It is better to light the candle than to curse the darkness.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Your Dog’s Friend, Rockville, MD

Good Cause:

Your Dog’s Friend is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve dogs’ lives, reduce problem behaviors, and keep dogs out of shelters, by educating and supporting their humans. They believe in the power of positive training, not only because scientific studies have proven it is effective, but because it builds trust, and never causes pain or fear. And…it’s fun! Their free and reduced-cost resources include monthly interactive webinars, an advice-rich website, one-on-one consultation by phone and email, training classes, and support for animal welfare organizations.

Great Results:

The board of directors of Your Dog’s Friend reached out for help creating a strategic plan that would allow them to “take the next step” in their development as a nonprofit. To support their efforts, we:

  • Conducted a thorough assessment of Your Dog’s Friend. The evaluation included interviews with board members, staff, volunteers, clients, and representatives of other key stakeholder groups. The interview protocol addressed perceptions of what was working well, what was not, and what might work better. The assessment also included a review of Your Dog’s Friend’s key documents and resources (e.g., standard operating procedures, by-laws, website, customer satisfaction surveys).
  • Prepared a list of key questions/topics and facilitated discussion. Based on the data and information gathered through the assessment, we developed a list of questions/issues for discussion by the board and other key stakeholders. Topics included “bigger picture” issues such as organizational improvement and growth priorities, key opportunities and threats, and where the organization aspires to be in five years. We facilitated conversations with the group to work through the questions/topics.
  • Drafted a strategic work plan for the next three years. Based on the assessment and feedback on the topics for discussion, we drafted a strategic work plan that includes goals and objectives in key areas (e.g., board development, infrastructure, programs, communications /marketing, fundraising, volunteer management), a timeline, and specific deliverables and outcomes.
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