Our Story

Celebrating 20 Years of Service to the Social Sector

La Piana Consulting has been a trusted strategic advisor to nonprofits and foundations since 1998. In that time, we have:

  • Worked with more than 1,000 organizations to clarify their strategic direction and develop actionable plans for growth, repositioning, and restructuring
  • Supported hundreds of nonprofits in negotiating mergers, joint ventures, and other strategic partnerships, and helped many more assess their readiness for such collaborations
  • Partnered with foundations to design and deliver leadership development programs serving hundreds of nonprofit staff and board members
  • Produced six books and countless articles to share knowledge and practical tools supporting the sector's learning and effectiveness

At this benchmark anniversary, we reaffirm our commitment to organizations seeking to fuse their passion for mission with practical solutions to achieve their goals. Here's to the next 20 years of working together to improve, strengthen, and align social sector strategies, structures, and cultures to accomplish great things!

Our Organizational History

A Start-Up for Strategic Solutions: We were founded in 1998 by David La Piana with support from three major funders. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, and William & Flora Hewlett Foundation sought to create a new resource for collaboration and strategic restructuring in the nonprofit sector, and entrusted David and his team with launching Strategic Solutions, a five-year research and field-building project that birthed the firm and continues to inform our work today.

Growing into Strategy Formation: In 2005, we moved into our first physical office, which housed two newly-hired administrative staff and served as a meeting place for a growing team of geographically distributed consultants who to this day work from home offices across the country. During this time, and with the valued support of ten foundation partners, we developed and field-tested our revolutionary approach to nonprofit strategy formation, Real-Time Strategic Planning.

Expanding Our Perspective: We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2008 with the launch of NonprofitNext, a listening campaign that led to our benchmark report Convergence: How Five Trends Will Shape the Social Sector. We also developed and published a practical approach to nonprofit business planning and launched our Strategic Restructuring Assessment Tool, which helps organizations prepare to pursue collaborative strategies.

Ready for What's Next: Today, we are ready and eager for the future, building an increasingly diverse team of experienced consultants who work together to help foundations and nonprofits prepare for and respond to an ever-changing environment.