<![CDATA[interSector Blog]]> http://www.intersectorl3c.com/interSector Blog/102627/17938/http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/20052/<![CDATA[Continuity]]>

Over the past 8 years, we’ve worked more than 80 nonprofit organizations on a wide variety of projects. We believe we are still recognized for the great work we do in the area of nonprofit strategic planning. Humbly, our beliefs are still fueled by our clients.

Nearly all, if not all nonprofits engage consultants to guide them through the development of what is typically a three-year strategic plan. Oh, sometimes it’s longer and every once in a great while it’s shorter, but three years is pretty much the de facto standard. And, we’ve seen nonprofits who don’t use consultants to help with strategic planning at all. They do it themselves (usually to save money) and, well, these are not typically the most dynamic or effective strategic plans out there.

Just sayin’.

So, the process goes like this…

The board and executive staff create a Request for Proposal (RFP) and send it out to a small group of consultants who specialize in blah, blah, blah. Usually there’s at least one consultant that’s known to the organization and there will be a few others that come via referrals from folks known and trusted by the organization.

The proposals come rolling in. Lots of (read: TOO MUCH) time and resources are spent reviewing the proposals. Sometimes references are checked. If they are checked, chock up some more time! Then there might be a phone call or meeting with the top two consultants being considered. Then there’s another in-house meeting to consider the two finalists and voila – you hire the top consultant to guide your strategic planning process.

Sound familiar?

Of course, it does. This is standard operating procedure.

And the process takes time. Usually lots of time. Sometimes…an ABSURD amount of time.

So, you do all the work and by the time the project is complete and your strategic plan is rolling full steam ahead you can sit back, reflect and decide if you hired the right consultant or not. Right?

GREAT!

Fast forward a little less than three years and now you’re buckling up to start the process all over again.
 



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I’m not sure how other consultants feel about jumping on the strategic planning consultant hamster wheel every thirty months or so but it doesn’t excite us here at interSector Partners.

When we’re hired to do ANY project, we take extreme pride in spending whatever time it takes to get to know the organizations we work with. Every single one.

We get invested in the people, in the organization’s work, in their work styles, in their challenges, in their past success, their past failures. EVERYTHING! We ask tough questions and every single answer provides insights into how we can do our work better and tailor our work specifically for each and every organization. We also build in periodic check-ins to all our proposals.

So, imagine how we feel when we’re not invited back for the next strategic planning assignment?

If we didn’t get the job done the first time or there were obvious challenges or issues that would dictate that we are not the best consultants to do the work the next time around – that’s a different story. You, the client knows that. We know that as well.

But, if the first project went well and we all enjoyed working with each other – who, from the outside of your organization, knows your organization better than we do?

If we’ve been checking in all along and doing what we can do to help AFTER he project is “officially” complete, who knows your organization better than we do?

If we’ve been able to serve as a resource connecting you with folks that can help with other aspects of running and managing and sustaining your organization, who from outside of your organization has shown that level of commitment? To you personally. To your staff. To your board.

Another consultant? That you have to create and release an RFP to talk with?

The simple answer is NO.

CONTINUITY
is very important to think about when hiring consultants to help you with any project where you need specialized, professional help. And most certainly for any project that is likely to extend out several years in the future.

You’ve invested time, human resources and financial resources to find who you believe is the “right” consultant/consulting firm. And remember, the consultant has invested the very same resources to create a scope of work that addresses your RFP and makes a case for why they are the best consultant for the job.

You choose your consultant, you engage together over the timeframe of the project. Everything goes well or maybe REALLY well? Everyone is pleased. Maybe REALLY pleased?

Why oh why oh my oh my…would you want to go through that agonizing time and resource sucking process all over again the next time you need to hire a consultant to do the very same work?

Why?

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A few parting thoughts for clients working with consultants:

1.        Add a section to your RFP that asks your prospective consultants to talk a little about what your relationship will look likeafter the engagement is complete. And when you have that phone call or meeting with the top two consultants you’re considering – spend a little more time on this if you need to. This can and will set the stage for the entire consulting project.

