Dear Friend,

As summer approaches, change is in full bloom. While organizational change can be difficult and frightening, it can also bring hope. I remind our clients to be open to the opportunities that today’s economic challenges bring. The turbulent change we face in the nonprofit sector today is rife with possibility.

Since our last newsletter, we have launched a new website, changed our name, and relocated our San Francisco Bay Area office.  We have embraced these changes because each one presents an opportunity to better provide you with sector-leading publications and services. For example, our new website has been redesigned for easier navigation, so readers like you can access, in just a few clicks, the same quality online tools you’ve come to expect from La Piana Consulting. 

Mergers and Myths

While being open to change is important, we also remind our clients to be wary of one-size-fits-all or silver bullet solutions. In recent months, there has been a resurgence of interest and media buzz regarding nonprofit mergers and acquisitions. It’s difficult for many nonprofit leaders to filter through the noise. Our country’s economy is experiencing seismic shifts, and while mergers are not a passing fad, Senior Manager, Jo DeBolt, exposes some myths about nonprofit partnership trends based on new data collected from The Collaboration Prize.
What’s the right solution for your organization? With over ten years of sector-wide experience in Strategic Restructuring, we agree that the spectrum of partnership options available to nonprofit organizations can be leveraged for great benefit.  However, nonprofit mergers should never be approached as a last ditch survival tactic during an economic downturn but rather as a strategic opportunity for compatible organizations to join forces and achieve greater social impact.

What is Your Strategy to Cope with Change?

Our article series continues at CausePlanet, an online resource for nonprofit leaders. Every month, we contribute an article on a nonprofit management topic relevant to your professional learning. Most recently, Lester Olmstead-Rose, Director of La Piana Consulting’s Strategy Practice, describes how organizations can avoid strategy pitfalls by reviewing the most basic questions about organizational identity.  Lester continues to discuss the importance of building on your organization’s strengths and maintaining active internal communications for maximum effectiveness and sustainability.

Change is the Only Constant

In 1998, La Piana Consulting led its first foundation-funded research initiative, a landmark study on nonprofit strategic restructuring. Today, we are at the precipice of an historic time for the nonprofit sector. Our team has embarked on an ambitious study on the confluence of trends changing the sector.

Powerful developments are coalescing, making the next few years a time of unusual opportunity for positive change in the way nonprofits operate and engage their constituents. At the same time, the deep global recession has increased nonprofits’ risk of failure if they do not successfully address this tide of change.

Our latest research initiative, Nonprofit Next, explores these trends and the sector’s creative, promising responses to them. Funded in part by the James Irvine Foundation, Nonprofit Next kicks off June 20th at the 2009 Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp in Berkeley, California.

Thanks for reading and may opportunities continue to blossom for you this summer. It is the mission-driven work of the nonprofit sector that inspires us as La Piana consultants. I salute the dedicated folks like you who continue to strive to make nonprofit organizations more effective in the face of unprecedented challenges. I look forward to a bright future of working together to make a difference.

Yours in learning,
David La Piana
David La Piana


    Upcoming Events
bob_harrington_sm.jpg Center for Nonprofit Management Seminar
with Bob Harrington

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heather_gowdy_sm.JPG Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference
with Heather Gowdy

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Nonprofit Next
Are you ready for your close-up? Join us, Saturday, June 20th, as we launch our latest research initiative, Nonprofit Next, at the 6th Annual Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp. Where will you take the nonprofit sector next? Find the La Piana booth video crew and tell us what you think the future holds.

Boot Camp gives volunteer newcomers as well as veteran community leaders the tools they need to make a significant and immediate impact on their communities. David La Piana will host a Real-Time Strategic Planning workshop and keynote speakers include Arianna Huffington and Randi Zuckerberg, FaceBook's leader of marketing, political and social change initiatives. Register today!

Meet Our Team

Before joining La Piana Consulting, each member of our team has held nonprofit positions. Our newest team members are no exception.

scott_schaffer_sm.jpg Scott Schaffer

lindsay_vignoles_sm.jpg Lindsay Vignoles

melissa_williams_sm.jpg Melissa Williams

They look forward to continuing the firm's tradition of connecting with you as a partner and sharing your passion for the nonprofit sector.

We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think about our work, website, or newsletter. Email Kathy at ferreira@lapiana.org.

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