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Research & Development

​Nonprofit Leadership and Capacity Development

Address challenges by amplifying strengths to promote change

​​​​​Author: Tom Klaus

The world of the nonprofit is anything but simple.

Still, the two most fundamental tasks of a leader are to:

  • Make sense of the complex context or environment in which their organization works, in order to form a vision for the future and, then,
  • Work collaboratively with their staff and boards to translate that vision into objectives, strategies, actions, and systems for accomplishing it.

Though simply stated, neither task is so simple.  
For this reason, the best leaders recognize their own limitations and reach out for the help they need.  We offer genuine expertise based on deep knowledge, wide experience, and an innate desire and ability to work collaboratively with leaders to innovate solutions for their organizations.  This common sense, practical, and evidence-based “know how” uniquely qualifies Dr. Klaus to support nonprofit leaders to take their organizations to the next level of strength, sophistication, and sustainability...

Partnership is our secret to being a valuable resource to leaders
and their organizations.
For this reason, Tom works in partnership with nonprofit and social change leaders to build greater organizations and programs for good.  Working with clients in a collaborative way that is mindful of the complex social context in which leaders and organizations promote the greater good and social change is Tom's approach.  

It is best described as:
Appreciative:  Whenever possible, we prefer to address challenges, deficits, and problems by working to amplify the assets and strengths of the leader and organization in order to promote change.  Yes, every organization has problems and challenges.  Unfortunately, it is easy to miss the opportunities for positive change and growth when too much time, energy, and focus is spent on fixing problems.  We do not ignore the problems and challenges.  We just choose to address them differently, from an evidence-based appreciative approach.

Collaborative: We work closely with clients to identify their goals, select strategies and process that will move them toward achieving their goals while building their confidence and capacity.

Consultative:  We use “humble inquiry” to offer expertise without coming across as know-it-all “experts.”  This involves listening carefully to get the full story first; asking questions to seek clarity and understanding; conducting the necessary research to more fully understand the situation and its context; when appropriate, offering a menu of ideas, suggestions, and recommendations from which clients choose their next steps; and, then, supporting them as needed and requested in the implementation of the approach (“solution”) they choose.

Presenter: Tom Klaus

For People

  • Nonprofit board training and development
  • Coalition, collaboration, and partnership development and facilitation
  • Team development
  • Leadership training and development
  • Staff training and development

For Organizations

  • Community engagement planning
  • Interim/transitional leadership
  • Organizational analysis
  • Operational planning
  • Program and organizational long-term sustainability planning
  • Program research, development, and evaluation
  • Evaluation research
  • Strategy planning and strategic management


  • Appreciative (strength-based) consultation
  • Training events, workshops, classes, and retreats
  • Presentations and keynotes
  • Group and meeting facilitation
  • Qualitative and quantitative research and development
  • Developmental evaluation
  • Interim and transitional leadership


  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Board development and governance
  • Collective Impact and other collaborative partnership models
  • Community engagement, dialogue, and mobilization, including working with faith communities
  • Executive and senior leadership assessment and development
  • Federal and state grants management
  • Organizational assessment
  • Program and organizational sustainability
  • Program research, development, implementation, dissemination, replication and evaluation
  • System change
  • Strategy planning
  • Strategic management
  • Team building