Sutherland Edwards

Organizational Development

We conduct organizational assessments for organizations in all stages of growth as they seek to launch programs, staffing or systems in new directions. We assess each organization’s current capacity, and develop specific and realistic action plans to move the organization forward. We advise and facilitate strategy discussions about all aspects of an organization including:

  • Community Leadership
  • Asset Development
  • Grantmaking
  • Programs
  • Operations


Client: A 25-year-old community foundation with $100 million in assets

Our Work: Assessed the organization’s current staffing structure and policies to determine individuals’ capacity, the distribution of work among staff members and the efficiency of current operational systems.

Results: Identified areas of staff underutilization or overextension, and realigned staff to improve organizational efficiency and donor services. Revised company policies to support the new staffing structure.


Client: A $20 million community foundation based in the Northeast

Our Work: Assessed current staff capacity and capabilities through Board and staff interviews.

Results: Made recommendations to the Board for essential staffing changes and realignment, as well as identified new positions needed to help the organization fulfill its vision and mission.


Client: A 40-year-old community foundation with $150 million in assets, covering an eight county area

Our Work: Helped the foundation define its community leadership agenda, set priorities and create a set of filters through which the Board could evaluate the overwhelming number of community leadership opportunities presented to them.

Results: Created a set of tools that helped the foundation strategically choose which community leadership opportunities to pursue, and equally important, which to decline, based on which were most consistent with its vision and mission.


Client: A 46-year-old regional arts organization

Our Work: Engaged by a private foundation and a local community foundation to revive an important, but struggling, regional arts organization. Assessed the capability and capacity of the staff, reevaluated all programs and services, revised the bylaws, and reconstituted the Board. Facilitated training for the new Board, and continued to advise the organization on a monthly retainer by providing ongoing executive coaching and Board development.

Results: Took the organization from a consistently cash negative position to cash positive, with healthy reserves, by redesigning the business model, outsourcing some functions and securing joint partnerships. Developed a one-year emergency operating plan and three-year strategic and development plans to guide the organization.

Sutherland~Edwards demonstrated an uncanny ability to engage at both the strategic and tactical levels. Sometimes external consultants can be aggressive – disrupting the natural flow – or passive. They have a clear talent for striking just the right balance, drawing out the thinking of the group. We greatly appreciated their skills and insights, and would consider using them again to advance our work."

Jennifer Meehan
CEO, Asia Region
Grameen Foundation

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