Non-Profit Sector Services

Board Development

Rapid changes in the nonprofit sector require that organizations take a closer look at not only how the business of the organization is conducted, but also the ways in which decisions are made and by whom. The most effective board members are deeply committed to the organization’s mission, bring expertise in key areas, represent diverse members of the community, and evolve over time and through generative dialogue and careful planning.

  • Administration of board assessments;
  • Coaching of board members; and
  • Practical and proven techniques for developing board infrastructure.

ACG provides ongoing support through:

"Watching Beth Applegate work is like watching an artist in motion. Beth is a master at facilitating difficult meetings with disparate and often contentious points of view. Beth's vision of what a healthy board structure should be is inspiring. Beth manages to convey a sense of humor, encouragement, and support in the midst of slogging through some of the most difficult issues. Our congregation is better for having Beth work with our leadership." Rabbi

“During the past year, Beth Applegate has used her incomparable team building skills to empower our board of directors to move from unsure direction and conflict to strategic planning and board reconstruction. It has been am amazing, productive and rewarding experience. Others had tried but failed. Beth’s manner and expertise gave us the courage to succeed.” Board Chair



Building Strategic Alliances

ACG understands that the world’s problems do not neatly divide themselves between the private, nonprofit and public sectors. ACG is committed to improving social, human and environmental conditions through facilitating the building of strategic partnerships within and across these sectors.

ACG defines a strategic alliance as a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more entities to obtain the desired results they are more likely to achieve together than alone. We work with cross-sector strategic alliances to:

  • Identify the issues that are important and timely, and leverage the core cross-sector competencies;
  • Clarify the added value that each sector brings to solving significant social problems;
  • Establish a concrete plan to support the cross-sector collaboration with clear benchmarks and a realistic time frame; and
  • Help the stakeholders to identify their goals and establish the collaborative relationships they need to succeed in providing solutions, services and products that contribute to a more just, equitable and sustainable society.

“Beth is able to bring order to chaos. Planning a conference with a team of far-flung volunteers from across the country is a real challenge. Beth helped us to build a team identity, make timely decisions and stay on track with our assignments. With her guidance, we were able to construct our responsibilities so that every team member had a clearly defined assignment and was held accountable. I don’t think we could have had such a good even without Beth’s guidance.” Executive Director

“Beth has been a great asset in facilitating meetings. It is a testament to her skill and talent that she can manage the personalities in a room full of forty leaders of national organizations, and actually get them all to pay attention and accomplish a common goal. She is remarkable as a guide because she demonstrates a keen understanding and interest in the journey being taken by those she is leading.” Executive Director


Leadership Coaching

Rapidly changing demands in the nonprofit sector require new approaches to leadership and coaching. Leaders must continuously inspire, guide and reward their teams and must call upon different skills to handle the tremendous variety of situations that arise. Adding to the challenge, as an organization evolves and grows, so too must the capabilities of its leadership.

ACG provides:

  • Ongoing, highly individualized support that focuses on the people and the organizational processes, utilizing practical and proven techniques to address conflict management, team building and leadership skills development;
  • Individualized coaching, which offers a mechanism for helping executives and organizational leaders to manage challenges, while benefiting from the feedback and perspective of a non-biased organization development practitioner; and
  • Proven strategies to develop leaders who are intentional, proactive and clear about the vision they hold for their organizations.

"Beth Applegate's professionalism and range of skills were invaluable to our organization. She played a key role in coaching our executive director and his management team; helped us to design and execute a staff driven process to operationalize our strategic goals; guided our work in board development; and even trained senior staff on how to do training!" Development Director


Leadership Transition Planning

Recent studies reveal an unprecedented leadership shift for most organizations regardless of sector. These studies predict that a shortage of leadership will arise in the general workforce as the 78 million Baby Boomers who make up the core of organizations begin to retire.

ACG provides:

  • Ongoing, highly individualized, facilitated processes to support executives and organizational leaders in addressing and managing the challenges associated with this generational shift;
  • Feedback and perspectives of a non-biased organization development practitioner to assist leaders in the transition; and
  • Proven tools to support the development of common ground, facilitate effective partnerships, and create space for new models of leadership and future leaders.

“Beth Applegate has been a perfect solution to a host of challenges for our organization. Serving as our Acting Executive Director, she has been a splendid chief executive officer, a careful administrator, and an inspirational leader. She has evidenced great skill in dealing with a broad range of personnel and third-party relationship situations. Her integrity is beyond reproach. Her determination to make a positive difference is infectious. My great admiration for Beth is matched only by my profound gratitude to her.” Board Member


Meeting and Retreat Facilitation

Today’s organizations require skilled leaders, confident staff and dynamic teams. Process facilitation provides an effective way to engage board and staff members in actively mastering the principles and skills they need to advance the mission of their organization.

