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Building a strong relationship for sustainable growth

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Joey Katona: In terms of what it means to teach environmental education to elementary and middle school students, I’d argue that no one does it better than the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Melissa Jezior: Eagle Hill was in the process of really building and beefing up our own corporate citizenship efforts. And we sought out Alice Ferguson Foundation because we were looking to expand our own knowledge and practices around recycling and littering.


Emily Leedy: And the relationship from there bloomed into, you know, they were able to do some consulting for us that really helped give some clarity to our work that we do and how to improve upon it.

Joey Katona: The last five months, we’ve engaged in a consulting engagement with the Alice Ferguson Foundation, centered on three primary project deliverables—the first of which is a landscape or competitor analysis, in which we benchmarked the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s work against its regional competition in the environmental stewardship and landscape space.


The second of which is a new financial model so that they can be better predictive of their current costs and smart when it comes to pricing new programs in the future.

And the third of which is a new five year strategic planning effort, where we look at their mission statement, their current goals and objectives, and ensure that they’re aligned with their priorities for the next few years.

Emily Leedy: Eagle Hill came in as a consultant, but they came in as someone who really understood what we were trying to accomplish here.


Just hearing folks at Eagle Hill talk, they could just as well be talking about our organization when they talk about their values around family and impact.

Joey Katona: We made sure that we had a consultant available to them during all work hours to provide them regular updates, to be in touch with them non-stop, and ensure that they were getting out of the relationship what they would out of a full-time employee.

Emily Leedy: I remember one of the things that they pointed out that has stuck with me is they really were able to emphasize the double bottom line of nonprofit work, where they understand that we need to do certain things to make our financial picture successful, but we can’t sacrifice our mission in order to do that.


And their understanding and support of that was just incredible.

Melissa Jezior: Unconventional consulting is about breaking away from the expected. It’s about having a different experience in working with a consulting firm than you’ve ever had before.

Emily Leedy: The exciting thing now that we have this information from Eagle Hill is that we’ll be able to take what we’ve done for decades and continue to do it in a more powerful and efficient way so that we can really have the impact on students and adults that we intend to and we can continue to do that for quite a few more years.