A new partnership between CFL Consulting at Hope College and the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance is a win for everyone involved.

Coordinated through the college’s Center for Leadership, CFL Consulting pursues a wide variety of projects for diverse clients via specialized teams of Hope students led by experienced practitioner coaches with relevant professional background in the field involved.  This key partnership between LNA and CFL Consulting means expanded opportunities both for students and for the organizations who partner. Two of the nonprofit LNA members along the lakeshore will be chosen for this fully funded project each semester.

“This was one of those wonderful situations where both parties immediately saw the benefit, and it’s already been a very positive and productive relationship,” said Doug Ruch, who leads the college’s Center for Leadership (CFL).

“These nonprofits are doing incredible work in our community, but they often lack the resources they need to take on improvement projects,” he said.  “Our teams operate at a high level and are able to generate excellent results.  At the same time, CFL Consulting provides our students with valuable experience along with exposure to the non-profit world.”

The partnership, which was established earlier this year, is beginning this fall with a CFL Consulting team working with the Holland Aquatic Center and Love INC of Southeast Ottawa County and the City of Grandville.  It will continue during the spring with teams assisting the Grand Haven-based Momentum Center and Community Action House of Holland.  Project will range from conducting market research and developing marketing plans, to creating a human resources handbook, to helping create a staff leadership development program.

“Our goal is to elevate and support the work of not-for-profits all along the lakeshore, and this partnership is the perfect example of how we can collaborate with other community partners, like Hope College and the Center for Leadership, to achieve this together,” said Meagan Maas, who is director of programs and community partnerships for Community SPOKE and the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance.

Operating with the motto “outstanding value for clients, invaluable experience for students,” CFL Consulting assigns interdisciplinary teams of three or four students to assist approximately 10 to 15 profit and non-profit organizations with specific projects each semester.  The teams solve real-world problems for clients, while the experiential learning and mentoring help students to discern their calling as well as develop their critical-thinking, problem-solving and team-building skills.

The Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance (LNA) is a membership organization that serves nonprofits in the Greater Ottawa County Area. The organization develops and promotes programs and services that help nonprofit organizations build staff and board capacity, achieve operational excellence, leverage resources efficiently and strengthen community connections.