Non-Profit Organizations


A broad cross section of the New York nonprofit community has formed the Alliance for Nonprofit Governance (ANG) to address a concern that they share about the quality of nonprofit governance. The ANG’s focus is currently on New York City and State, but it intends to make information and tools of general applicability available nationally and internationally. The Pappas Consulting Group coordinated a strategic marketing plan for the organization (a work in progress).


We facilitated the Alpine Learning Group’s strategic planning process for FY 1999-2000 strategic plan. At its strategic planning retreat, the Board determined that the strategic planning process needed to: (1) define the Agency’s mission; (2) define the Agency’s priorities within that mission; and (3) define the role, responsibility and structure/s of the Board and the staff (administrators, teachers, instructors, support staff).

We prepared for and conducted a day-long retreat with Board members to discuss and gain consensus on organizational priorities and then laid the groundwork for the action plans enumerated in the previous paragraph. This enabled ALG to use the strategic plan to guide the FY 1999-2000 budget process.


The Pappas Consulting Group partnered with the national president and a working group of the National Board to assess and make recommendations concerning the structure of the Board and governance. The Alzheimer’s Association had determined to move itself into the next stage of its life cycle by evolving the working Board, enmeshed in daily operations, to a governing Board. The transition necessitated letting go of the past as a number of distinguished volunteers and Board members helped to create the Association and nurture its growth and development.

The Pappas Consulting Group took the Governance Work Group through a two day retreat focused on clarifying the role and responsibility of the National Association and its Board vis a vis the regions as well as the chapters and their Boards. It was important to be sensitive to the grassroots foundations of the organization. Retreat participants reiterated that the themes critical to the future success of the Association included partnership between and among National, regions, and chapters; clarified roles and responsibilities of each governance/decision-making entity; the changing nature of the volunteer; joint responsibility for fundraising; how to solicit on-going input from the chapters; portfolio of the National Director, and identifying stakeholders and providing an exchange of value.

This project resulted in a formal and written delineation of the Association’s governance structure. Details included:
  • Definition of the role of the Association National Board, to include strategic planning; directing the chief executive to provide a financial model and operating budgets; creating organization-wide policy and standards; hiring and evaluating the chief executive officers; assuming fiduciary responsibility; prudent management of Association assets; generation of financial resources; leadership and fundraising partnership with the chapters; advocate and spokesperson of the Association’s mission.
  • Board composition and description of requirements and desirable attributes of potential Board members. This included examples of qualifications.
  • Size of the Board (reducing it from 65 members to 45-50 members).
  • Tenure and term limits, reducing tenure from 10 to 8 consecutive years.
  • Board membership election procedures and categories of Directors, transitioning from a representative Board to a governing Board with Directors with requisite qualifications. This section included delineation of structure and responsibilities of Board Committees.

We conducted a strategic planning and organizational study at the request of the Board and its Founder.


Pappas Consulting Group President Alceste T. Pappas, Ph.D. has led several retreats for this organization. These retreats have been for the purpose of Board development, evaluation of the Executive Director position, and preparation for an organization-wide strategic planning process. The basis of these retreats has been Dr. Pappas’s award-winning publication, “Reengineering Your Non-Profit Organization.”


We were engaged by the Board and the Executive Director to conduct an organizational review. This involved an assessment of the relationship of the national office to its field offices as well as the involvement of Board members in the actual management of the ADL.


We assisted the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia in carrying out a comprehensive strategic planning process.

We first led the Archdiocese’s Strategic Planning Committee to complete a structured discovery process that inventoried actual and potential resources of the organization. The effort included members of the Strategic Planning Committee as well as staff in the Archdiocese’s Office for Development.

The Strategic Planning Committee used the issues identified by the audit to develop strategies that would position the Office of Development for the future. The two overarching Ardiocesan goals enumerated were: (1) creating a collaborative model of stewardship through the Archdiocese; and (2) creating and implementing an annual Archdiocesan Appeal that is all encompassing to the fundraising needs of the various entities of the Archdiocese.