2.       Talk about this again in your initial discovery meetingwith the consultant/firm who you retain for your project. Does it sound like what was in the proposal? Talk a little about what happens if the project comes off the rails…

3.       …If the project starts to come off the railsfor you and your team…TALK WITH YOUR CONSULTANT sooner rather than later. Why is everyone so afraid to do this??? (P.S. if no one can do this – you chose the wrong consultant!)

4.      As you’re coming to the end of what looks like will be a “successful” (as you and your consultant define before you begin the work) engagement - have some discussion about the future and how you might be able to work together again.

5.       QUESTION:There are other factors that could be in play over time (change in executive staff, change in board leadership, consultant firm no longer in business/doing the work they used to) BUT, if the last time you worked with a particular consultant…you all enjoyed working together and everyone got the job done and everyone was super happy…why wouldn’t you put that consultant/firm at the top of the list the next time a project like this comes up?

 

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/20038/<![CDATA[interSector Partners: Take Five, it’s Friday]]>

A weekly(-ish) roundup of what what’s new or newsworthy with us, our clients, our partners and friends.

If we tell you how boring this week’s Take Five will be, will you read it? Turns out, not everything is earth-shattering, or even very interesting, yet is important nonetheless. 

1. Boring, but important. The IRS has released an updated 990-EZ Short Form Return of Organizational Exempt from Income Tax along with “assistive pop-up information.” Yes, we subscribe to the EO Update: e-News for Charities & Nonprofits (because we’re extra fun like that!) and you can, too.

2. Still boring, but quite helpful. The IRS provides life cycle content for nonprofits to understand the necessary filing requirements and forms. Whether starting out or thinking about ongoing compliance, find tips to keep your nonprofit compliant. Just pick your organization type and learn what you should be doing.

3. Interesting and important. This week interSector Partners, members of the Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative Advisory Council, weighed in on the soon-to-be released Fourth Sector Taxonomy Framework. It’s an exceptionally thorough document that will support and inform the work of everyone in the impact space going forward. We’ll let you know when it’s released.

4. Locally important and highly interesting. Barriers to employment are not geographically specific, but solutions tend to be. This week Impact Charitable hosted a gathering to introduce/update the community on the great work of Bayaud Enterprises, Spring Back Colorado , Knotty Tie Co in Denver, CO. Check them out to learn more about their great work creating jobs and supports in marginalized communities.

5. Super important. Word on the nonprofit street is that President Trump intends to end the law limiting nonprofit’s political activities. Making good on his promise to give more flexibility to churches, “destroying the Johnson Amendment” could free up secular nonprofits to more fully engage in the political process, too. We are interested to hear how you believe this will impact the political landscape.

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/20015/<![CDATA[Budgets – Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live ]]>

Seen at the end of too many Requests for Proposal (RFP)…

“Based on your proposed approach, please submit a draft budget estimate for the project.”

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“To respond to this RFP, please prepare materials to address the following: The fee for all service provided by your firm. Please identify any additional services that could include additional fees.”

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“Provide a good-faith cost estimate for your recommended solution, itemized by major component. Estimates should be fixed cost, not time and material. Provide unit costs for each major component to allow for a projection of costs under alternative configuration scenarios. Define the number of estimated labor hours by category of service provider and list their associated rate.”

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“Given our terms of reference, provide a proposal, workplan/timeline and budget for the entire project.”

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“Indicate estimated component costs in the proposal, with as much detail and breakdown as possible as well as a time-line for completion.”

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Now, let’s say you’re the client and you need to hire a consultant to help with a project. Any project, big or small, it doesn’t really matter.

You’ve put together what you believe to be a great RFP. The document outlines all aspects of the project including background information, timelines, proposed approach, desired consultant qualifications. Everything the consultant needs to know.

In the budget/project cost section of the RFP, you include any of the above paragraphs above to address the budget you have available for the project.

Or, wait. No time to put together a formal RFP document? Maybe you can have a few phone calls with prospective consultants instead. Ask some important questions. Get an idea of how the consultants work. Ask about their background, qualifications, who else they’ve worked with. See if they sound friendly and professional. Might they be “fun” to work with?

