Services

Governance and Strategy

Governance and strategy: to navigate today’s turbulent environment, nonprofits need a focused mission, a strategic plan aligned with that mission, reliable implementation and effective governance practices. But developing a strategic plan that moves smoothly into implementation can be difficult. And, building a governance model that consistently adds value can be an elusive goal for many nonprofits.

We’ve helped scores of nonprofits, large and small, national and local, federated and stand-alone, to address these kinds of challenges. We can provide the guidance and coaching you require to position your organization for success by:

  • reviewing your organization’s strategic plan, and providing you with an assessment
  • using “© critical success factors for sound governance” as a framework for diagnosing any governance difficulties you may be encountering
  • providing the conceptual thinking and skilled writing which, along with critical input from staff, can yield a motivating, results-oriented strategic plan
  • determining how and when to engage your board of directors productively in your strategic planning process
  • reinforcing what’s sometimes a “missing link” between the strategic plan and its implementation
  • guiding you through a process of organizational change, if needed
    charting a program that will lead to a stronger board providing more effective leadership.

Please contact us to discuss how we could work with you in any of these areas and to tell you about how we’ve worked with other clients to achieve inspiring results.

Improving Financial Performance

Improving Financial Performance: Nearly all nonprofits face significant financial challenges. Perhaps, like others, you lack the funds you need to fuel your mission. Or you’re finding traditional revenues sources are drying up. Perhaps your financial administration needs improvement, or your reports to the board. 

Maybe your board and staff would like to do more, but people feel stuck. There’s a way to get unstuck! We can help in myriad ways, using some or all of the following strategies:

  • Reviewing your current financial situation
  • Assessing current and potential streams for revenue growth
  • Working with you to determine what potential sources offer greatest promise
  • Collaborating with you to develop a mission-related financing plan
  • Providing practical assistance in fund development or in securing grants
  • Assessing what tools you might need to diversify your sources of revenue and build your case for support
  • Getting your board more proactively engaged in financial oversight and development
  • Improving the quality of financial reporting or financial administration.

Our review often results in an appraisal report which then leads to a change workshop. Board and staff discuss the recommendations, leading to a collective understanding of how to get “unstuck” and move ahead on a path toward greater sustainability.

Organizational Realignment and Change Management

Organizational Realignment and Change Management: a recurring theme in current literature about strategy and governance is the concept of alignment. The contemporary nonprofit, faced with increasing competition and difficult financial challenges, will want to ensure that its organization is firing on all cylinders. The different elements of the organization — sections, divisions, programs etc. — need to be operating in harmony.

The turbulence facing nonprofits may lead to a need to recalibrate or rethink their organization. “Business as usual” is not a motto that would serve most nonprofits well today. Some organizations have even responded to this turbulence by merging with another. 

Nonprofits should not be allowed to just ‘evolve’ in a kind of organic way. Peter Drucker, one of the best-known writers on management, has written, “The only things that evolve in organizations are disorder, friction and malperformance…. Organization design and structure require thinking, analysis and a systematic approach.”

Our Principals are well acquainted with the challenges of organizational development and change management. Whether what’s required is just minor adaptation, or perhaps a more significant realignment — or maybe even a merger — we can help to make sure the process runs smoothly and that desired results are achieved.

Metrics

Metrics that matter: nonprofits everywhere are being told by both funders and contracting organizations that they must provide evidence their work is producing desirable results. But developing sound performance measures isn’t easy. It can give rise to many questions, such as:

  • What results are most important?
  • What If some key results are intangible, not readily measured?
  • What role should the board play in developing or guiding the development of a measurement regime?
  • Who should be responsible for establishing, then updating the right metrics?
  • How to communicate results in a manner that leads to constructive discussion and implementation of changes that may be needed?

​​We’re experienced in dealing with these and related questions. Acting as both coaches and guides we can help you to implement the measurement system that will satisfy the most demanding funder or contracting organization. 

Communications

Communications: an organization’s communications strategy needs to be integrally linked to its mission and its strategic plan. It’s important to ensure that this linkage is robust and that communication practices are achieving the desired impact.

If organizational change of some sort is necessary, the change process must be underpinned by an effective communication strategy. Here’s what we can do:

  • review existing communications practices, including use of social media
  • ensure that communications activities are establishing the linkages you would want with existing stakeholders
  • develop a communications plan linked to your organization’s strategic plan, or a specialized program to support a particular initiative
  • assist with implementation.

Public Speaking
& Facilitation

Public speaking
Our Principals a well as a number of our associates have wide experience in addressing conferences, workshops and similar events both in Canada and internationally. Recent examples include participation in panel discussions on the implications of artificial intelligence for nonprofits and on the strategic planning process — specifically, how to progress from concept to implementation.

Facilitation
In addition to, or as a by-product of our consulting work, we  are often engaged to organize or facilitate workshops, strategic planning sessions, and learning events of various kinds. Recent topics have included board recruitment and composition; diversity and inclusion; and member engagement. We are especially adept in assisting organizations to navigate sensitive topics and confront difficult issues. Please get in touch if you require experienced facilitators to deliver results

Contact

We welcome requests for information and invite you to reach out to us