This project resulted in the development of a strategic plan through an ideal model that supported both the mission of the Archdiocese and the stewardship and fundraising mission of the Office for Development. That ideal model had three goals, emanating from the overarching Archdiocesan Goals: (1) promote Archdiocesan stewardship; (2) administer programs that support stewardship; and (3) serve as the resource center and catalyst for stewardship and fundraising for the entire Archdiocese.

We anticipated that five years of intentional work would be required to achieve the ideal model. In the interim, we helped the Committee propose a Transition Model which fundamentally clarified and strengthened the role of the Office for Development. We further enumerated the detailed action steps that the Office for Development undertook to ensure success of the Transition Model.


We reviewed the organization structure and operations in order to delineate reporting relationships and develop a proposed table of organization. Recommendations were provided for the revised organization structure. Position descriptions were also developed. In a second study, we designed a salary administration program. A survey was conducted to review competitive salary data. A proposed salary schedule, salary administration guidelines and an orientation to the program were presented.


Conducted a compensation and classification study as well as a feasibility study to determine whether the central operations should remain in New York or move elsewhere.


Over the course of 5 years, the Pappas Consulting Group conducted two governance, strategic planning and organizational studies.


Creation of President/CEO Position and Executive Search

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a non-profit, research-oriented voluntary health organization dedicated to raising funds, supporting basic and clinical scientific research to find the cause of, and cure for, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; providing educational programs; and offering support services. 73 affiliates nationwide make up CCFA’s network, and a National Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of distinguished physicians and researchers works in collaboration with the Board.

Similar to many non-profit organizations reaching more maturity in their life cycle, CCFA concluded that lay and professional roles needed to be redefined to meet the changing needs of volunteers. CCFA sought to vest broader management and leadership responsibility in a newly created President and CEO position.

Pappas Consulting Group worked with CCFA to write the new position description and delineate its qualifications and attributes.

The Pappas Consulting Group then conducted the executive search to fill the position of President and CEO. We solicited nominations from Board members and colleagues; placed ads in appropriate association and technical publications; developed ranking criteria and evaluation criteria during interviews; and screened applications and letters. PCG presented the top ten candidates to the Board Search Committee and organized and scheduled interviews. We supported the Board Search Committee members with packets on each candidate.
The Bishop charged the Reorganization Committee, with focused facilitation assistance from the Pappas Consulting Group, to undertake a review of the Central Administration of the Diocese to render it as efficient and effective as possible while improving service levels and responsiveness to its constituents. Rather than simply engaging in a "cut across the board" exercise, the Pappas Group undertook an objective self-assessment of the Central Administration and made decisions within the context of the Bishop's five years of service to the Diocese and his commitment to Evangelization.


The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to undertake a strategic planning process of the central operations of the Diocese of Springfield. The Diocese undertook two strategic planning efforts: one focused on pastoral planning and one focused on the schools of the Diocese and these two efforts needed to be supported by an overarching strategic plan to revitalize the central administration of the Diocese and to ensure synergy with the school and pastoral planning efforts. We facilitated the strategic planning process and delivered a high level diagnostic Strategic Plan.


CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, formerly the National Jewish Resource Center, was founded in 1974 by Rabbi Irving Greenberg, Elie Wiesel, and Rabbi Steven Shaw. In 1983, the Institute for Jewish Experience, founded by Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, merged with CLAL. CLAL presents a unique operating environment with its attributes of an institution of higher learning, a stand-alone institute, a synagogue, a consulting firm, and a non-profit organization. As a consequence, even though its total staffing levels (faculty and staff) are relatively small, it is a highly complex organization with many different operating cultures.

This organization has forged new ways to engage discussion among Reconstructionists, Conservatives, Reform and Orthodox Jews and continues to look at new ways to engage Jews and non-Jews in a dialogue about what "interfaith" means in the twenty-first century.

