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CRE Consulting Practice Areas
Photo credit: Cyndi Shattuck Photography

CRE Believes...
CRE believes in partnering with our clients, building organizational capacity and working for community-wide impact. We believe that enhancing capacity is achievable; we also understand that implementation is key.

CRE’s experience is that stronger organizations empower communities and we work with each client to help them actualize that empowerment agenda.

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"It helps that most of CRE's staff have worked at organizations - so they have an understanding of what it means to run a small grassroots organization. "

Our Services : Consulting : Practice Areas

Practice Areas


Planning supports the nonprofit client's ability to make informed decisions. Planning may involve:

  • Clarifying vision, values and guiding principles
  • Affirming and/or refining mission
  • Aligning activities with mission
  • Identifying, engaging and uniting key stakeholders in vision and goal setting
  • Tying program and organizational goals to realistic financial plans
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Strategic Plan
    • Program Plan
    • Operations Plan
    • Revised Vision and/or Mission Statement
    • Capacity Building Plan
    • Implementation Plan

Click here to see how CRE helped a policy and advocacy organization with planning.

Board Development

CRE helps community-based organizations establish effective Boards that work in partnership with staff to plan their organization's future and achieve sustainability. CRE offers Boards leadership preparation for:

  • Handling the complexities of volunteer governance
  • Grasping the complicated financial and accountability structure of tax-exempt, publicly funded nonprofit entities
  • Asserting influence in artful ways with colleague volunteers, staff and funders given the realities of limited time and information
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Board Orientation and Training on its various Fiduciary, Strategic and Generative Roles
    • Board Recruitment Plan
    • Coaching on Board-Staff Collaboration

CRE's board development work with a Brooklyn based cultural arts nonprofit is highlighted here.


CRE helps nonprofit organizations understand and access the full array of funding that can serve to support their mission and programs. CRE helps organizations to:

  • Understand and navigate the world of nonprofit funding
  • Build a case by defining comparative advantages and demonstrating results
  • Mesh financial planning with fundraising goals
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Fundraising Strategy
    • Assessment of Development Function
    • Proposal Template(s)
    • Specific Proposal
    • Chart of Potential Funding Sources
    • Training on Building an Individual Donor Base

Click here to read about CRE's success in assisting a Brooklyn-based health provider improve its fundraising ability.

Human Resources and Executive Search

CRE assists nonprofits to develop and implement human resources systems that are in scale with their size, needs, culture, budget and potential, and to find the right senior staff leadership. CRE helps organizations to:

  • Review HR processes, operations and strategies
  • Evaluate staffing needs and organizational structures and determine appropriate staffing levels
  • Design and implement performance management processes and tools
  • Navigate leadership transitions with a full-service executive search practice
  • Sample deliverables for HR Leadership, Development and Search areas:
    • Leadership Development Plan
    • Team Collaboration Plan
    • Leadership Transition/Succession Plan
    • Work Involvement Matrix
    • Staff Development Plan
    • Key Leadership Hires (ED, CFO, Director of Development)
  • Sample deliverables for HR Systems and Processes:
    • Performance Management Processes and Forms
    • Position Descriptions
    • New or Revised Personnel Policies
    • Recommendations on Basic Compensation/Benefits Structures

CRE helped this Harlem-based youth program with its HR issues. Click here for details.

Budgeting and Financial Management

CRE helps community-based organizations develop sound financial systems that inform program decisions and ensure long-term stability. CRE assists nonprofits to:

  • Analyze program and administrative costs and develop accurate budgets
  • Integrate the budget process into the planning and fundraising efforts
  • Determine financial staffing needs, establish sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures and ensure all charitable reporting requirements are met
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Organization or Program Budget
    • Unit Cost, Cash Flow and Financial Position Analysis
    • Analysis of Financial Management Systems
    • Training on Computerized Bookkeeping/Accounting Systems

Click here to see how CRE assisted this HIV/AIDS organization operating in Brooklyn and Queens with financial management issues.

Organizational Design and Strategic Restructuring

CRE enables nonprofits to position themselves in times of change, joint ventures and joint programming, and

  • Identify the most effective organization and governing structure
  • Explore potential downsizing, growth and acquisition scenarios
  • Train and prepare individuals for new roles and working relationships
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Organizational Re-Design
    • Change Management Plan
    • Transition Plan
    • Clarification of Leadership/Board/Staff Roles
    • Plans for Mergers, Partnerships, Collaborations, or Downsizing

CRE helped this nonprofit serving LGBT seniors with organizational restructuring.


CRE helps organizations develop, implement, and support structured innovation processes that catalyze bold ideas and nurture their development into feasible solutions. CRE works one-on-one with groups or creates peer-learning networks of innovators to:

  • Hone innovation frameworks
  • Create safe space to generate promising ideas and help them grow
  • Facilitate innovation processes that help organizations develop and test new programs for greater impact
  • Provide a strong mechanism for learning and constructive feedback
  • Provide execution support to ensure ideas move into implementation and enact change
  • Sample Deliverables include:
    • Customized innovation framework or process
    • Peer-based learning experiences such as innovation "boot camps" that catalyze innovation processes for participants
    • Facilitated innovation processes, including necessary supports to make them successful
    • Facilitation and support of results-focused execution

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