A Case for Consultation

Not-for-profit organizations ("NFP") enjoy a special tax status in this country because they, like governmental organizations, are entrusted with some of society's most important work. NFPs and their subsidiaries educate, enhance the spirit, protect health and safety and provide a host of other valued services across the social spectrum. NFPs, therefore, need effective, efficient and accountable governance to accomplish their mission. Boards must work with their employed staff to assure that the many duties and responsibilities of good governance are successfully fulfilled.

Strategies must be developed in NFPs and execution of strategy (e.g., programs and projects) must be monitored. Resource and program planning must be undertaken involving clients, services, fundraising/revenue, use of technology, marketing, outcomes, etc. Selection and development of board and staff members, including officers and the CEO, must be managed. Development of other resources such as facilities, supplies, policies & procedures, financial models, administrative systems, etc., must all be managed and evaluated over time. Other important considerations include development of corporate documents, accountability, auditing and disclosure procedures/reporting, analysis of liabilities and risk (e.g., D&O insurance), development/management of committees, meetings and staffing of each, shareholder relations, protection from regulatory intrusion and general oversight, and evaluation of operations. Integrated systems of leadership, including board and staff, are critical to set direction, guide resources, and make adjustments as needed.

At every intersection of this complex array of responsibilities and activities within NFPs there is a need for help. Problems arise in both large and small organizations and solutions need to be found, often with outside assistance. Rarely does an NFP have the full range experience to address every issue or solve every problem, and, even if it does, a second viewpoint may be necessary. Even very large organizations rely each year on outside consultation in such areas as legal/regulatory matters, information technology, infrastructure, strategic direction & execution, operations management financial management, auditing, and process evaluation and improvement.

ZP&W Burke can address problems from a unique and objective perspective or, when necessary, serve as a "bridge" to additional expertise. We at ZP&W Burke understand that a good consultant can not only be objective, but can and should also be comprehensive and innovative in approach. A good consultant uses their own experience and insight rather than relying on buzzword and fads, or generic, prepackaged slides and strategies. We value getting to know the organization and the people in it, and we take the time necessary to define and analyze problems in depth. Finally, ZP&W Burke strives to provide sustainable solutions and to leave the organization in better stead upon the conclusion of a project.

Building upon the knowledge and experience of John Burke, PhD., ZP&W Burke offers:

  • Long- and short-range strategy development and refinement

  • Strategy execution

  • Pre-emptive or acute problem-solving

  • Development of policies & procedures

  • CEO evaluation/coaching

  • Staff evaluation

  • Governance structure and enhancement

  • Board development/succession planning

  • Board & Management Retreats

  • Change management

  • Operational management/best practices

  • Member recruitment/satisfaction

  • Scientific/Professional Relations/Strategic Alliances

  • Revenue generation

  • Sustainability/Future forecasting