The CLAL Board of Directors engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to facilitate the leadership transition from President and Co-Founder Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg to President Rabbi Irwin Kula and Executive Vice Chair Donna Rosenthal. At this time, there was transition of Board leadership as well.

The objective was to ensure that the needs of CLAL’s internal constituents (its faculty and staff) as well as its external constituents (Jewish lay and religious leaders, synagogues, donors, etc.) were met. Specifically, we were charged to work with the President and the Executive Vice Chair to build a collaborative and team-oriented management style and to help them interact more directly and effectively with the faculty. We helped the organization create a team environment that transcended the executive office and permeated throughout.

Subsequently, the President and the Executive Vice Chair began to transform CLAL’s organizational culture and operating environment so that what was once the domain of the faculty and what was once the domain of administration is now a permeable membrane with collaborative ventures and decision-making occurring among the faculty and administrative/support staff. Clear communication channels now are in place, as is an understanding of the decision-making process.

We further recommended a new organizational model that describes the individual as well as the shared functions of the President and Executive Vice Chair. We included specific descriptions and supervisory/reporting relationships of key personnel. Finally, we made recommendations concerning roles and portfolios of faculty, as well as the need to review human resource policies and procedures to ensure that there is a meaningful and consistently applied performance evaluation system for both faculty and staff; CLAL’s classification and compensation system is reviewed for internal equity and market comparability; and that accurate and current position descriptions are kept for each staff member.


The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a diagnostic review of the Agency, with an emphasis on what was the immediate issue of disaffiliation with the Allegheny Valley Mental Health and Mental Retardation program (AVMHMR). Although proposed by AVMHMR, the Agency wished to ascertain for itself the advantages and disadvantages of continuing the affiliation, determine what the impact of disaffiliation would be on the Agency, and prepare itself to set strategic direction for the future (with or without AVMHMR).

Our review was an intensive study of all administrative processes and procedures; staff loading; organization; and service delivery. We further studied the impact of disaffiliation for the Agency.

We completed a thorough review of the Agency’s efficiency and effectiveness as well as an analysis of what disaffiliation would mean to the Agency going forward. We assessed the advantages and disadvantages of continuing the affiliation with AVMHMR, which accounts for about two-thirds of the Agency’s entire budget. We concluded that the Agency could take very meaningful and immediate steps to salvage its relationship with AVMHMR, disaffiliation from which, we concluded, would be undesirable. By recommending and helping to implement critical changes in management, operations, focus, and governance, we were able to help effect the continuation of AVMHMR’s association with the Agency, which ultimately benefited all parties. Most of the management, operations, and governance recommendations we made were adopted.


The Ford Foundation hired the Pappas Consulting Group to study and recommend on the compensation and perquisites of the senior management team. We have conducted two such studies with a four-year interval between them.


Restructuring the Board of Directors and Governance Process

We were engaged to facilitate the Governance Task Force of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education’s Board of Directors in achieving its charge, which was to develop and recommend to the Executive Committee a new structure for the national Board of Trustees that will enable the Foundation to better achieve its mission. Dr. Pappas facilitated meetings of the Task Force and served as an “expert witness” to the proceedings.

We helped the Task Force create a new governance paradigm and documented for the organization the specifics of the process. This document specified the responsibilities of the FIHE governing Board and laid out the structure for governing the organization at each level. It additionally enumerated upon the size and composition of the full governing Board, as well as of the Executive Committee of the Board; described the responsibilities of the related governing bodies (i.e., Council of Corporate Executives; Council of State Foundation Executives); and delineated those changes to be made to the current FIHE Bylaws. The entire document received unanimous endorsement from the Governance Task Force.


Gilda’s Club, named in memory of comedian Gilda Radner, provides social and psychological support to those afflicted with cancer and their families on a no-fee basis. We first assisted Gilda’s Club Inc. (now Gilda’s Club New York), to develop a strategic plan for the first Gilda’s Club in New York City.

