Jabian Transforms Nonprofit Organization To Focus On Strategic Priorities & Process Improvement

The Client:

With 50 team members supporting the 23-county region of metropolitan Atlanta, this nonprofit provides trusted philanthropic services to connect donors to knowledge, issues, and services to strengthen the local community. For the transformation, Jabian partnered with the function within the client with primary responsibilities to maximize and leverage resources for community impact; and to efficiently distribute assets and track impacts to fill gaps in the community.

The Challenge:

The nonprofit had an aggressive strategic plan which included almost doubling assets under management, increasing dollars granted out, and leveraging external dollars that align with philanthropic priorities. Internally, the nonprofit recently experienced a series of changes including leadership turnover and initial forays into a matrix team structure. Roles and priorities in the nonprofit were unclear, creating confusion, frustration, duplication of efforts, and people spending time on activities that were not value-add or aligned to the strategic plan.

The Strategy:

A process and organization design project was taken on to better align the function with strategic plan goals and increase employee engagement. Working with the senior client leader, Jabian:

  • Conducted interviews and focus groups to understand key activities that needed to be performed
  • Defined skill mix needed by type of work and matching “like with like” activities to create clearer delineation in roles, responsibilities, and handoffs
  • Defined processes, including integrating strategic planning on the front-end, measuring impact, and adjusting the back-end
  • Created role descriptions and career progression by job family
  • Facilitated mapping of people to to-be positions and identified gaps in internal skillsets warranting external role postings
  • Applied change management principles and best practices to roll out the new structure including cascading communications and leadership messaging and modeling

Organization Overview and Mapping

Change Management Plan

The Outcome:

Through the process and organization design work, the nonprofit saw:

  • Clearer expectations for performance, improved career paths, and increasing individual employee engagement
  • Identification of low-value programs to stop or transition out, and high-value programs on which to dedicate more resources
  • Activities in “run” mode transitioned to more junior resources, freeing up senior resources to focus on more strategic work
  • Movement away from a mindset of “this is how it’s always been done” to one of continuous improvement