Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI)

  • Overview

    Partnerships bring new vitality to an organization. They create opportunities that help build the capacity to sustain your mission and scale your vision. Leaders understand where the gaps are in their organizations, and the NSI can help you find your solution. A vital question for every nonprofit leader is: How do we sustain our impact?  This is the difference between the status quo and innovation. This is the power of partnership.

    The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI) fosters long-term partnerships for nonprofits interested in exploring strategic restructuring to create sustainable impact. The NSI is a funding collaborative of more than a dozen foundations that helps nonprofits achieve their mission by providing stability in a funding environment constantly influenced by changing policy and priorities.

    The strategic restructuring grants that the NSI distributes ensures that nonprofit leaders have the right tools in place to adapt to external changes and create sustainable impact. In its first four years of funding, the NSI has granted $2.5 million to assist 151 different nonprofits to enter into 57 strategic restructuring negotiations. The number of nonprofits funded and the communities they impact continue to grow.

    The NSI helps nonprofits based in Los Angeles County explore and implement formal partnerships leading to greater organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Known as strategic restructuring (SR), these partnerships typically culminate in agreements to combine some (or all) aspects of the organization, ranging from jointly managed programs and back-office consolidations, to shared ventures or full-scale mergers. The goal of the NSI is to normalize strategic restructuring by establishing an environment where service providers, funders and consultants understand and regularly engage in the activity as a strategy for enhancing impact and sustainability.

    For more information on the NSI or the application process, please contact Lynn Alvarez, Project Manager, via email at alvarezlynn [@] sbcglobal [.] net.

  • Guidelines

    The Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI) is a resource for any nonprofit serving Los Angeles County. To learn from the experience of nonprofits that have gone through the NSI please read some of their stories here.

    The NSI application is designed for organizations ready to move into structured discussions aimed at developing a strategic partnership. Organizations and leadership that receive NSI funds are not committing to a specific outcome, but rather to enter into good faith negotiations. The goal is to ensure that organizations have every opportunity to thoroughly explore all issues associated with a strategic partnership and to reach an informed decision that best serves their mission and how they service the community.

    For grant administrative purposes, potential partners will submit a joint application. One organization will be identified as the applicant and the other organization(s) as the partner(s). The applicant organization receives a grant for the partners to hire a consultant of their choice, who supports the exploration and negotiation of issues associated with the form of partnership being pursued.

    The applicant organization must include a copy of a proposed consulting contract from consultant(s) identified by the participating organizations. Your selected consultant must have previous experience in facilitating strategic restructuring negotiations. The contract should include:

    1. Proposed scope of work.
    2. Project work plan/timeline.
    3. Project budget/payment schedule.

    In addition to the completed application and copy of the proposed consulting contract, each of the applicant partners must submit a board resolution signed by the board secretary or chair indicating that the board has agreed to enter into good faith negotiations of a strategic partnership. A sample resolution is provided with this application. Grants typically range between $20,000 – $40,000.

  • Eligibility

    Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated commitment to entering into strategic restructuring negotiations;
    • Impact of a strategic restructuring on the clients and communities served by the partner organizations; and,
    • Well-designed consulting contract with clearly articulated costs, goals, timeline and benchmarks.

    Sample Application
    A sample application is available for review prior to beginning the online application process. Actual applications are only accepted via our online NonprofitConnect portal.

    Required Attachments

  • Criteria

    This is a competitive application process and not all requests for funding will be awarded. Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated commitment to entering into strategic restructuring negotiations;
    • Impact of a strategic restructuring on the clients and communities served by the partner organizations; and,
    • Well-designed consulting contract with clearly articulated costs, goals, timeline and benchmarks.
  • Nonprofit Spotlights
  • Grantees: Pre-Negotiation Survey and Final Report

    NSI Pre-Negotiations Survey

    • If your organization has been awarded an NSI grant, you are required to complete the Pre-Negotiations Survey as part of your grant award.
    • sample survey is available for review prior to beginning the survey.
    • Surveys must be completed by each NSI grantee partner, not just lead agency.
    • SURVEYS MUST BE COMPLETED VIA SURVEYMONKEY HERE.

    NSI Final Report

    • If your organization has been awarded an NSI grant, you are required to complete final report survey as part of your grant award.
    • Reports must be completed one month following the conclusion of your negotiations.
    • A sample final report is available for review prior to submission.
    • Final reports must be completed by each NSI grantee partner, not just lead agency.
    • FINAL REPORTS MUST BE COMPLETED VIA SURVEYMONKEY HERE.
  • Deadlines

    Applications will not be reviewed until all Board resolutions have been included with the application form. You are welcome to submit the application at any time.

  • Apply

    Note: Username and password is required to access the online portal. For detailed instructions on how to register, please click here.

    Apply Now

  • Consultant List

    The NSI has received feedback from organizations interested in applying for funding and from existing NSI grantees that they would welcome access to a list of consultants that are experienced in conducting strategic restructuring negotiations. This is an effort to provide such a consultant list.

    • Organizations applying to the NSI are NOT required to use consultants from the list. The NSI does not warrant or guarantee the work of the consultants on the list.
    • The list and the information provided by each consultant are meant only to provide guidance, information, and resources.
    • Selecting a consultant from the list does NOT guarantee that the request for NSI funding will be granted.
    • Nonprofits are encouraged to contact multiple consultants and conduct their own due diligence in determining which consultant is the best fit for their anticipated project.

    APPROVED CONSULTANTS

    Consultants who have been approved to date for inclusion in the NSI Consultant List are listed below in alphabetical order. Please click on each link to view additional information provided by each of the consultants with their background, areas of expertise, previous strategic restructuring efforts, and references.

    How Consultants are Included in the List
    Consultants interested in being included in the list are requested to submit an application through the Request For Qualifications link.

    Their response to the RFQ is assessed based on the following criteria:

    1. Complete answers to all questions and sections;
    2. Knowledge of nonprofit capacity issues;
    3. Significant paid work experience in the nonprofit sector or as a consultant to nonprofits; and
    4. Demonstrated experience working on at least one strategic restructuring negotiation.

    Individuals or firms meeting the above qualifications are placed on the NSI Consultant List. There is no deadline for responding to the RFQ and the NSI Consultant List will be updated on an ongoing basis as qualified consultants are approved. The NSI is committed to supporting and increasing the cultural competence and diversity of consultants providing strategic restructuring services to Los Angeles area nonprofits. As a result, we encourage consultants and firms with a diverse staff (people of color, women, LGBTQ, and those with disabilities) to respond to this RFQ.

  • Resources
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