An Opportunity to Reflect

David La Piana // Friday, January 17, 2014

An Opportunity to Reflect

It is all too easy to get consumed with our own lives and our own work, but as we commemorate social justice and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. let us take time to stop and think about the kind of country we are becoming – and how we can help make it right.


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Categories: Commentary
Tags: civic engagement, social justice, volunteerism

Spotlight on Governance…and Communication

Melissa Mendes Campos // Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spotlight on Governance…and Communication

The effective sharing, communication, and analysis of information is the fulcrum upon which the rest of a board’s performance hinges. Our technology-enabled information economy poses as many opportunities for more effective communication as it presents challenges: we have more tools at our disposal to share information, but less bandwidth to filter, absorb, and give thought to this information to turn it into decisions, actions, and results.

As nonprofit boards take stock of their priorities for the coming year, we suggest lifting up communication as an area to examine.

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Categories: Governance
Tags: board development, nonprofit consulting

Organizational Integration After Merger: The Merged Board

Bob Harrington // Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Organizational Integration After Merger: The Merged Board

When two or more nonprofits decide to merge, there is generally a lot of interest, inquiry, and work regarding the integration of staff and staff cultures of the organizations. The integration of the boards of the merging organizations can be equally critical, though it often does not receive the level of attention it deserves. The integration phase of bringing the organizations together must include establishing mutually agreed upon expectations and responsibilities for both the board as a whole and for individual board members coming onto the merged board. A board assessment framework can assist in the evaluation of potential changes that can enhance the functioning of the merged board and the organization as a whole, ensuring strong integration and setting the stage for success.

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Categories: Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: board development, mergers, integration

Resources for Social Enterprise Done Right

// Friday, December 20, 2013

Resources for Social Enterprise Done Right
It is exciting to see the extent that social enterprise — everything from “double bottom line” businesses operating within a nonprofit structure to separate-but-affiliated for-profit ventures — has taken off in many corners of the sector.
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Categories: Nonprofits, Trends
Tags: business models, cross-sector, financial model, innovation, organizational structure, sector blur, social entrepeneurship, strategic restructuring, integration

Sector Blur Expands Opportunities for Impact

Rosalyn Allison-Jacobs // Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sector Blur Expands Opportunities for Impact

In 2009, La Piana Consulting began exploring transformational forces in the social sector from multiple perspectives.  With support from the James Irvine Foundation, we first conducted research and interviewed thought leaders to identify five emerging trends, the ways that they will reshape the social sector, and the core competencies of social sector organizations that will thrive in the convergence of those trends. Earlier this year, as an extension of that exploration we partnered with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) to capture in Doing Good in the 21st Century the perspectives of young leaders in philanthropy on what social sector organizations will need to succeed in the 21st Century. Not surprisingly, we found echoes of some of the same themes continuing to reverberate five years after our first study – one of these is sector blur. 

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Categories: Trends
Tags: business models, cross-sector, sector blur

Taking Stock: Questions for Nonprofit Leaders

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, December 19, 2013

Taking Stock: Questions for Nonprofit Leaders

The end of the year is a natural time to think about how far we’ve come and where we’re going next. For nonprofit leaders this is not only a good practice for professional growth — it can also benefit the organization. But with precious little time and unrelenting demands, how should a leader focus this kind of self-inquiry to fit it into their busy year-end schedule? Our staff compiled this list of questions to help nonprofit leaders take stock, glean insights, and yield meaningful results.


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Categories: Leadership
Tags: human resources, organizational learning, planning, workplace

Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring: A Retrospective

La Piana Consulting // Thursday, December 19, 2013

Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring: A Retrospective

Nonprofit partnerships are a major focus of our business at La Piana Consulting (and have been since our inception), so we recently sat down to look at this work for what trends, stories, and lessons might emerge. Based on a sample of our past 50 consulting engagements in which collaboration or strategic restructuring played a central role, we can see how collaborative strategies are evolving across the sector. Take a look at what we've found, and chime in with your feedback!

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Categories: Collaboration and Strategic Restructuring
Tags: collaboration, mergers, scale, strategic restructuring

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: Vance Yoshida

// Thursday, December 05, 2013

Getting to Know the La Piana Team: Vance Yoshida

This blog post is part of our ongoing series highlighting the La Piana team.  This week I sat down with Vance Yoshida, Senior Manager.

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Categories: Our Team
Tags: nonprofit consulting

Revisiting a Classic Holiday Poem for #GivingTuesday

Melissa Mendes Campos // Monday, December 02, 2013

Revisiting a Classic Holiday Poem for #GivingTuesday

This #GivingTuesday Eve, we are getting into the spirit of the day by revisiting a classic holiday poem...

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Categories: Nonprofits
Tags: community, philanthropy

The CEO/Board Chair Relationship

La Piana Consulting // Friday, November 01, 2013

The CEO/Board Chair Relationship

We regularly remark upon the significance of a great CEO-board chair relationship. A strong, well-functioning board is one of a nonprofit’s most important assets, and one that is often underutilized. It’s only when the CEO and board chair work in concert to support and develop their board, that they get the most out of this valuable resource.


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Categories: Governance
Tags: board development
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