When the prospective consultants ask about your budget…insert one of the paragraphs above or just respond with – we don’t have a set budget. We’d just like to see your proposed scope of work and your proposed budget to complete the work.

 

Now, the proposals start coming in…

If you put out a formal RFP, you’ll recognize some of the consultants submitting proposals, others may not be familiar. (more on this later in the alphabet!) If you spoke with consultants on the phone you’ll know who everyone is.

Upon review the proposals look GREAT! It appears that everyone has the qualifications and seems to understand the project based on their proposed scope of work. Everyone’s proposed approach seems reasonable and is acceptable. And, of course, everyone can complete the project within the stated timelines!

But, WOW, the consultant’s proposed budgets are all over the place. Some are high. Some are REALLY high. Some seem kind of low. Some seem “about right.”

 

I guess my big question is: the budgets are high, really high, low or about right - compared to what?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that all clients know how much money they want to spend or can spend to hire a consultant. Even if they have never ever hired a consultant or if they’ve never hired a consultant to work on a particular kind of project. At some point there’s been a discussion about the project budget. There’s money allocated. There’s probably a “not to exceed” amount in someone’s mind.

Even if you have NO idea what a project like what you’re looking at should cost…I’m betting some amount of money or budget has been APPROVED to hire “the consultant.”

 

Okay, back to all the great proposals that came in.

If the proposed budgets are all over the place ranging all the way from suspiciously low to unreasonably high – how will you decide which consultant to hire? How will you effectively and efficiently compare all the proposals and choose the consultant best qualified and prepared to do the work? At the fairest price?

 

WHAT IF…the budgets in ALL the proposals you receive are too high? Too Much? More than you can spend or want to or think you should spend?

First, it’s going to be difficult to compare apples to apples. Second, you’ve put all your prospective consultants in a difficult and unreasonable position and you haven’t even started the project yet. And third, if you can’t or don’t want to spend what the consultants are proposing, then it’s back to the drawing board.

There is a better way and to be fair, we do see this better way more often than not.

Share your budget, share what you can spend with all your prospective consultants as part of the RFP or your initial phone calls or meetings. And don’t worry about consultants submitting proposals right up to your budget even if they don’t think it should cost that much. This does happen in the world of consulting but it’s not worth worrying about. And you’ll probably know when it’s happening as you are comparing all the apples!

I started with this last week. I believe good, experienced, professional, ethical consultants know what their time is worth and know what it will take to complete a project in accordance with a proposed scope of work which includes YOUR BUDGET. I can think of several occasions when our firm has advised the potential client that they don’t need to spend the budget they think they do to get the work done. Think about it - how often does that happen?

 

Hiring a consultant is like shopping for a home, a car or a nice bedroom set. You go shopping with a budget in mind. The salesperson can’t reasonably help you if they don’t know what you want and how much you can spend. And you’ll never be able to make a buying decision without a budget in mind. Oh yes, you may end up spending more than you wanted to. But you almost always have a starting number in mind.

Something we’ve done here at interSector Partners, L3C for years has been to propose a scope of work in accordance with the RFP (including available budget) and then include additional services or work we think may be appropriate for the project as outlined and their corresponding additional cost. Nearly all of the 80+ different clients we’ve worked with over the past 8 years really appreciate this approach.


A few parting thoughts for clients working with consultants:

Consulting Budgets

1. Consultants spend a great deal of time thinking through and preparing a proposal they believe will meet your needs and shouldn’t have to guess how much their work is worth to you. ALWAYS include a budget when soliciting proposals from consultants.
 

2. If you don’t know how much the project you’re about to undertake with a consultant should cost – do some research. Ask your peers who have hired consultants for similar projects for their advice. SUPER BONUS potential – you end up getting a referral or two to great potential consultants!
 

