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Services & Impact

Our Consulting Approach

Chances are, you haven’t worked with a consulting firm quite like Olive Grove. First, we don’t adopt the proprietary “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, we work from the ground up to understand a client’s unique challenges and goals. We start with questions and seek to understand before rushing into solutions. Then, we tailor a custom transformative plan to enable that organization to achieve its vision. We approach our consulting strategy as a partnership, placing our client at the center to deliver unique and customized approaches.

Our second main differentiator is that we operate within an open-source network model. This means that we have access to individuals, organizations, and resources across a variety of disciplines and service areas. We have developed an extensive national network of like-minded individuals with the talent and drive to transform an organization’s understanding of itself, its view of what is possible, and its ability to deliver on its mission. In addition to tapping these consultants and firms for client projects, we actively weave ideas and relationships among the nonprofits, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, universities, pro bono providers, and others in our network.

CEO Search & Leadership Transition

How would your organization handle the departure of a critical leader? Many scramble. Unprepared and without a strategy is not a position an organization wants to find itself in. Olive Grove takes a proactive and holistic approach to transition. We can help your organization broach the conversation of succession, develop an effective transition plan, assist in executive search strategy and execution, deliver leadership and board member coaching, and construct an evaluation procedure. We utilize our network to uncover and connect talent with organizations, and are here to partner with you to manage the inevitable leadership changes that happen over time. Change doesn’t have to be scary! If managed properly, it can be an exciting time of transformation.

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Leadership Coaching

Some great leaders are born. Others are coached by us. Some folks are happy with “effective leadership.” Not us. We provide individual, team, and board member coaching to develop what we formally like to call “kick ass leadership.” Because people are the most valuable asset an organization has, it only makes sense to spend some time and energy cultivating their capabilities. After all, the better your people are, the better your organization’s mission delivery is. And great leadership has a ripple effect. Let us help strengthen your team.

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Strategy

Our goal is to strengthen your ability to challenge your assumptions, improve your critical thinking, and make strategic choices that will propel your organization into a better future. With Olive Grove, you get more than just a pile of documents and a “cookie-cutter” approach —what you get is a true partnership with a hands-on team, committed to moving your organization forward. Our approach to developing your strategy process will depend on the challenges and opportunities that are unique to the organization. The right approach for your strategy work could be a few hours with a thought partner, or an 18-month comprehensive process – we will co-design something that makes sense for you, instead of a “one size fits all” strategic planning product.

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Governance

Governance should work for your mission, not against it. A great board of directors, who understands its roles and responsibilities, will increase an organization’s ability to achieve impact. A mismanaged and disorganized board can be a great limitation. Whether it’s starting a governing body from scratch, or revamping your current one, we can help build dynamic long-term governance models designed to evolve with your organization’s growth.

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Keynote Speaking and Presentations

Have you ever heard the phrase “sharing is caring”? Well it’s something we live by at Olive Grove. As thought leaders and collaborators, we want to share what we know. Our team engages audiences to challenge ideas, broaden perspectives, and inspire the motivation for change. We are available for speaking engagements, meetings, conferences, workshops, and other special events.

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Philanthropy

We believe that in today’s rapidly changing world, philanthropy requires new strategies, approaches and investments. Much of philanthropy has lost it’s risk-taking, innovative edge – but that doesn’t mean you should be haphazard or flippant. Olive Grove draws on its in-house experience and network for the resources to help you move courageously forward with your vision. Whether you are an individual, a foundation, or a corporation, we will meet you where you are, help define your philanthropic goals, and build customized solutions that will drive effective and transformative impact.

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Fund Development

You’ve heard it before – no money, no mission. But building a fund development model is often a tremendously overwhelming task. Olive Grove has the resources to develop strategies to target funding sources, create effective messaging, promote your vision through the right channels, solicit donors and cultivate relationships, facilitate corporate partnerships, and target untapped income opportunities. We can support campaigns as well as annual revenue development. Fundraising is a team sport, so don’t go it alone!

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Financial Management & Business Plans

Now that you’ve raised the money, it’s time to put it to work for your organization. We can work with you to understand the ways that financial management, a great balance sheet, and a pragmatic business plan can enhance the vision, strategy, operations, and programs of your organization. Whether you’re big, small, or somewhere in between, we want to empower your entire organization to use finance in navigating strategic decisions to build sustainability.

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Collective Impact, Collaborations, and Mergers

Change isn’t always easy, but it is inevitable. Sometimes the best way to enhance your impact and better deliver on your mission is to partner with someone whose vision aligns with yours. Through new relationships or collaborations an organization can remain relevant in a fast changing world, and multiple partners with unique missions can come together to move the needle on big challenges. We can help you explore sharing services, consolidating back office functions, a merger, collective impact, or another type of alliance. Olive Grove can help to explore the collaborative opportunities that exist for you.

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Group Process and Facilitation

Even if you are a master facilitator, it is nearly impossible to serve in that role for your own organization when the stakes are high and the variables are complex. We put the “pro” in process and free up your time and head space to focus on the issues at hand. Whether it’s a retreat, convening, scenario mapping, or a visioning session, we can support you. We ensure the right people are at the table, clarify what needs to happen, help craft a shared vision, and figure out where the rubber meets the road to ensure effective implementation.

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Operational Excellence

When you’ve worked with nonprofits for as long as we have, you see some interesting practices along the way: budgets written on the back of an envelope, computer modems tied together to make a “server”, or perhaps, strategic plans without implementation plans. If you are seeing yourself while reading this, don’t worry, we won’t judge! It’s challenging to run a tight operation while you’re out changing the world. We can develop an operational strategy that will propel your organization to the next level. It’s much easier to deliver on a mission when your operation runs like a well-oiled machine. If you’re just starting out in a one-person office, or have a team of hundreds of people, we can help you develop and manage the infrastructure your organization needs so that your focus remains where it needs to be most – your mission.

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Referral Services

Through the breadth and depth of our network, Olive Grove can provide referral services for the following areas: Program design and evaluation, marketing, branding, audit and accounting, compliance, legal, facilities, market research, IT, HR and human capital management, PR and communications.

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What’s in a Name?

We chose our firm’s name carefully to align with our guiding principles and values.

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