APPROACH

PROSPERA serves mission-driven organizations, philanthropists, family offices, wealth advisors, foundations, and donor-advised funds, providing strategy consulting, non-profit due diligence and sourcing, crisis management, and interim executive management.

Working with a small number of clients for well-defined engagements, we are dedicated to enabling a five-fold return on our fees.

Drawing on 25 years of chief executive, start-up, and fiduciary board experience, PROSPERA guides clients to focus on fundamental questions, commit to genuine strategic choices, and act on coherent plans.

Our motto, “Reflection and choice, not accident and force,” captures both the approach we lead our clients to adopt and a challenging truth about managing any organization: Either you will make far-sighted choices at the right time and for the right reason, or forces beyond your influence will determine your future.

Even organizations with budgets under $500,000 can waste half this amount, year after year, directly through ineffective management and indirectly through missed opportunities. The human cost is often high as well: fruitless conflict between colleagues and allies, fragile relationships with donors or investors, and unfocused or unsustainable service to beneficiaries or customers.

Employing common-sense tactics and best practices is necessary for an organization’s success, but is far from sufficient. The most persistent and serious problems arise from a lack of deliberation on deeper questions of mission, strategy, business model, market position, and performance evaluation. Organizations fall short most often not because of the poor quality of their activities, but because of a poor fit between their activities.

Few organizations are well-positioned to address fundamental questions without assistance. The strong temptation is to look for convenient, short-term solutions in the hope that patient, longer-term solutions will be unnecessary. Those inside an organization face the persistent difficulty of achieving and maintaining an independent perspective. Even if an organization correctly understands the sources of its challenges, urgent daily tasks constantly gain on the important work of strategy development and evaluation.  

PROSPERA offers clients six distinctive — and indispensable — advantages:

1. Strategy, rightly understood. This seems obvious, but we have found nine ways even seasoned executives and consultants misunderstand strategy, and four critical mistakes they make in developing their strategy. That is 135 ways strategy development and evaluation can go wrong. PROSPERA will help you avoid them.

We do not have a “proprietary” formula or template we try to impose on clients, nor do we see it as our task to rationalize what they have already decided. We guide clients to understand their work more deeply — not to learn a process, but to make better judgments.

2. Chief executive experience. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, says the first question he asks consultants is whether they have ever run an organization. Strategy is not about excellence in individual activities, but about the fit between an organization’s activities. Only someone who has had a chief executive role has had experience crafting and maintaining that fit — and been held accountable for it.

All PROSPERA’s clients work with our Principal, Mitchell Muncy, who over 25 years has been co-founder or executive director of five mission-driven start-ups, for-profit and nonprofit, spanning domestic and foreign policy, academia and the media, secular and faith-based
organizations.

3. Candor and a long view. As one of our clients has expressed it, “PROSPERA respects your time and dedication to your mission enough to tell you the truth and ask hard questions.”

Our approach is not facilitative, but developmental. We do not seek consensus on what should be done, but clarity and alignment on what decisions need to be made and how. We do not promise to make things easy for our clients in the short term, but to help them prosper in the longer term.

4. Evidence integration. Fewer than half of organizations take effective advantage of their own data, the experience of their stakeholders, or the wealth of applicable research. PROSPERA integrates quantitative and qualitative evidence in a way that expands our clients’ options while clarifying the choices they need to make.

 

5. Coaching through execution. Making strategic choices and developing plans are only the first — and sometimes not the most challenging — steps in accelerating an organization’s development. We do not simply hand you a task list and leave you to figure out the rest.

 

6. Building independence. One former client has said PROSPERA “provided [them] with a way of thinking that continues to guide [their] decisions, allowing [them] to avoid blind alleys and recognize needs before they become crises.” It is hard to imagine a better sign that a consultation has succeeded. 

PROSPERA’s services reflect our commitment to supporting our clients as they make their most important decisions in challenging circumstances.

Strategy consulting. We help you commit to and act on the small set of integrated choices which will allow your organization or your philanthropy to be distinctive and indispensable.

Sourcing & due diligence. Whether you are seeking or considering a new philanthropic investment, or evaluating a current investment, we do the research and analysis of strategy, finances, and management necessary for clear, informed decisions.

Crisis management. Non-profit organizations and philanthropies experience the same risk and volatility as any for-profit business. We assist you in stabilizing the organization while building for the future.

Interim executive management. When a new strategy requires new management or a new organization, we provide interim or start-up leadership to prepare the organizations for success.