CEC’s Organizational and Program Development services span the entire life cycle of a nonprofit, from start-up and expansion to reinvention. We can help develop (or improve) select components of an organization or new program, or aid in full design.

We also help nonprofits create programming that is responsive to a governmental Request for Proposals (RFP) or Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), which many clients call a grant without perhaps realizing how much of a program must be constructed in order to compete for this higher-level funding. The same scenario applies to charter school applications, for example, or becoming a Maryland DDA residential provider in the intellectual/developmental disabilities field. Your package is actually a fully-designed program; in essence, a comprehensive operations manual. You have to get past this hurdle before funding or opening your doors is even possible. But, even if a funding opportunity does not require this degree of detail, why wouldn’t you have every aspect of organizational and programmatic operations down on paper? It ensures quality, consistency, and full accountability. And, if anything ever happened to your Founder or other top leadership, someone should be able to read your operations manual, see all the forms/tools with descriptive user guides, view your organizational chart and other structural items—and be able to quickly continue the nonprofit’s work with minimal disruption.

Organizational and Program Development is closely tied to strategic planning and, even, comprehensive fiscal development plans. For instance, an ambitious start-up plan is likely to include the introduction of new programming and additional staff over a period of  3 to 5 years. We create versions of organizational charts and budgets to reflect these incremental changes. But, we also are looking at all the tasks that must take place in this current fiscal year in order to prepare for the targeted activities of the future. As we keep saying, it is all interconnected.

A nonprofit may require a certain type of service at numerous points in their existence. Of course, content and focus will always differ between organizations, but the key categories remain. Very little in the following services list is exclusive to start-up organizations, and, as such, CEC makes no distinction between young agencies and those reinventing after 25 years of operations. Growth should be perpetual.

Some of what CEC offers:

  • 501(c)(3) Applications
  • Action Plans/Plans of Correction
  • Activities/Detailed Task Schedules
  • Board Handbook with Job Descriptions
  • Board Training & Decision Support
  • Brochures, Fact Sheets, and other Collateral
  • Budgets (multi-year & multi-program projections)
  • By-Laws (new and revised)
  • Client/Service Recipient Admission Packages
  • Comprehensive Fiscal Development Plan (3-5 years)
  • Documentation/Data Collection Systems
  • Fiscal Control Processes
  • Forms (with User Guides)/Systems
  • Goals and Objectives (Organizational and Program)
  • Job Descriptions/Performance Evaluation Tools
  • Marketing/Communications Plan
  • Measurable Outcomes/Outputs
  • Mission Statements & Effective/Consistent Messaging
  • Organizational Charts (present and with planned expansion)
  • Partnership Cultivation and (possibly) Shared Resources
  • Person-Centered Planning Systems
  • Policies & Procedures (organizational, program-specific, personnel)
  • Process/Tracking Tools (such as CRM systems)
  • Professional Development Needs/Available External Resources
  • Program Curriculum
  • Program/Project Development Work Plans
  • Quality Assurance & Evaluation Systems
  • Staff Training Materials
  • Staffing Plans/Patterns
  • Strategic Plans (3, 5, and 10 year)


“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi