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Case Study: Human Services Nonprofit

A non-profit agency faced troubled times, from reductions in funding to an uncooperative board. The situation had to change, or the organization would close.


A nonprofit agency dedicated to serving a specific population for over 75 years faced troubled times as its core service population dwindled. Once the prime provider, the organization now faced competition for its services. This situation was further exacerbated by reductions in government funding.

At the same time, the organization’s leadership had experienced a good deal of turnover. Fundraising was negligible and any serious efforts to raise money were resisted by the board. It became clear that conditions had to change, or the nonprofit would close.

During a periodic investment committee meeting, a McKinley Carter nonprofit financial planning advisor became aware of the organization’s dire financial predicament.


The advisor suggested that the board engage in a strategic planning process to establish the framework for a path to sustainability.

The McKinley Carter team first engaged the board in an extensive SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Surveys were sent to board members, staff, donors, clients, community agency partners and volunteers, and four key areas were identified as strategic drivers.

With assistance from their McKinley Carter advisor, the board and executive director developed specific goals and tactics for each driver with measurable standards, deliverables and timelines for completion. These would govern the organization’s operation and growth over the next three years.

McKinley Carter also led the organization in conducting a financial analysis to determine appropriate spending levels and fundraising goals to meet future endowment draw-down needs


Now that it has reorganized board operations, aligned officer roles with a committee structure to support advancement and finance and developed a fundraising plan, this much more robust nonprofit is beginning to invest in capacity-building resources.

Any case studies are intended to illustrate services available through McKinley Carter. They do not necessarily represent the experience of other clients nor do they indicate future performance.

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