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Learning Link | Fall 2016

La Piana Consulting

Collaborate. Create. Accelerate.

La Piana Consulting

The Three-Committee Board

Experiences with a Streamlined Structure

Since David La Piana, our Managing Partner, called for a simplified board model back in 2009, nonprofits of various kinds have embraced the idea and made it their own. Has it paid off? For this new post, Streamlining Board Committees, we spoke with three nonprofit leaders using a streamlined three-committee structure to find out how it has influenced board effectiveness and organizational impact. 

For more on the future of nonprofit boards, see recent BoardSource blog posts by La Piana Senior Consultant Makiyah Moody on proactive approaches to succession planning and the value of inquiry-based, generative governance — as well as our recent interview with BoardSource President and CEO Anne Wallestad on the organization's new strategic plan and latest work. 

Nonprofit Networks and Federations

Additions to Online Resource Feature Successful Structures

*NEW* - Whether scaling proven programs, advancing strategic initiatives, or consolidating assets, efforts to foster closer collaboration within federated nonprofits present high-stakes challenges and opportunities, as well as lessons for the rest of the sector. Internal Collaboration and Restructuring in Federated Nonprofits, the third and latest article in our series, explores best practices and a variety of examples of strategic restructuring within networked nonprofits such as YWCA USA.

Building Resilience and Managing Culture Change: Learn about HI USA's national network unification strategy in this two-part interview with CEO Russ Hedge. 

The 2017 Collaboration Prize: Apply by November 16, 2016

Deadline Approaches for the 2017 Collaboration Prize: Don't miss out on your opportunity to win a grand prize of $150,000. If you're a nonprofit collaborating in effective and innovative ways, apply today! The application period closes November 16, 2016

The Collaboration Prize shines a spotlight on nonprofit organizations that choose to permanently collaborate in response to challenges or opportunities in order to maximize the impact of their work. In addition to the grand prize winner, each of eight finalists will receive $10,000. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process. 


How the Lack of Market Feedback Puts Foundations at Risk...and What Some Funders Are Doing About It: David La Piana explores the challenges private foundations often have in getting honest feedback from grantees, and what this is costing the sector. 

7 Steps for Making Nonprofit Mergers Work: Insights and advice from nonprofit leaders and other sector professionals, including La Piana Consulting Partner Jo DeBolt in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Working Together for Education: Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools was recently formed through the merger of five North American networks and support organizations, with guidance from La Piana Consulting. Collaboration is the theme of the current issue of HaYidion, Prizmah's quarterly publication for member schools and other Jewish and general education organizations. 

Mergers as a Strategy for Success: A new report culling lessons and highlighting outcomes from 25 nonprofit mergers in the Chicago metro area. 

News and Events

Mission Sustainability Initiative: On October 20, Bob HarringtonPartner at La Piana Consulting, joined Forefront and an audience of nearly 500 Illinois nonprofit professionals for a learning summit on collaboration and the launch of Forefront's Mission Sustainability Initiative, which will help nonprofits consider and potentially pursue strategic restructuring in furtherance of their missions. 

Charter School Development Center conference: On December 9, Luis Vergara, Senior Manager at La Piana Consulting, will join Alpha Public Schools' CEO John Glover and CSO Shara Hedge at the 2016 California Charter Schools Leadership Update Conference in San Diego to share lessons from the merger of our clients Alpha Public Schools and Cornerstone Academy Preparatory School in East San Jose. The session, titled "Achieving Economies of Scale: Charter School Mergers," will share real-world lessons for organizations seeking creating solutions to growth and impact. 

Business planning workshop: On February 2, 2017, Heather Gowdy, Senior Manager at La Piana Consulting and co-author of The Nonprofit Business Plan, will conduct a one-day business planning training for members of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association. This session will be customized for C-suite staff from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other nonprofit community health centers in Indiana.

Watch the Events page of our website or follow us on social media to find out where we'll be next!

La Piana

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