Nonprofit Capacity Building

Organizational Structure

As in architecture, form should follow function in a nonprofit’s organizational structure. EMD understands each nonprofit is unique and, while there exists a numerous best practices in structuring an organization, there is no such thing as a one size fits all structure. EMD takes the time to look at an organization’s unique mission, setting, strategic challenges, and opportunities when designing a structure that creates and supports a high performing team and organization. EMD assists nonprofits in building organizational strength by focusing on forms that best serve an organization’s function.

Governance Structure & Operations

EMD’s experience with boards and management tells us that no one structure is best. A large board may be optimal for some organizations, and a small board for others. Efficient and effective board and operational models come in all types and sizes, as do ineffective ones. EMD helps organizations assess their governance or operational structure and find the optimal model and processes that will enhance organizational success.

Performance Management

High performance within nonprofits is necessary because outcomes matter – to service consumers, staff, Board members, funders, and the community. EMD assists organizations in developing performance management systems that manage to outcomes. Managing to outcomes is not a knee-jerk reaction to funder requirements but, instead, is mission driven and provides a way to demonstrate the impact of the organization’s service delivery model. Managing to outcomes supports sound strategic decision-making, planning, and business development.

Measuring What Matters Institute

EMD Consulting Group’s Measuring What Matters Institute is a nine-month performance management institute that combines individual technical assistance with cohort learning among a small group of nonprofit organization participants. Organizations participating in the Measuring What Matters Institute have significantly strengthened their performance management systems.

Financial Strategy

For most nonprofit organizations, financial strategies are paramount in planning their futures. These strategies can be integrated into strategic plans, but can also be far more detailed than is usual in a strategic plan. EMD is experienced in creating detailed financial strategies for organizations of all sizes. These can be overall financial strategies or specific ones focused on fundraising, earned revenues, membership, or on financial impacts of capital projects. We have worked on financial studies for merging organizations or those going through other restructuring such as privatization of local government organizations.

Data Utilization

Many organizations underutilize data of all types, but particularly service outcome and fundraising data. Data can provide powerful information if it is accurately collected, analyzed, and used to improve organization effectiveness. EMD can assess your organization’s use of program performance, outcomes and fundraising data.  We understand how program and donor databases can be optimally structured. We can assess your utilization of data, and we can help you to implement a system in which you’re using your data to strengthen your organization.