Case Study

Making Strategy Come to Life at a Non-Profit

Company

A non-profit organization in the Midwest that seeks to enrich lives through inspiring performances, inclusive education programs, and innovative community partnerships.

Challenge

The Executive Director and Board President felt the organization was underachieving due to the following challenges:

  • Inadequate exposure amidst board members of peers in the industry, thereby limiting ideation and desire for change.
  • Fragmented feedback loops from donors and key stakeholders in the community.
  • Ambiguity surrounding the organization’s strategy, resulting in numerous projects with competing interests and a lack of role clarity for staff.

Intervention

While fostering new relationships and capitalizing on existing ones, B|G:

  • Conducted quantitative and qualitative research about peer and aspirant organizations including details across a variety of subjects such as finances, structure, governance, and programming.
  • Administered a four-part survey, gathering anonymous feedback and ideas from board members, staff, volunteers, patrons, and other key stakeholders in the community.
  • Distilled the research, feedback, and ideas into a strategic plan with focus areas, objectives, measures, and targets.
  • Facilitated a 22-person, virtual retreat with staff and board to refine the strategic plan, create ownership, drive excitement for the future, and highlight key activities to follow that would sustain momentum.

Results

B|G equipped the board and staff to confidently lean into their new chapter that awaited, with a level of detail and clarity not seen before in the organization’s history. The Board President kindly shared with the project team, “You are worth far more than we could ever pay you. Thank you so very much!”

Learn More

The scope of this project includes four main areas of activity:

Insight

B|G focused on establishing a common understanding of the organization’s internal and external environment.

  1. B|G reviewed internal documentation, including the organization’s previous strategic plan.
  2. In-depth interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of key issues and topics facing the organization.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative research was conducted on peer and aspirant organizations including details on finances, structure, governance, and programming.
  4. Findings were analyzed to find common themes and trends, leading to a better understanding of the organization’s challenges and opportunities.

Innovation

B|G created and administered a four-part survey, gathering anonymous feedback and ideas from board members, staff, volunteers, patrons, and other key stakeholders in the community.

  1. Research, feedback, and ideas were distilled and analyzed.
  2. In coordination with the organization’s leadership team, insights were used to inform a draft strategic plan that included proposed focus areas, objectives, measures, and targets.

Integration

B|G facilitated a 22-person, virtual retreat with staff and board to assess the draft strategic plan:

  1. B|G clarified organizational mandates and mission.
  2. Organization success factors and strategic challenges were reviewed in light of the internal and external environment.
  3. Retreat participants were split into groups to further refine proposed objectives, measures, and targets in their assigned focus areas.
  4. Following the retreat, BG continued to work with key stakeholders to consolidate ideas and finalize a new strategic plan

Impact

B|G equipped the board and staff to confidently lean into the future, with a level of detail and clarity not seen before in the organization’s history.

  1. The organization was in a stronger position to successfully achieve its mission, through greater understanding of the external environment and confirmation of key strategies to respond to this environment.
  2. By being fully immersed in the strategic planning process, staff and board members experienced improved motivation, commitment, and ownership over the success of upcoming initiatives.

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