3. If a proposal comes in within budget but is either curiously low or high, take a few minutes to understand why. If you’re truly interested in them and their proposal, talk with the consultant to better understand what they’re thinking and why. Don’t just toss the proposal aside…
 

4. If your proposals are coming in all over the map - consider working with someone that understands the world of consulting to help you prepare future Request for Proposal (RFP) documents that will attract proposals where you’ll be able tell the difference between apples and oranges, pears, and mangoes.
 

5. Beware of consultants underbidding other consultants just to get the work. Rarely will these projects work out like everyone wants them to.

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/20002/<![CDATA[interSector Partners: Take Five, it’s Friday]]>

A weekly(-ish) roundup of what what’s new or newsworthy with us, our clients, our partners and friends.

Change is all around us; in fact it’s known to be “the only constant…” This week we focus on the importance of adapting to change for sustainability.

1.       Expanding, contracting, adding or adjusting. interSector had the pleasure of working with the Metro Volunteers board of directors and staff as they explore opportunities to enhance services to meet changing community needs. Looking forward to a front row seat as the new vision comes to life.

2.       Seeing the writing on the wall – and getting out ahead of it. Two years ago, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains joined our social enterprise development cohortto explore sustainable revenue options. This week saw national coverage of its new social venture, Vibrant, which builds on the PPRM mission and returns profits to support that mission.

3.       Decision-making criteria. Adapting to change requires quick and nimble decision-making. A solid set of criteria, developed in cooperation with key stakeholders, allows for agility not often found in the nonprofit sector. Ask us about interSector’s system for developing and implementing decision-making criteria at your organization. (Note: We call ours the “bright-shiny object grinder!)

4.       Even the most successful programs can benefit from a spit shine and polish.  Colorado Impact Days 2016 brought together investors, entrepreneurs and practitioners for the first impact gathering of its kind in Colorado. As proud first year steering committee members and friend of the Impact Finance Center, we were thrilled to learn that CO Impact Days 2017 this fall will remain largely the same, yet see exciting changes to the marketplace, wrap-around programming and governance, and that plans for significant expansion across the country are in the works in the coming years.

5.       A new Administration (a carryover from last Take Five. It’s that important).  New leadership = change, and we expect a Trump administration to shake things up considerably.Don’t get caught unaware. Dedicate time with your staff, your board and your legitimate news sources to consider what changes to expect in regulations, funding, even how nonprofits are allowed to operate. Share with us what you expect to change and the impacts it could have on your work.

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/20001/<![CDATA[A Top Ten List – Things You’ll Never Hear from]]>

 A Top Ten List of Things You'll Never Hear From Your Consultant

1. You're right; we're billing way too much for this.

2. Bet you I can go a week without saying "synergy" or "value-added.”

3. How about paying us based on the success of the project?

4. This whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I read.

5. Actually, the only difference is that we charge more than they do.

6. I don't know enough to speak intelligently about that.

7. Implementation? I only care about writing long reports.

8. I can't take the credit. It was Ed in your marketing department.

9. The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.

10. Everything looks okay to me. You really don't need me.

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Okay, not sure who the curator of this list is but while a couple of these are somewhat funny and well, maybe true – the kernels of these things you’ll never hear from your consultant are sown from some long-standing misconceptions about the client -  consultant relationship and how it develops and is managed over time. Breaking down the top ten list a little:

1. You're right; we're billing way too much for this.

I’ll talk about this more in next week’s post about BUDGETS but good, professional, ethical consultants know what it will take to complete a project in accordance with the scope, know what their time is worth and bill accordingly. If you believe your consultant or prospective consultant is charging too much, it’s time for a talk. It may also be time to hire a consultant to help you prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) that will attract proposals where you’ll be able tell the difference between apples and oranges, pears, and mangoes. (More on RFPs later in the alphabet!)

2. Bet you I can go a week without saying "synergy" or "value-added.”

Unfortunately, buzzwords seem to be a phenomenon that just won’t go away. New ones replace old ones. There’s always a Buzzword du Jour. Some consultants like throwing lots of buzzwords around - makes ‘em sound smart maybe? Buzzwords are a cover-up. Kinda kitchy IMHO. And they often get in the way. If EVERYONE that’s part of a consulting project (consultant team + client team) doesn’t know what a particular buzzword means and how it relates specifically to a consulting project, you’ll never get the results everyone wants. Ditch the buzzwords, just do the work and use words that everyone’s familiar with.
 

