Case Study – Strategic Planning | Board Retreat

Company Overview

Founded in 1998, National non-profit (NNP) is a provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions. NNP quickly grew to be one of the largest and most trusted non-profit credit counseling agencies in the U.S.

The Challenge

NNP was in a critical stage of growth, faced with a declining client base in line with a shrinking market opportunity.

Having led the non-profit to a run rate of $30M in revenue with $30M in cash reserves, the CEO was looking to transition to the role of chairing a soon to be created NNP Foundation (NNPF) that would fund studies in line with NNP’s mission. Along with needing to gain clarity around the programs, structure, leadership, and budget for NNPF, the CEO wanted to take action on several issues weighing heavily on her mind.

Savvy Solution

It was decided that Savvy would lead a board retreat for NNP in the following month. Savvy quickly conducted a “Mini” Deep Dive and Discovery and had a series of in-take and advising sessions with the CEO, her executive committee, and had the opportunity to participate in board orientation with the two newest board members.

From these observations and discussions, Savvy designed the content to present at the retreat in order to generate discussion on key items: NNP Foundation, NNP leadership and succession planning, the possibility of exploring the option of a merger, how to determine if M&A was the better option than other alternatives, and the resulting planning/process, along with the role of board members.


Decisions were taken on all key items and Savvy provided observations and recommendations on marketing, product line management, M&A, corporate governance, strategic outreach and investment of surplus funds to guide NNP in the coming years. Savvy’s work provided just the foundation on which NNP would strategize resourcing and planning over the next two years.

“Grace led the most productive board meeting I have attended in the last 4 years.”
Chair, Board of Directors
“Boards and high-level executives have utmost respect for Grace. Thoroughly prepared, she elegantly moved through many key topics, led productive discussion, and we made critical decisions to steer our organization into the future.  Grace provided high value in our engagement. I recommend her services.”
Founder and CEO