American Civil Liberties Union

Services & Solutions

Over more than a decade La Piana Consulting has worked with ACLU on a variety of governance, strategy, and organizational development challenges. For example, through an inclusive and iterative process, we helped the 83-member national board of directors slim down and reorganize for greater efficiency while maintaining its essential democratic character. We also developed the concept and business plan for what became the ACLU Summer Institute, through which thousands of high school students come to a weeklong introduction to civil liberties held in Washington, D.C. We have also developed and piloted strategic planning methodologies for ACLU affiliates, in partnership with the national office, as part of an effort to help its local affiliates think and act strategically.

Outcome & Results

Beyond our work with the national office, we have engaged closely with the three ACLU affiliates in California. We conducted an organizational assessment of the ACLU of Northern California, the Union’s largest affiliate, as it managed unprecedented growth in the wake of the Trump election. We then guided implementation of our recommendations for strengthening the organization. We have also guided the three California affiliates in their efforts to forge a stronger statewide voice, organizing and leading negotiations, researching options, and project managing the effort.


“The La Piana team has expertly guided us through a complex restructuring and organizational change process. They continue to provide on-point advice and practical support to our senior management and board leadership to see through implementation. They are rigorous, responsive, professional, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I recommend La Piana often and enthusiastically to other organizations.”

– Abdi Soltani, Executive Director ACLU of Northern California