3. How about paying us based on the success of the project?

This is unfortunate. Nearly all consulting projects could have a pay for success component built in to the overall fee structure. So, why don’t they? The two big problems I see after 38 years as a consultant are: 1) it’ll take a month of Sundays to figure out what “success” is and 2) it’ll take another month of Sundays to determine what success REALLY is…so a client is willing to pay for it and a consultant is willing to accept payment for services based on a potential unknown.
 

4. This whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I read.

Case studiesand best practices are great. Consultants and clients everywhere use them, refer to them and cite them. They’re a powerful and valuable resource. Too often, though, they’re viewed as a silver bullet or a shortcut. “Hey, I know we can’t figure out how to do this on our own but look…these folks over there did it this way and had success, and if we copy them so can we!” Don’t get me wrong. Modeling the work you’re doing after work that’s already been done by someone somewhere successfully is very powerful. Just make sure you understand all the moving parts of the success story, what everyone’s motivations and resources were at the time and what their goals were for the project. Very rarely is there a case that’s exactly like yours.
 

5. Actually, the only difference is that we charge more than they do.

See #1 above…
 

6. I don't know enough to speak intelligently about that.

I’m going to keep this short and simple. First, it really is okay if your consultant says this occasionally. Really, it is. And, second, if your consultant doesn’t say this at least once on a project, it may be time to find a new consultant. We ask clients questions all the time they don’t know the answer to. If you’re asking questions where your consultant has all the answers – you may not be asking the right questions. (More on this later in the alphabet!)

7. Implementation? I only care about writing long reports.

Unfortunately, this usually ends up being related to expectations. The more money a client pays for consulting, the longer the report will usually “need” to be. It’s just the way it is. Implementation is ultimately the client’s job. What needs to be determined at the beginning of a consulting project is who will be reading the report and why. This may provide some insight into how long the report needs to be.
 

8. I can't take the credit. It was Ed in your marketing department.

This one’s short and simple, too. When a consulting project goes great, everyone’s happy and major goals and successes are achieved, the consultants rarely get any credit. Or, at least, not the credit they MIGHT deserve. When a consulting project goes south, it’s ALWAYS the consultant’s fault. I’ll talk about this a LOT more as we move through the alphabet!
 

9. The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.

REALITY check: Who do you know that works a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e in ANY organization large or small where this isn’t the current reality? It’s the case with consultants. It’s the case with clients. Sooner rather than later, we all need to figure out how to talk about this. And do something about it!
 

10. Everything looks okay to me. You really don't need me.

This one’s interesting because RARELY is it the case. What’s more important is: considering a client’s needs and how well the client has articulated those needs—plus considering the corresponding expectations surrounding all aspects of a consulting project – which consultant is best qualified to take on the project? If a client believes they need a consultant and have made the resources available to hire a consultant, then hiring a consultant is almost always a wise decision. The bigger and more critical questions are which consultant and why?

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A few parting thoughts for clients working with consultants:

1. How important will buzzwords be in your next project where you need to hire a consultant? Who is it that’s really using too many buzzwords? How can you eliminate buzzwords?

2. Is there a way to include a “pay for success” component into your next project? Will you all have a clear enough picture of success to pay for it? Will your consultant(s) have a clear enough picture to accept a payment for success?

3. Will it be okay if your consultant says: “I don’t know enough to speak intelligently about that” at any time during your project? When will it NOT be okay?

4. Are you producing RFPs that will attract proposals where you can effectively and efficiently compare everything each of the consultants responding can offer – against one another?

5. Is the length of the consultant’s report what’s really important or what’s in the report, how it’s presented and how well it will guide you and your team through the important work that has to be done when the project is completed and beyond?