As a meeting and retreat facilitator, ACG:

  • Combines cutting-edge techniques and proven theory with carefully selected small group work;
  • Facilitates dialogues and role-play activities, and
  • Creates an engaging learning experience, resulting in more cohesive teams and true workplace success.

“Beth is an exceptional facilitator. She adds real value in every step of the process. Beth does a terrific job of identifying potential issues before they arise, and provides excellent suggestions for getting the most out of the time the group is investing in the process. She keeps both management and the participants honest and on track. Beth’s involvement ensured that a meeting with produce actionable results.” Board Chair


Organization Assessment and Change

Every organization, no matter how large or how small, is a system. Organizational problems are linked together, and change in one area often impacts other areas of the whole system. Discovering the links and how they fit together and, therefore, what steps the organization can take to improve the situation is the purpose of diagnosis.

ACG utilizes a well-established action research model and diagnostic tools to support the facilitation of change processes through:

  • Detailed planning with key leaders and members regarding the focus and processes of the assessment, including: who will be surveyed, what questions will be asked; and which formats will be used to gather information;
  • Data gathering utilizing interviews, informal focus groups, and questionnaires to elicit members’ input regarding the strengths and limitations of current organization procedures and practices;
  • Analysis of findings by the internal team with the guidance of the consultant to identify common themes, major inconsistencies and opportunities to build upon;
  • Action planning by the internal team to propose changes in policies, procedures and systems, based on the data, to assess the risk of making changes, and to determine who will be instrumental in implementing the chosen action plan to ensure the long-term impact of the change initiative; and
  • Evaluation by the internal team and consultants to assess the effectiveness of the change process.

“With laser-like precision – and only in a matter of hours after being introduced to us - Beth Applegate was able to diagnosis dysfunctional team behavior that had prevented our staff from reaching our optimum potential. With firm but respectful guidance, she has helped us find solutions that enhance our team performance. We now fully understand what it means to be a learning organization.” Executive Director

“Beth Applegate brings years of experience and expertise by which progressive causes can benefit. Beth becomes one with your organization – truly committed to your mission and purpose. She is a master at building consensus and at guiding an organization through the strategic planning process to make vision reality. She leaves you with a blueprint for achieving your plan’s goals that far exceeds expectations.” Deputy Director


Strategic Thinking and Planning

Successful organizations prepare and plan for long-term change, even as they operate in the present. Gradual, ongoing and strategic transition fosters a culture of efficiency, continuity and stability in every organization.

ACG designs and facilitates strategic processes that:

  • Formulate processes for strategic thinking about the future, so that even in the midst of change there is a perpetual focus on direction;
  • Clearly define core values, mission and vision statements, and ambitious but realistic strategic objectives and organizational goals; and
  • Offer follow-through and coaching services that provide ongoing planning and evaluation mechanisms to ensure timely and effective implementation by staff and Boards of Directors.

“In my twelve years experience as a nonprofit professional, I have rarely encountered someone with Beth Applegate’s range of skill in providing an organizational plan that closely fits with the heart of an organization. Her ability to assess the challenges of an organization in fulfilling their missions is rooted in her commitment to the roots or organizational and human development, which makes her a perfect match for social change organizations. In addition, her finely tuned facilitation skills are a match for any organizational conflict.” Deputy Director

“I have had the good fortune of working with Beth Applegate both as a strategic planning consultant and as the chair of the board of directors on which I served. She possesses an extraordinary ability to guide others through the planning process in a manner that energizes and engages all involved. The end product proved to be a valuable tool that truly helped shape the work of the organization. Likewise, Beth’s leadership abilities are exceptional. She leads with clarity and wisdom, always communicating and commanding respect.” Board Chair


Team Building

ACG knows that in order for an organization to succeed it must have strong leadership, active communication and open collaboration. Ultimately, it must be an effective team—one with outstanding process skills that can nurture and integrate each individual’s expertise and strengths and leverage differences.

ACG works in-depth with teams to identify specific needs and to help integrate new insights back into the workplace through:

  • Facilitating the development of high-performance work teams through mutual goal-setting, role negotiation, group problem solving, and mutual accountability;
  • Facilitating conflict resolution; and
  • Building team commitment by valuing differences, developing trust and creating win/win collaborative agreements.

“Beth has created an environment where all staff can maximize their contributions and daily build upon their own leadership skills. She has helped us form the bedrock of our re-constructed organization, giving us the tools and infrastructure to maximize our impact upon urban and community forestry and build a sustainable foundation. The results of her leadership upon the organization are immeasurable.” Deputy Director