Nonprofit organizations operate in a landscape where change is a constant and demonstrating value is a must. This means organizations must be ready to adapt quickly to changing conditions without losing focus on accomplishing the mission and delivering value to the community, funders, and partners.

At CHS we use a proven model for helping nonprofits develop organizational strategies that are flexible, adaptable, mission-driven, and focused on delivering value.  We also use an action learning approach to help organizations build stronger and smarter teams as they work together to build capacity and execute for results.

Learn more about our supports below, and contact us to discuss the possibilities.

In today’s landscape change is a constant, and nonprofits must be nimble enough to adjust their strategies in response to changing conditions in the community, the funding arena, and public policy.  It helps to have a strategy development model that is flexible and repeatable over time.

At CHS we specialize in helping nonprofit organizations define and implement strategies that are flexible, adaptable, mission-driven, and focused on delivering value. As a starting point we use a proven nonprofit support model as a guide to help organizations:

  • 1. Engage key stakeholders
  • 2. Assess the situation
  • 3. Design strategies
  • 4. Develop capacity
  • 5. Support implementation
  • 6. Evaluate impact
  • 7. Demonstrate value

We also use an action learning approach to help nonprofits build new capabilities as team members work together on strategic initiatives. Learn more about our nonprofit strategy supports in the sections below.

  • The first step for creating nonprofit strategies that work is to engage the right stakeholders in the process.
  • Depending on the project, the right stakeholders might include team members, board members, community members, service partners, funders, or other people from outside the organization.
  • We work closely with our clients to identify the key people who need to be involved in the project, and engage them in productive ways.

Strategy development begins with an assessment of the current situation and how it may change in the future.  We can help you:

  • Assess the current status of the organization
  • Conduct an environmental scan to identify external opportunities and challenges
  • Conduct an internal scan to identify operating strengths and gaps
  • Consider alternative future scenarios for the organization
  • Identify priorities for strategy design

The next step is to define goals and strategies for the organization or program based on the assessment of strategic possibilities. We can help you:

  1. Clarify the mission, customers, and value proposition of the organization or program
  2. Define strategic goals for the organization or program
  3. Design specific strategies for accomplishing strategic goals
  4. Define key indicators of strategic performance
  5. Identify key capabilities that will be required for strategic execution

Once a strategy is designed the next step is to develop organizational capacity for strategic execution. We can help you:

  1. Identify strengths and gaps in current capacity
  2. Define goals for capacity building (e.g., team learning, program design, program evaluation, quality improvement, workflows, systems)
  3. Develop capacity building resources (e.g., subject matter expertise, promising practices, proven tools)
  4. Deliver capacity building supports including coaching, training, tools, and technical assistance
  5. Monitor results to assure the organization is ready to execute defined strategies

Once the strategy is defined, execution is everything. CHS can help you:

  1. Equip team members with training, tools, and technical assistance
  2. Assure that supporting policies, practices, and systems are in place
  3. Optimize implementation based on team insights
  4. Monitor key performance indicators
  5. Make strategic adjustments based on feedback

In today’s funding environment it is essential to evaluate and optimize performance in order to sustain the organization or program.  CHS can help you:

  1. Identify key audiences for evaluation reporting
  2. Define key questions to be answered by evaluation
  3. Develop data and insights to answer key questions
  4. Use results to inform program improvement
  5. Develop systems to embed evaluation in daily operations

In today’s funding environment it is essential to define and demonstrate the value of the organization and its programs for key stakeholders including funders, service partners, public officials, and community members.  CHS uses model called ‘community value analysis‘ to help nonprofits define and demonstrate value in their own local context.  We can help you:

  1. Define your objectives for demonstrating value to key stakeholders
  2. Identify specific audiences who should know about the value of your organization or program
  3. Create the value messages (what you want them to know) for each audience segment
  4. Develop value indicators (quantitative and qualitative indicators) to support the value messages
  5. Design a communication plan for each audience segment
  6. Execute the communication plan for positive results

Click here to download a more detailed strategy checklist for demonstrating community value. 

In a traditional strategy consult, a consulting team enters the organization, helps to solve a defined challenge, and takes most of the resulting knowledge with them as they leave. This is good as far as it goes, but the organization misses out on the opportunity to equip its own people for excellence as a result of the consult.

Action learning is a powerful strategy that brings people together to build skills, solve challenges, and create a sustainable capacity for excellence. Action learning combines strategy consulting with learning support to assure that the knowledge generated from the project stays with the organization after the consulting team leaves.  The results can be seen in the solutions produced plus the sustainable capacity for excellence resulting from the action learning process.

At CHS we support action learning projects for associations, foundations, nonprofits, public agencies, and other organizations interested in collaborative learning and improvement.  Together we can develop an action learning program to help your team gain sustainable skills as they collaborative to solve practical challenges facing the organization.

Click here to learn more about how to equip people for excellence with action learning.

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