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Up next week:
Budget
 

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/19986/<![CDATA[Working with Consultants: A to Z]]>

Over the past thirty-eight years (1979-2017) I've worked with consultants, I've hired consultants and I've made my living as an independent consultant. I've done all the above in numerous different industries ranging from banking and construction to insurance to marketing and advertising consumer goods to nonprofits and social enterprise. I’ve worked in many different capacities over different time frames in my career. I've studied what works and what doesn't when it comes to consulting "process" and even treated myself to a little formal training. No, not from those Big 8, no wait, Big 4, or was it Big 2 consulting firms. Who knows how many there are or what they're called nowadays?

Most of my consulting learning and experience has come from that infamous School of Hard Knocks. I'm proud to say that and say it with head held high. I believe that's where most of the really meaningful consulting rubber not only hits the road but STAYS on the road! Ask any good consultant worth their salt and I think you’ll hear the same thing.

Working with Consultants: A to Z will be a compilation of my experience, successes, nightmares and other assorted thoughts over 35+ years working as a consultant, working with consultants as a client and partnering with other consultants. As we move from A to Z I'd like to offer one caveat…I don't claim to know it all. If that were the case, I'd be presenting this series of blog posts to you in person as part of an all-expenses paid trip on my yacht off the coast of Fiji. What I hope I can do is give you some things to think about and act upon to get more out of your work with consultants today, tomorrow, and further on down the road.

Some of what you'll read may appear to be a blinding glimpse of the obvious. That's okay. In a world that's moving at the speed of light where yesterday's bright, shiny object is dull today and possibly non-existent tomorrow - obvious may not be as obvious as you once thought! And based on what I still see happening after thirty-eight years...there's absolutely no shortage of room for improvement!

Some of what you read here may make you a little uncomfortable. That's okay. Challenging is good. So is being a little uncomfortable. Reality is even better. If you're looking for sugar coated, you're in the wrong place.

You may disagree at times. That's okay. Share your point of view or experience so we can all learn!

Finally, if this proves to be a good use of your time and you take away some new insights...please don't be shy. Share with colleagues, clients, consultants or with anyone else you think might benefit!

Welcome to Working with Consultants: A to Z. We'll start with A next week!

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/19980/<![CDATA[interSector Partners: Take Five, it’s Friday]]>

A weekly(-ish) roundup of what what’s new or newsworthy with us, our clients, our partners and friends makes its return in 2017. Did you miss it? We know we did!

Since it’s a new year, we thought it was a good time to take stock:

1.       interSector reserves the last week of December to plan for the coming year and beyond. In 2017, you’ll hear more about our continued professional development, a new Web site, how we’re managing time, program transitions and, most excitingly, interSector Partners 2.0. Stay tuned…

2.       We each have 8,760 hours in any given year. What are you going to do with yours? We’re loving the 8,760 Hours tool to help you reflect, consider the ideal you, address your concerns about success upfront, and fit everything into a one-page calendar. 2017 is yours!

3.       Taking stock is not only an internal activity. Our work with the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center carries into January as the organization continues its focus on evaluation. A marker of a strong organization is one that truly wants to hear from its key stakeholders. We’re having a blast running focus groups with CNDC Projects to complement surveys done earlier in the year.

4.       A new Administration.  New leadership = change, and we expect a Trump administration to shake things up considerably. Don’t get caught unaware. Dedicate time with your staff, your board and your legitimate news sources to consider what changes to expect in regulations, funding, even how nonprofits are allowed to operate. Share with us what you expect to change and the impacts it could have on your work.

5.       Stock comes in all shapes and sizes and this is of the animal variety.  While the National Western Stock Show Parade was cancelled due to weather, the show itself starts tomorrow and runs through January 22nd*. Check it out for a good reminder that there is more to Denver than new condo development, tech companies, GF pancakes and craft beer. Mmmm…beer…did someone say it’s Friday?

*If you’re new to Denver, you may notice we keep holiday lights up longer
 than in other parts of the country. It’s a tradition related to #5 above.
 Ask a CO Native to explain…learn local history and get to know a neighbor!

