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Case Study: Nonprofit

Global nonprofit future proofs its ability to protect the planet

After several years of analysis and a disappointing attempt to design and implement a new operating model, an international environmental nonprofit realized they needed a new partner to help them meet their organizational transformation goals. 

The client sought to streamline its operating model to focus its efforts on mission critical initiatives and increase its impact in protecting the planet efficiently and effectively. Amid the organizational transformation to a fully matrixed structure, they were faced with heavy budget cuts, further motivating their desire to increase the efficacy of their organizational frameworks. 


Transform the client’s operating model to unify long-standing silos, increase impact, and achieve its mission amidst budget shortfalls.

Unconventional consulting—and breakthrough results

Employees mapped into roles across the organization

New functional departments established

New processes and collaboration points identified

Tools developed to support new process flows

Our starting point

When Eagle Hill came aboard, we inherited a partially completed organizational and operating model design and implementation plan. After several years of minimal progress, leadership felt exhausted while employees were anxious and uncertain. Eagle Hill recognized that low morale would hamper progress and that a thoughtfully designed change management plan would be essential to buy-in and long-term success of the organizational transformation. With a clear understanding of what was at stake, we applied our organizational design expertise, coupled with project and change management skills, to quickly move the project from design/concept to execution. Partnering closely with the client, our team:

Created new organizational charts that reflected revised bodies of work and talent mapping decisions, including updated departments, sub-teams, job titles, and job levels.

Assessed priorities, mapped staff (one by one) to new roles, and addressed hiring needs.

Facilitated the identification of efficiencies in the new operating model to support mandated budget cuts while still meeting mission goals. 

Analyzed qualitative and quantitative data from employee surveys to inform the reallocating process. 

Developed a tactical transition plan for people, work, and strategy, including communications and change management initiatives to support the changes. 

The roadmap to success

Throughout the organizational transformation, we worked closely with the leadership team, partnering with them to address every challenge. From start to finish, we stayed attuned to the organization’s mission and their commitment to DEI, and tailored our proposed solutions to reflect those goals. 

Eagle Hill custom-developed an impact rating system to measure the effects of the organizational change on team structures and ways of working, summarized in a “Change Impact Assessment Report.” The report articulated the benefits and risks of the new operating model and enabled leaders to quickly see how their teams would be affected.

Our project management experts simultaneously managed four workstreams with a total of 25 sub-workstreams. To successfully execute the complex project under tight timelines, we engaged and collaborated with cross-functional departments and stakeholders, adapted the project plan to reflect changing circumstances, and proactively raised and mitigated risks. 

We brought our change management expertise into the engagement from the start, knowing it would be essential to success. Our change management plan relied on creating workstreams that encouraged collaboration among stakeholders across different functions. This played a vital role in laying out the right steps to achieving the organization’s big picture.

We applied a marketing mindset in creating a communications strategy to build awareness and increase employee engagement. The plan incorporated diverse communications channels and frequencies to reach all impacted stakeholders and included creating a briefing book for leaders to reference when communicating the change to their teams.

As a result of Eagle Hill’s work, the large advocacy group reset a muddled organizational transformation and put its new operating model into practice. Now, the organization has begun transitioning to its “future state” and has a clear path to achieving its financial and mission objectives.

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