Nonprofit Consulting

Nonprofit Consulting

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Offering essential consulting services for Maine’s nonprofit community

For more than a decade, nonprofit leaders have turned to Starboard to help them meet the many unique challenges that Maine nonprofits face. Having served more than 150 nonprofit clients since 2005, we can bring a breadth of experience to strategic planning, board governance, team and leadership development, leadership transitions, and more.

The extensive experience of our consulting team means we can provide you with efficient and effective strategies to meet your needs and achieve your goals. We won’t waste your time or your money. We won’t provide you with “cookie-cutter” approaches. And we won’t offer theories at the expense of practical advice that you can enact today.

Nonprofit leaders seek-out Starboard because:

  • No consulting firm in Maine has worked with more nonprofit leaders, boards, or their organizations – We will bring this extensive experience and the lessons learned to our work with you.
  • We offer efficient, no-nonsense strategies – Our experience allows us to get to the heart of the matter quickly and help you arrive at cost-effective, commonsense solutions.
  • The strength of our consulting team – When you work with Starboard you benefit from the strengths of our team and from the extensive contacts, relationships, and partners we have in Maine.

Strategic planning that leads to action

You know you need a strategic plan, but where to begin? We appreciate that strategic planning can seem intimidating, but at Starboard we can help you develop an efficient and effective planning process that not only fits your organization but actually results in a plan you will use.

Our experience leading planning processes with more than 75 Maine clients has demonstrated that successful strategic planning—strategic planning that truly guides the organization into the future—can be accomplished efficiently, in a timely manner, and without gobbling-up staff and/or volunteer resources.

Nonprofit leaders choose Starboard for strategic planning because:

  • We tailor the process to meet your needs and achieve your goals
  • Our consulting team will lead a process that engages your employees, your board and your key stakeholders
  • When our work is done, you will have a plan with clear actions steps that are supported by your budget, staffing resources, timelines, and assignments
  • Along the way, we can help you build the capacity of your board and your staff team and align their efforts to support achievement of your plan

We know your organization is unique, as are the people who care about it. Instead of presenting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to planning, we spend time getting to know your organization, assessing your needs, and then tailor a planning process to achieve your desired outcomes and meet your budget.

For more information about Starboard’s strategic planning services and what we can offer your organization, please visit the Strategic Planning page of our web site.

Building strong leaders and successful teams

Nonprofit organizations that thrive in challenging times do so because they are constantly working to build the strengths of their leaders, their managers and their teams. That work almost always begins by focusing on developing effective working relationships throughout the organization and implementing strategies to improve workplace communication and teamwork.

Whether you’re faced with leading a major cultural shift, or trying to improve team cohesion and performance, or building the managerial skills of your front-line supervisors, we will help you translate your goals into concrete plans and action steps that will help you to develop the high-performing leaders, managers, and teams you need to create positive change.

At Starboard, we have designed and tailored training programs for a wide variety of large and small clients on:

  • Leadership and team development,
  • Managerial effectiveness
  • Communication
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Culture change

Moreover, as authorized partners of Wiley’s Everything DiSC® and Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™, we bring to our partnership with you not just experienced trainers and facilitation but also proven assessment and training tools used by organizations worldwide.

For more information about Starboard’s leadership and team development services and what we can offer you and your organization, please visit the Leadership & Team Development page of our web site.

Getting the most out of your board of directors

Every nonprofit leader wants an effective board that can play an integral role in the organization’s success. Board members want to make a difference and be meaningfully engaged. Yet it is rare to find boards of directors that are truly effective or that feel meaningfully engaged.

We founded Starboard Leadership Consulting on the belief that strong boards are an essential component of strong organizations, and we set-out to work directly with nonprofit boards and their leaders. We have developed a national reputation for our board assessment work, for the board governance workshops and training materials we’ve developed, and for the practical advice we offer regarding how board and nonprofit leaders can work together to create strong, effective, and engaged boards.

Nonprofit leaders look to Starboard for our governance advice and consultation on:

  • Developing effective board member recruitment strategies
  • Running successful board meetings
  • Best practice governance policies and practices
  • Board self-assessment
  • Proven tools for increasing effectiveness
  • Launching and supporting a governance committee

Visit the blog section of our website to find lots of helpful tips and tools that you can use with your board, or, for more information about how Starboard might meet your board governance needs, visit the Board Governance page of our web site.

Managing successful leadership transitions, succession, and search

Most of our leadership transition work begins with a call from a board or search committee chair who is seeking advice on where to begin, what steps to take, and how to navigate the challenges of managing a leadership transition. This is one of those moments when the board can’t turn to the chief executive and ask, “Can you handle this for us?” The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. We are here to help.

Experience has taught us that, while not all leadership departures happen in a planned manner, your goal remains the same: to ensure an orderly and successful transition of leadership while still advancing your organization’s mission and strategic priorities.

Whether you are executing a carefully developed succession plan or reacting to a sudden leadership departure, we are able to offer a full array of services to support your organization through a leadership transition:

  • Strategic leadership development – preparing future leaders within your organization
  • Emergency succession planning – protecting your organization from a sudden departure
  • Departure-defined succession planning – when you have 18-24 months to get ready
  • Executive search
  • Transition planning
  • Confidential support for board and nonprofit leaders facing transitions

There is probably nothing board members fear more about board service than the prospect of having to lead a search for a new chief executive. At Starboard, we can allay your fears and help you to develop and successfully complete an executive search process from start to finish. Over the past decade our executive search clients have counted on us to:

  • Manage all aspects and essential details of the search process
  • Evaluate and present qualified candidates
  • Develop an interview process and provide support throughout
  • Conduct reference checking
  • Assist in negotiating offers of employment
  • Support a successful launch and leadership transition

So, whether you are hoping to craft a succession plan, reacting to a sudden leadership departure, or seeking help in leading and managing an executive search, we are able to offer a full array of services to assist you. Visit our Transition Planning or our Executive Search pages to learn more.

Supporting collaboration, coalitions, and merger discussions

In today’s environment, it is a rare organization that can afford to “go it alone.” However, developing truly productive partnerships and collaborative efforts can be incredibly challenging.

At Starboard, we believe that one of our unique strengths is our ability to bring people together, to help them build trust and find common ground, and support the development of manageable and productive structures within which to work.

From our founding in 2005 we have:

  • Supported the development of community coalitions
  • Fostered and facilitated meaningful collaboration among organizations and individuals
  • Assisted nonprofits and their leaders in developing meaningful strategic partnerships
  • Facilitated mergers

Let’s talk

Our clients can count on us to begin every project with a conversation—a conversation that helps us to understand your unique needs and consider how best to assist you. Call now (207) 992-4407 to begin the conversation and learn more. All initial consultations are free of charge.

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