Our Approach

We firmly believe in the potential for social innovators to skillfully address environmental, social and community goals. Our skill is in bringing grounded financial discipline and pragmatic assessment to the larger vision.

We use a variety of skills, including scenario modeling, research, fiscal analysis and facilitation, to  help you plan and implement businesses, programs, operations, or policies to achieve results.

In our work with individuals, we focus on both the vision for your project (or business) and you personal goals.  We provide user-friendly tools and pragmatic guidance designed to inform and corroborate your choice.  With groups, we keep discussions on task,encourage the involvement of all participants and build consensus.  In all engagements, we make certain our services are useful, stay flexible as we and the client get better informed and regularly use humor to relieve tension.

While most engagements require a customized scope of work, our general approach is summarized below:silhouette

1. Identify the goals

We always begin an engagement by clearly identifying what the project hopes to achieve, avoid and preserve.   This brief exercise provides a critical baseline for assessing competing options as we absorb new information and opportunities.

2. Get the information

Depending on the project, we either work on our own, with our clients or with collaborators to compile the research, develop the modeling tools or conduct the due diligence that  is needed to inform decision-making.  We often share our findings  during the process in order to refine the work.   With business planning and financial modeling,  we clearly identify assumptions, results and the impact of various scenarios.  Our goal is to

use an iterative approach that helps our clients see the implications as well as the costs and benefits of various scenarios. Our ability to bring the numbers to the table early in the process helps clients understand the financial implications of various approaches.  In many instances, the scope of work is further refined as the client learns more about potential options.

3. Share findings, tools and recommendations

We communicate with the client about our findings.  If the work involved research or due diligence, we share what we have learned in clear and concise reports or presentations.  When requested, we offer recommendations.

If we have been engaged to develop financial models, we work to make sure it is able to be used by the client long after our engagement.

4. Make strategic choices

We then facilitate discussions with the client to help them assess the findings and make strategic choices.  We work to ensure that these choice are:

  • consistent with their goals,
  • yield the financial, social and environmental results they were seeking; and
  • minimize potential risk.

5. Implement decisions

Our final task is to deliver whatever the client needs to begin to implement the project.  This may be a business plan, program design, draft policy statement or fully-defined loan program.