We subsequently facilitated strategic visioning, assisted in the restructuring of top management, and assisted the founding organization to divest itself of the New York site and become the international center of a 17 member network of Gilda’s Clubs across the world. Our counsel included development of a Board profile to recruit members for the Board of Gilda’s Club Worldwide, and a modified profile to meet the needs of the New York City Board.


Hadassah WZOA is the largest women’s and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States. Hadassah engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a complete review and redesign of its central office, national/international governance structure, and key administrative processes, programs, and operations.

Project scope included national offices of Fund Raising, Membership, Administration and Finance, Management Information Systems, Education and Public Policy, Communications, Convention and Travel, International, and Executive Office. We then overhauled its marketing and communications program and wrote a comprehensive marketing plan. Hadassah continues to implement this integrated, strategic marketing/communications plan. Another critical project entailed working with a Blue Ribbon Commission to recommend restructuring of field operations (chapters). This work was akin to an operations review of a large, public university system office vis a vis its institutions.

The resulting deliverables from this three year engagement included, in addition to the strategic marketing/communications plan, a new membership processing system; a technology plan; an integrated budgeting and planning process; focused fund raising methodology and process; detailed human resources action plan to implement appropriate roles and authorities, policies, compensation and classification, performance management, training, union relations, and records maintenance; job descriptions for top volunteer and staff positions; and specific/state-of-the-art standards and methods to deliver travel and speakers bureau services.
The Pappas Consulting Group assessed the administrative and financial organizational structure, and the role and responsibility of the position of Vice President and Treasurer of the Kettering Foundation, a nonpartisan research foundation. Based on many interviews and a review of relevant document, we enumerated four major findings and recommendations for action.

The Pappas Consulting Group conducted a series of strategic planning retreats for the Board and other selected members of this burgeoning independent day school for three-to-five year olds. One of the significant components of the NCRC facilitation was considering the expansion of the school to a new site within the District of Columbia. Another purpose of the retreats was to provide the Planning Committee with the best individual and collective thinking regarding: NCRC values; NCRC strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and the action steps or strategies that need to be undertaken over the next 3-5 years to position the Center in a growingly competitive educational market. A new plan was developed within 6 months.


In the summer of 1997 at the urging of the General Secretary and with the concurrence of the Officers, the Executive Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) approved a Financial Transformation Program intended to strengthen the organization’s financial management and information reporting.

The General Secretary then engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a diagnostic review of the financial management services of NCC in March, 1998. We presented the results of this diagnostic at the May Executive Board meeting along with a workplan to correct deficiencies in financial operations. At that meeting, the Executive Board unanimously voted to engage the services of the Pappas Consulting Group. The purpose of our consulting effort was to enable NCCC to improve the serious financial management conditions identified in the original diagnostic.

The results of our work included:
  • Providing an interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to oversee the financial operations of the NCC.
  • Strengthening financial management practices in areas such as cash management, accounting, pension fund management, and grants management.
  • Improving financial management reporting by: streamlining administrative processes; increasing the accuracy of financial information; assessing selected written policies and procedures; and simplifying the presentation of financial information.
  • Implementing a new budget development process.
  • Assessing human resources services and making recommendations for improvement.
  • Assessing the strategic planning processes of the Council.
We continued our assistance by engaging in an intense, six-month action plan of both strategic and operations intervention. The strategic intervention included the development of a strategic plan (working with a Strategic Planning Committee) and conducting an intense dialogue with the Council’s Communions to identify and correct systemic problems that have affected the organization for many years. The operations intervention examined each office and unit from a “zero base” perspective to recommend proper structure, staff loading, processes, etc.


We have provided this client with on-going strategic planning assistance. We have also worked with a number of international conservancy organizations as the result of referrals from the Executive Director (e.g., IUCN).