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/18297/<![CDATA[Now We Are Six]]> interSector Partners, L3C Now We Are Six                                                                                   interSector Partners, L3C

Six years ago during this little thing called "the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression," we had a crazy idea to start a business. Believing that it was time for a new way of doing good *and* doing business, interSector was born to support changemakers working within any business structure as they leverage their talents to make a difference in the world. At the time, terms like impact and social entrepreneur, alternative business structure, #L3C, #BCorp and Benefit Corporation were emerging or but a glimmer in someone’s mind. What a long way we've come as a business and as part of this wonderful, challenging, fun and gratifying movement.

It's been a wild ride shared closely by many of you. As principals of interSector we are so incredibly grateful for our amazingly driven and committed clients, our colleagues who share and give of themselves freely to make this easier and better for us all (and provide us with much-needed comic relief), and for each of you who still believe. You believe, as we did and still do, that we CAN build an equitable, just, healthy, peaceful and joyful world is ours for the taking if we just keep after it and keep working together.

Thank you all for being a part of our journey, for putting your trust in us and for allowing us to test and learn and grow in this work – together. We would not be here today, celebrating six years in business, if it weren’t for you. What a difference you’ve made for us. And we hope that along the way, we’ve may have done the same for you.

Cheers!

interSector Partners, L3C

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/17987/<![CDATA[interSectors Take Five for Friday]]>

A weekly(-ish) roundup of what what’s new or newsworthy with us, our clients, our partners and friends. Mostly professional, some personal – with a focus on the positive.

1.       L3C interest ebbs and flows – this month it’s flowing. Based on the number of downloads of Who is the L3C Entrepreneur? and inquiries to interSector from folks hoping to start an L3C, we know that interest in this LLC-based structure for social good is here to stay.

2.       A new book to support the above point. From our good friend and leader in the entrepreneurship, social enterprise and impact investing space, Marc Lane brings us his 35th book: The Mission Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World’s Most Vexing Social Problems. 

3.       And further evidence – wait, perhaps this is a themed Five for Friday, after allEmily Davis & Associates Consulting hosted Alternatives to Nonprofit Creation at Impact Hub Boulder and led a lively discussion with Rick Zwetsch from interSector, Amy Rosenblum from Cultivation Center and Margaret Katz from The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.

4.       It’s not just talk, either.  Art Restart, a social enterprise of The Gathering Place and graduate of the Colorado Nonprofit Social Enterprise Exchange had a very successful launch season and is now hiring a director. Let us know if you’re interested.

5.       Develop your social impact knowledge and skills. Early bird registration deadline for the Social Enterprise Alliance Summit is next week. Join us in Denver next September!

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http://www.intersectorl3c.com/blog/102627/17938/<![CDATA[interSectors Take Five for Friday]]>

A weekly(-ish) roundup of what what’s new or newsworthy with us, our clients, our partners and friends. Mostly professional, some personal – with a focus on the positive.

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!  Kick-back, take five and enjoy our 2015 Predictions Edition.

1. Social enterprise and social change take center stage in Colorado this year. Between Colorado Impact Day this fall, the Social Enterprise Alliance Summit in Denver, new businesses launching through the Colorado Nonprofit Social Enterprise Exchange, and a slew of other exciting projects and initiatives, this will be a good year for doing good!

2. Innovative and creative sources of capital. Nonprofits, foundations, philanthropists and investors will continue to leverage long-standing investment vehicles (PRIs and the like) and further develop newer options (crowdfunding, Direct Public Offerings, etc.) to drive capital into the impact market.

3. Sustainability plans continue to rise in popularity. Why not combine strategy, business modeling and business planning into one seamless tool? This previously slow-to-warm trend in the nonprofit sector really heats up in 2015.

4. Longmont, Colorado steps out of the shadows. Staking claim to its tech, entrepreneurial, arts and maker-friendly roots, Longmont’s blazing fast one gigabit municipal service literally lays the groundwork for TinkerMill, Launch Longmont, Startup Longmont, Arts Longmont and many other innovative initiatives to expand efforts and experience the success – and recognition – they deserve!

5. Vacation. Here’s to taking some. Rick and Caryn already have one on the books. May this be your year to vacation early and often. (Keep us posted on your plans and travels!)

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