About Us

We continue to raise the bar for foundation and nonprofit consulting.

La Piana Consulting is among the most experienced nonprofit consulting firms in the country. Since our inception over two decades ago, we have helped more than 1,500 organizations achieve their increasingly critical missions in a time of monumental and often unpredictable change. Whatever the future throws at us, we know your organization will be there to help the people who rely on it – and we’ll be there alongside you.

Our Story

What began in 1998 as a resource for nonprofit mergers and alliances and collaboration has evolved into a trailblazing foundation and nonprofit consulting firm,  providing thought leadership, proven solutions, and practical tools that are advancing leadership and management in the sector today. Our experienced consultants have been in our clients’ shoes, serving as executive leadership to nonprofits that are increasingly pressured to do more with less. This boots-on-the-ground perspective creates a deep understanding of real-world challenges, strategic prioritization, and what it takes to achieve success.

We believe in your ability to push the world toward justice, equity, and sustainability. We can help.

Our goal is to improve leadership and management practices throughout the sector to help organizations achieve ever-greater social impact. Our consulting approach is collaborative, creative, and driven by a commitment to accelerate results. As the industry continues to change with greater speed, we maintain a steady focus on helping our clients stay on the leading edge.


Research & Innovation

We bring innovative thinking to your big questions, rooted in rigorous analysis and informed by a deep understanding of the social sector.

Proven Methodologies

Having worked with more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations of every size and type, we’re equipped for any project. This experience, augmented by proven methodologies, helps us consistently deliver successful outcomes.

Customized Solutions

No two nonprofits are alike, which is why our proven methods are highly adaptive and customized to fit your unique situational challenges.

High Touch

We believe how we do our work is just as important as what we do. Our hands-on approach is supportive, pragmatic, and led by an experienced team.

Racial Equity

We bring an awareness of the impact of racial inequities in our country’s history and present to all the work that we do, centering racial justice in our practice.

Enduring Value

Everything we do is designed to help you accelerate your impact. Our goal is to yield rapid results, measurable outcomes, and sustainable change.

Our Timeline

Over 20+ years of service, we have built a reputation for delivering groundbreaking ideas and solutions that create results.

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, The James Irvine Foundation, and The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. These philanthropic leaders sought to create a new resource for mergers and alliances in the nonprofit sector. With their support, David and his team launched Strategic Solutions, a five-year research and field-building project that birthed La Piana Consulting and continues to inform our work today.

Growing into Strategy Formation: In 2005, we acquired our first physical office, which 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, 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, a useful self-assessment that helps organizations gauge their readiness for mergers and alliances.

Adapt: Managing Change: Adapt is our change management framework, as well as a new cultural adaptability assessment tool. Building on two decades of experience, we recognize that every strategy development effort, business plan, merger, or board development initiative is, at a fundamental level, about change. An organization’s adaptability, its capacity for rapid and ongoing change (while avoiding burnout and a sense of chaos) is essential to its success. Today we view every engagement as a change management effort.

Defining the Social Sector’s Future: We are ready and eager to head into the future, building an increasingly diverse team of experienced consultants who work together to help foundations and nonprofits prepare for and respond to new complexities and emerging opportunities in an ever-changing environment.