Nonprofit Leadership provides consulting and training services in nonprofit strategy, organizational development, governance and leadership. We aim to integrate these areas of support wherever we can, for example by using a strategic planning process to help a nonprofit’s board to enhance the way it governs its organization.


Brewster works with the CEO or Executive Director and the board of a nonprofit to identify and address the critical issues that it faces. These may be high level and long-term questions, for example: what change does the nonprofit want to bring about and why; what programs and program-related activities can best effect that change; and what sources of revenue can best support and sustain these activities and the nonprofit as a whole? They may be operational - how do we execute a particular strategy? Or there may be very specific opportunities or challenges that require immediate attention, like the loss of a major income stream or the appearance of a new competing service in the neighborhood.

Richard offers support across a range of planning processes, from a single team or board retreat designed to help make a single decision, to a full-blown strategic or business planning process. He employs and adapts whatever frameworks and tools seem most likely to be cost-effective. The results range from a simple strategic decision to holistic, fully costed strategic, income generation, business and merger plans.


Effective governance means more effective achievement of mission. Richard helps a nonprofit's board and ED decide what the most important roles are of the board of the nonprofit in its current situation; how will it relate to the nonprofit's community; what kinds of people it needs as members; how the board can best organize its work, for example, in committees; and what policies, procedures and routines will help it do its work effectively. 

The work involves board self-assessments and facilitating discussions among board members about how they will respond to the results, board development retreats, reviewing and revising charters, composition and leadership of committees, and reviews of key documents, like bylaws. Specific results include: changes in the way a board recruits new members; the transformation of board meetings and how board members experience these; reorganizing how a board plans and organizes its work; changes in the way board officers, especially the chair/president, relates to and supports the Executive Director/CEO; and new or revised bylaws, policies and board development plans.


What staff with what skills are needed to achieve the nonprofit's goals? How should the staff be structured and organized? What systems and processes are needed to make their work efficient? And what culture and behaviors are most important? We help nonprofit leaders with these questions, usually through advising on structure, systems and processes, and through training for staff, especially in team work and internal collaboration.


Success with Strategy, Governance and Organization are underpinned and integrated through leadership. Nonprofit Leadership helps with key leadership questions: how can the Executive Director (ED) best motivate, develop and support members of staff; how can she enable the board to function well; how can he best mobilize support in the community? How can the chair and other board officers motivate, develop and support their colleagues? And how can the ED, board chair and other officers work effectively together?

Richard helps CEOs and Executive Directors learn and practice leadership through coaching and hands-on problem solving in how to work with their boards, lead and manage their staffs, think strategically, and communicate with and engage people and groups who have an interest in their organizations.