially those following a founder. On Sunday, I read the piece in Sunday’s print Washington Post Arts & Style section on current host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah (similar but different story by same writer, WaPost online). What jumped out were the observations and[…]
At least a few times a year, I find myself saying that the hardest job in the nonprofit sector is that of the new executive director following the founder. Having been one (with only limited success), having supported some through different consulting engagements, and having worked with founders and executives at every point in the organizational life[…]
When someone invites you to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit, you can assume that someone thinks you’re a smarty. Someone thinks you are smart enough to pitch in and help grow the organization to have more impact in the world. It probably also means the someone believes you know people you could invite to[…]
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[…]
Example LOGIC MODEL In courses and workshops, I used the following example to illustrate the essentials of the 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 […]
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[…]
Ways We Work
Here are the ways we work with leaders and organizations. Contact us about your interests.
- Collaboratives and networks
- Program design and launch
- Strategy and growth advisory
- Impact investment
- Strategic planning
- Impact evaluation
- Process and results evaluations
- Board development
- Capital and major gifts
- Grant writing
- Fundraising planning
Workshops and Speaking
- Workshops and Learning Events
- Executive Director learning circle
- Peer planning trips and microsabbaticals