Message to Board Members

The decision to deploy limited funds for outside counsel is a serious undertaking and one that should never be taken lightly. Successful business leaders who generously donate their time, expertise, and resources know from experience that there are ways to leverage their commitments to produce even greater social benefit. Employing outside counsel is the most common option for achieving a greater return on your investment and taking your organization to the next level of growth.

So, as a board member, how do you know when it's time to hire outside counsel?

Who doesn't need more funding? What board is fully engaged, fully informed, or fully invested? Or what charity is operating at the optimum level?

Following are just a few of the most common problems that we address.

Board Governance

It is not an overstatement to say that effective board governance is the single most important factor to sustaining and advancing a nonprofit's mission—more so in this economic environment than ever before.

Surprisingly, however, most board members learn how to engage with their nonprofit through on-the-job training over a period of years. Lacking a clear understanding of how to connect in a meaningful way, new board members often feel overwhelmed, unsure of what's expected of them, and many leave frustrated with their nonprofit experience. The most common complaint we hear from board members is that they have no idea how to engage, make a difference, or measure their impact.

Conversely, the most common complaint we hear from nonprofit executives is that their board members are not engaged. That disconnect results in an enormous waste of valuable time and resources.

Our years of working with countless boards across both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors enables us to provide organizations with the knowledge and tools to leverage everyone's expertise to the benefit of the organization and those it serves.

LCG provides a range of services from advising on board recruitment strategies, governance models, facilitating retreats, to providing ongoing development training and education programs for the board.

Professional counsel in this area will enable your board and the organization to advance to its next stage of growth.

Feasibility Studies and Campaigns

While all nonprofits are hesitant to allocate limited funds for consulting services, many have come to realize that a campaign is a "free service" —of sorts. As a matter of practice, expenses for feasibility study and campaign services are reimbursed from campaign donations. Launching a campaign, of course, depends on positive feasibility study results; therefore, the only real financial risk is the cost of the study if the results are not strong enough to advance a campaign.

As the old adage goes, "it costs money to raise money." Aside from large institutions like universities and health systems, few nonprofits can afford the staff it would take to effectively conduct the study research and manage a campaign. We know of no university or health system that can match our expense to income ratio for campaign management.

Campaigns provide seed money to launch new programs, expand facilities, create or grow endowments, or simply build capacity for existing programs in this era of declining public and private funding.

A key benefit of professional counsel is that we take the fear out of fundraising by conducting the feasibility study research, designing the campaign strategy, creating the the marketing messages and materials, embedding the systems to support the campaign, conducting foundation and prospect research, and training, motivating, and managing campaign volunteers. Campaigns take a concerted effort, but good campaign counsel provides board and staff with the strategies and support needed to achieve exceptional and timely results.

Prospect research provides the confidence volunteers need to support the solicitation process. We maintain a database that spans almost 30 years of experience and includes over 4,000 profiles of philanthropists.

Organizational Development

Capacity-building audits are an excellent tool for evaluating your fundraising program against evidence-based practices. Our systems based approach provides an in depth evaluation of your organizational strengths and weaknesses. Instead of vague ideas or generalizations, our audit identifies ways to strengthen key operating policies and procedures resulting in a work plan of measurable goals and objectives. Equally important, our audit gives you clarity on what's working and why, allowing you to reinforce your strengths.

Using outside counsel means you will benefit from experienced professionals who can objectively assess and evaluate your organization's development operation.

Why Choose Us?

Why Choose Us

Sustainable methods and strategies are purposely designed to strengthen your organization and enhance your mission even after our contract ends.

Proven Results

We needed someone to hold us accountable, to think in ways we hadn't thought of before. And we knew if we were going to be successful, we couldn't do it internally. It had to be with some outside counsel who could provide direction, strategy and hold our feet to the fire. end quote

— Bryce Jessup, William Jessup University