What Kind of Stuff Do You Do?

We can partner with you on needs specific to your organization, creating outputs mapped to outcomes for maximum impact. The scope and time required is unique to each project. We also offer one-day facilitated workshops, short team retreats, brown-bag lunch discussions, and coaching sessions for organizational leaders navigating some of the most common challenges and opportunities that arise when planting and growing something new. We discuss real-world examples, and leave behind new tools and tactics. These bullpen sessions are great entrypoints into our work, and we make sure to make them fun and engaging for you and your team.

Consulting on GAPS

Advising small organizations in startup mode to get steady on their feet. Resource allocation, messaging, staffing, fundraising, coaching and mentorship sessions for new entrepreneurs. For example:

MODOS Dance Company

We helped the MODOS Dance Company perfect their pitch for an Englewood Community Block Grant. They won! And with that came the first funds they had raised to support their important work in dance therapy.

Four Star Fellowship

We helped the Four Star Fellowship establish themselves as a 501c3 and lay the groundwork for their inaugural summer leadership retreat in northern Wisconsin for young men from the BAM and My Block, My Hood, My City programs, respectively.

Consulting on LEAPS

Standing alongside small to midsize organizations with proof of concept who have to take steps to grow into something larger, without destroying themselves from within in the pursuit! Adding internal capacity/staff, building boards and advisory teams, setting best practices for development and fundraising, sharpening organizational storytelling. For example:

Surge Institute

We developed a decision-making rubric for regional expansion on behalf of the Surge Institute, ran multiple regions through the rubric to determine the most attractive destinations, and helped hire and onboard a new Vice President focused on executing new site development.

Global Citizen Year

We were the eyes and ears on the ground for the Global Citizen Year organization in the pilot year of a partnership with Chicago Public Schools to bring more gap year opportunities on scholarship to low-income, high potential high school graduates in the district. Read about the First Four recipients here on WBEZ Chicago!

Consulting on BREAKS

Culture building, team camaraderie, Improv games, interoffice contests, ‘guerrilla fun.’ In other words, bringing the joy. Being willing and able to get goofy or sublime on the cues of your partners. For example:

Wait, What??

We have coached office Improv troupes, designed and executed a 20-person surprise Flash Mob on a bus, orchestrated an interoffice, video-based Mannequin Challenge, and planned numerous Fun Days and outings for organizations. Bringing that joy. Video proof upon discussion!

Workshops, One Time Engagements, & Bullpen Sessions

Continuum Exercise

This team-retreat style workshop is designed for entrepreneurs, organizational leaders, development & fundraising teams, and Board members to participate together in a lively, interactive session. Teams will discover how to better differentiate their organizational storytelling depending on the audience, and how to pick up on clues, cues, and make adjustments in real time when sitting across from a potential supporter. You’ll emerge with at least two new ways to tell your story, and a framework for creating more. Embracing a supporter’s curiosity and personal interests is the key to winning over skeptics and earning their dollars and devotion.

Board Meeting Benevolent Takeovers

You’ll prep me to attend a Board meeting for your organization and see what we can’t discover about your team dynamic.

Buy Me Lunch

I’ll come into it with no preconceived notions of you, and you can just talk about what’s holding you back from next-level excellence. Over a meal. You pick the spot, and the topic.

Naysayer Slayer

Let’s get everyone in a room to unpack and vanquish all of the negative thoughts and dissonance that are preventing your team from creating the organization you dream about.

Bullpen Sessions

Interactive presentations and coaching sessions to help teams navigate some of the most common challenges and opportunities that arise for all of us enlisted in the good fight. Customizable to your organization. Topics may include:

Stuck High on the See-Saw

No matter what, in the relationship between philanthropists and service providers, the balance of power is always resting in the hands of the donor deciding whether or not to make an investment. So how does a good fundraiser cope?

We can do Anything, but we can’t do Everything

Living with trade-offs, sidestepping mission creep, and getting real about order of operations when the pressure is on

Where to?

Best practices (and limitations) of regional expansion market analysis, tips on building decision-making rubrics, and asking the right questions of local champions to get a clearer vision of the future

Only Child –> Younger Sibling

Remembering to nurture the HQ when a second office or region demands an outsized amount of everyone’s attention; plus tips on the creation of a national team (or centralized services) org structure to support multiple locations

Does Your Cheeseburger Taste the Same in Every City?

Embracing the national unity-regional autonomy tension, and installing systems and expectations to match, that promote harmony while protecting the non-negotiables around your brand

Dogs & Babies

How to learn more about, and connect authentically with, your donor or customer base by seeing them as people first

Ghosts in the Machine

How team members can practice the art of teeing-up leaders to more quickly correspond with external champions

That’s a Really Good Question

Embracing the value of the donors and prospects who push you the hardest; when saying ‘I don’t know’ can be strategic and empowering


How to embrace your inner Improvisationalist to elevate meetings and make for more memorable encounters

Dealer’s Choice

Entrepreneur picks the topic and instructs Mark’s prep in advance