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Services

Laura Pierce Consulting at Chaya Retreat

Laura Pierce Consulting strengthens nonprofit organizations. Since 1998, Laura Pierce has assisted over one hundred nonprofit organizations to more effectively meet their mission by improving operations, thinking more strategically, and teach people to work more effectively together at the board and staff levels.

Board Development

Laura works with boards to ensure they have the tools to reach their potential as a team. She provides board assessments and training in the areas of board roles and responsibilities, board recruitment, leadership development, managing diversity and team building. Laura can also assist boards in creating and implementing a board development plan.

Common reasons that nonprofits seek board development assistance:

  • Poor board/staff relations
  • Inactive or waning board
  • Board that does not reflect the community served
  • Committee structure that is not working
  • A good board wants to be even better

Strategic and Business Planning

Laura facilitates both simple and complex planning processes, and can help you decide what type of planning is appropriate for your organization at this time. Laura guides groups to methods for involving stakeholders and increasing community ownership at the data gathering stage, facilitates focused retreat discussions to generate clear and agreed-upon mission and goals, and works with clients to ensure that they have a useable, specific plan with timelines, responsibilities, action steps and evaluation outcomes clearly articulated. Laura can also assist in the development of business plans—a detailed long range plan that lays out strategy as well as staffing, finances and other resources needed to implement the strategy in the coming years.

When to consider strategic planning:

  • You’ve never done strategic planning, but your board is ready to commit time and energy to move to the “next level”
  • There has been significant turnover at the board level since the last planning process
  • Program planning is driven by proposal writing rather than a master plan
  • Funders are demanding outcomes, and you have difficulty responding
  • There are significant differences of opinion among board and staff about what direction the organization should take
  • The board is disengaged and really doesn’t know what the staff is doing

Facilitation

Laura also designs and facilitates board retreats, staff retreats and community meetings. She brings extensive experience, expertise in retreat design, and a calm yet effective facilitation style. In past, clients have praised her ability to include diverse voices and to gently guide a group to remain focused and reach their goals for the day.

Organizational Assessment

Laura can assess your organization’s health across the board or in a particular focus area. The current functioning of the organization is reviewed and measured against best practices for program management and evaluation, financial management, board operations, leadership, fund development, and any other area of special interest to the client organization. The result is a descriptive report accompanied by recommendations for positive change and/or a capacity building plan that can be shared with prospective funders.

Reasons that nonprofits elect to complete an organizational assessment:

  • Feeling stuck/Uncertainty about what the organization really needs to move forward
  • Board lacks a clear picture of the organization’s operations, strengths and weaknesses
  • Organization would like assistance in developing a capacity building plan
  • There is disagreement about how to resolve a problem within the organization, and an outside perspective will help
  • A first step utilizing outside technical assistance

Interim Management

Laura has served as interim executive director for seven organizations since 1998. In each case, Laura brought the professionalism and nonprofit management expertise needed to either maintain smooth operations or to effect major positive changes. Her services usually include general management of the organization, consultation to the board, completion of a comprehensive organizational assessment and assistance with an executive search. To download a factsheet about interim management, click here.

Special Projects

If you have a project in mind and are uncertain whether it fits with our expertise, give us a call. We occasionally work on projects outside these areas such as policy development, program development and fund development. We are happy to discuss your goals with you and will give you our candid opinion about whether we can help. We provide referrals to other consultants with different expertise or work collaboratively with colleagues to meet the needs of clients.