New Global Strategy of Collaboration

The Challenge:

After a long history of great success the organization, a subsidiary of a much larger nonprofit, expanded rapidly, beyond the US without a widely understood strategy or a consensus as to the value and obligations throughout the organization. As a result, the key points of consensus among parent organization, board and staff, the US and international affiliates and some very prominent funders had broken down.  Revenue goals had not been met in years creating a series of ill-chosen budget cuts.  In the process, the role of the founder, a renowned and charismatic figure, had changed and became controversial.

The Approach:

We reaffirmed our shared commitment to the mission and then launched a formal, international dialogue to refocus the organizational strategy.  We renegotiated the relationship with the parent organization.  And, we made a number of operating and personnel changes to support the transition and the new strategy.

The Result:

  • Outlined a long term strategy through an international, participatory process
  • Negotiated a new governance relationship with the parent
  • Clarified our development strategy and markets and exceeded revenue budgets for first time in five years
  • Strengthened and grew multi-million dollar funder commitments
  • Reorganized the staff, opening up the culture and strengthening focus and teamwork, reversing a debilitating staff turnover (67% in two years)
  • Implemented a number of operating refinements and efficiencies
  • Revised and carefully specified the role of the founder
  • Hired a long term CEO of sector-wide prominence