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November 10, 2010

It's All About CASH (Part 2): What A Trustee Can Do

by Barbara Krasne & Judith Plows 2010
Charity Channel Nonprofit Boards & Governance Review, CharityChannel.com

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October 27, 2010

It's All About CASH (Part 1): What a Nonprofit CEO Can Control

by Barbara Krasne & Judith Plows 2010
Charity Channel Nonprofit Boards & Governance Review, CharityChannel.com

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August 16, 2008

Turning Ideas into Reality: Strategic & Operational Planning

A Nonprofit Basics Workshop prepared for Craiglist Foundation Nonprofit Boot Camp.

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June 2006, Issue No. 2 Newsletter

Tools For Success: Business Planning for Sustaining a New Venture

It's very easy for a creative, charismatic executive to believe that his latest idea will attract willing funders and enthusiastic buyers. Many people have the misguided belief that if they build it, someone will buy it. But those who are mindful of limited funding dollars will want to test their innovative new product. We were recently retained to do just that -- ascertain the market demand for a new program to spread and sustain innovative new products over time. By interviewing representatives of different market segments, we confirmed the program s key benefits and possible obstacles, determined the potential demand for the services at what price, and identified program refinements to make it more attractive. Using our findings, we can prepare a realistic business plan based on a solid foundation with reasonable revenues and needed resources for a successful program over the long run.

Finding out what your funders really think about a new program can help you develop a viable program that supports the community you serve.

September 2006, Issue No. 3 Newsletter

Tools For Success: Frameworks for Strategic Decision-Making

Time and again clients come to us to help them answer the wrong questions. It doesn't matter whether the assignment is a merger or a leadership transition, the issue is the same -- how to frame the problem so clients can address the challenges they face. It isn't easy. We're like an architect for your new building. First we'd ask how you would use it -- do you want to live there with your family or use it for your agency's theatre productions? Next we'd find out how many rooms you need and how big they must be and then we would start sketching. Worrying about paint colors should come much later, but often it is analogous to the first question asked.

For example, a client may seek our help in negotiating with a merger partner. We start the conversation by asking what they hope to accomplish with a merger: why this prospective partner, not another? If the organization wants to develop an earned income stream, we ask, "What business are you in? What do the people you serve want, what do they value, who will pay for it?" We try to frame the conversation, establishing the "four corners of the map" to ground us. Then we can work in greater detail with the client, moving from strategy to planning to realistic execution. In this way, everything from overarching goal to detailed implementation is aligned and supports your organization's objectives - just like a well-designed house.

Setting the framework lays a strong foundation so you can address your strategic challenges - now and in the future.