We worked closely with the President of this organization to assess whether The Society could remain as a stand-alone educational and cultural entity or whether its needs were better served by merger/consolidation with another not-for-profit entity or institution of higher learning.

The results of this review included optimal long-term strategies for this prestigious non-profit; a redesign of its organizational structure, and development of a short-term budget and business plan.


The Pappas Consulting Group was engaged to undertake an organizational study of field operations and their role and relationship to the Central Office.


The Board of Directors engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct an organization and administrative process review of the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). The objectives of the review were to:
  • Make recommendations concerning the design of an effective and efficient organizational structure;
  • Facilitate the redesign of administrative processes that may be duplicative, fragmented, or constituent/member “unfriendly”;
  • Make recommendations concerning how SCUP staff can optimally yet efficiently “staff” the Board, Board committees, and other ad hoc or standing committees; and
  • Provide input into the role and responsibility of the Executive Director given the proposed table of organization.
The need for the study emanated from the significant growth of the organization in the past few years and from the array of new activities and functions that are outlined in the Strategic Plan. Throughout this study, the Board has served as our client and we have conferred with the President, the President-Elect and the Past President at critical milestones. In addition, we worked closely with the Executive Director to glean her insights.


The U.S. Committee for UNICEF is the oldest and largest of the 35 national committees that fund the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). This organization engaged the Pappas Consulting Group to conduct a comprehensive operations and organization review, the purpose of which was to redesign mission, vision, management, organization, governance, and fund raising efforts so that the U.S. Committee was positioned to grow and develop additional sources of revenue.

This engagement began with the development of a strategic plan for the U.S. Committee to take it through the end of the decade. Project scope included an environmental scan and assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the national office's fund raising and revenue generation (including the greeting card operation), financial accounting and reporting, human resources, purchasing and accounts payable functions. In this regard, we determined the optimal working and operational relationship between the central office headquartered in New York City and the field offices.

Our work for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF resulted in a complete redesign of the organization’s field structure. We instituted a plan for regional offices around the country. Our work made the case for implementing a membership structure as well to engage volunteers further and generate additional revenues. The new organizational concept centered upon reallocating resources from the national (central) office to the field and utilizing the grassroots strengths of the organization to revitalize development efforts, as well as the organization’s visibility and positioning.


Founded in 1970, the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) is organized on an international, regional and national basis, on every continent, and in some of the most troubled places on earth. The work of the WCRP is globally expansive and has tremendous practical impact on the world’s struggling cultures. Unlike other NGO’s, WCRP is organizationally structured in such a manner as to intentionally utilize the infrastructure of extant agencies, governments and churches in order to minimize overhead.

WCRP hired the Pappas Consulting Group to create a human, administrative and technical infrastructure to support the projected substantive growth of WCRP over a 5 year time horizon.


We led the effort to develop and implement Project Redesign for the national office of the YWCA of the USA. The purpose of Project Redesign was to develop and implement a strategic plan to position this large national organization and to assess its strengths and weaknesses for significant organizational and operational improvements. As with many of our projects over the past few years, a key challenge was to assess and determine the optimal policies, work flows, governance, and related aspects of the relationship between a national office and its member organization (146) within the context of an international movement.

This engagement entailed the complete review and overhaul of the structure, governance, and work flows of the YWCA. The YWCA Board asked us to focus on the redesign of cumbersome administrative processes that negatively affected the delivery of key services to the member associations. This included the development and conduct of training sessions on the tenets of continuous quality improvement.

Our work also resulted in the review and confirmation of the national staff’s programmatic and financial analyses regarding a proposed relocation to Washington, D.C. and the possible sale/alternate use of the Leadership Development Center, so that the National Board could come to closure on these sensitive and emotional issues.

We were asked to deliver on-going implementation assistance after the completion of this project. This assistance involved continuing work with the Project Redesign Transition Team, conducting strategic planning sessions for the National Board, and partnering with the President of the Board and the former National Executive Director to monitor progress of Project Redesign.