“In one year of working with Nell, Forte now has a comprehensive and focused strategic plan that includes a plan for financial growth to increase both our organizational scope and reach. The process stretched our staff and board of directors, and left us with a solid, actionable plan.”
– Elissa Sangster, Executive Director of Forte Foundation
Forte Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on getting more women into business careers, wanted to double their reach and impact but didn’t know how to go about it or how to create a sustainable financial model to sustain that kind of growth. At the same time, the organization was trying to be too many things resulting in their small staff being pulled in too many directions. The organization needed to figure out how to focus their resources in order to grow and become more financially sustainable.
Forte Foundation hired Nell to lead a strategic planning effort to result in a 4-year strategic plan. Nell led a strategic planning committee comprised of school, corporate, and organization board members. The strategic planning process included conducting market research on trends in the marketplace, analyzing key strategic decisions, revising the organization’s vision and mission statements, developing a 4-year budget, and creating a measurable, executable 4-year strategic plan, which allows Forte to dramatically increase their impact, while focusing their resources. Once the plan was adopted by the board of directors, Nell then worked with the Executive Director to create an annual diversified financial plan to fully fund the costs of the strategic plan.
What Social Velocity Delivered
Theory of Change
Revised Vision and Mission statements
4-year strategic plan and budget
Year 1 detailed operational plan
Annual Financing Plan
With a new strategic plan and financing plan in place, Forte quickly moved forward on growth. Staff and board had a much clearer idea of the organization’s value proposition and focus. And they were committed to growing the organization and the revenue to fund it. Forte hired a new Development Director and launched their first-ever major donor campaign, setting them up for the growth they had envisioned. By 2017 Forte had grown to a membership of 95,000 women across all career stages, and helped increase the percentage of women enrolled in MBA programs from 28% to 37%. At the same time, Forte more than doubled its staff and operating revenue.