|Our experiences spanning a wide range of industries, markets and nonprofits are some of our most important strengths. These experiences have given us many tools in our toolbox. We have improved the financial and operational performance of both nonprofits and businesses when they have needed to attain the next level of success or when they have been under severe financial stress. These businesses have included both extremely successful household names and troubled companies and organizations needing an immediate turnaround. A sampling of these nonprofits, local governmental entities and businesses is as follows:|
|Agencies for special needs children
Agencies for youth residential care
Agencies for mental health services
Agency for service learning events for children
Child services providers
Head Start provider
Social services organizations
Automotive engine manufacturing
Automotive parts distribution
Big box retailers
Building access security
Circuit board manufacturing
City of Flint
City of Detroit
City of Pontiac-Emergency Financial Manager
Commercial and residential construction
Computer hardware manufacturing
Computer software development
Electricity cooperative producer
Electrical measurement equipment
Food processing Hardware distribution
Insurance-excess and surplus provider
Insurance-property & casualty provider
Medical equipment manufacturing
Men’s clothing manufacturing
Minority automotive manufacturing
Oil and gas exploration and production
Plastic blow molding
Private equity cos.
Real estate-retail chain
Screw machine mfg.
Specialty chemical mfg
Steel scaffolding mfg. and distribution
Telephone/ATM equipment sales
Highlights of our nonprofit assignments are as follows:
- Challenge: Orderly Succession
The executive director and key board members were in place for many years and they recognized that they needed a succession plan that could quickly be enacted upon their retirement or withdrawal from the organization. We helped to put a process in place where key staff and other board members were introduced to key stakeholders, rotated to other positions and trained adequately to be prepared to step in without risk to the organization.
- Challenge: Lack of Board Engagement
Board members historically relied upon the executive director for analyzing information and making decisions with little involvement by the board. Some board members had been losing interest in attending meetings and others already had resigned from the board. This caused the executive director to be overloaded with work, not have the benefit of the board’s perspectives and input, and slowed down the decision-making process to a crawl. The board also realized that it was at risk unless it was properly informed and aware of key issues. We helped to participate in identifying and developing key strategies and prudent procedures to correct these problems. This process made it possible again to attract and retain board members who had the capability/financial means/contacts to help improve the organization.
- Challenge: Fundraising Fizzling Out
Fundraising had been lower than projected because former large donors had not been replaced and new donors were not convinced they should be associated with a problematic organization. The organization was operating at a deficit, staff members had not had a raise in their salaries and continual across-the-board cost cutting was not solving the underlying problems. We helped to prepare a well-justified plan for success so that the organization was no longer relying on an unlikely windfall in revenue. This helped the organization to regain solid financial ground. In addition, fundraising improved because donors would rather contribute to a strengthening nonprofit than one that may be on the verge of failure. There had been marketing, financial, board and fundraising consultants in the past but little had changed until we helped to prepare an integrated solution to make the turnaround process feasible and practical.
- Challenge: Inadequate Data & Lack of Focus
The financial/accounting staff had not produced reports that could be used easily for management decision-making. High-quality competitive analyses were not prepared to indicate favorable product/service niches, appropriate pricing strategies, optimal locations, likely changes in the competitive environment in the future, etc. Analyses were not done to identify and determine the potential cash proceeds from the sale or refinancing of underutilized assets (land, buildings, equipment, proprietary processes, licenses, etc.). The credit line was at its maximum and additional borrowings were likely to be necessary. The bank and other funding organizations wanted a better understanding of what was going on. Resources were spread so thinly that there was no cash or management time to maintain or improve core programming quality, train staff properly, maintain or update facilities or develop new programming concepts. We helped to prioritize programming and helped to determine quantifiable measures of success so that the board could focus resources properly and track improvements. These actions improved staff and volunteer teamwork and morale, enabling more efficient operations.
- Challenge: Limited Resources – Doing More with Less
Collaborations and consolidations needed to be considered. We helped to determine how the organization could achieve a quantum leap improvement in its capabilities by taking advantage of economies of scale in administrative services (finance, marketing, development, purchasing, information technology, human resources, etc.), donor and vendor relationships, staff training, grant-writing, facilities, career paths for staff, and many other potential benefits.
- Challenge: Leadership Gap
The executive director had left and an experienced, capable interim leader was needed to fill in and manage the organization until a new person was found, interviewed and brought onto the payroll. We filled this role, stabilized the organization, and helped to find the new CEO.