Consultant brochure that includes:
1. a case for investing in capacity building
2. my process for developing effective deliverables
3. featured client list
4. deliverable menu for proposal departments
5. about me
Capacity Building for Nonprofit and Business Development
Capacity Building for Business Development
Transforming dreams into tangible realities
Capacity building for business development
Capacity building is defined as actions that improve effectiveness. Capacity building
projects create long-term change and improve performance. They involve building staff
knowledge and capabilities, helping design systems and procedures, improving decision
processes, facilitating discussions, coaching leaders and providing training to users.
Organizations look to capacity building as a solution when there is:
• Rapid Growth: increases the need for funds and support tools
• Priority Shift: changes in strategic plans open the window for new funding
• Staff Turnover: knowledge is lost when key staff leave
Common problems for development departments are:
• making bid decisions on an ad hoc basis
• lacking knowledge of potential opportunities and funding sources
• wasting resources on opportunities with low win probabilities and
• creating new programs rather than supporting current work
• consistently playing catch-up causing staff burn out and lowering quality
• committing to unrealistic scope of work and reporting requirements
• using out-of-date research and program descriptions
• duplicating efforts because resources are not able to be centrally accessed
• neglecting opportunities for partnerships and subcontracting
• struggling with existing systems that are not user-friendly or not
comprehensive enough to have an impact
• planning on an ad hoc basis and is not supported by systematically
Effective capacity building projects are grounded in a results-oriented, user-centric
approach. Efforts are focused on:
• developing meaningful relationships with leadership and staff to reveal root
causes of problems
• facilitating communication across organizational silos
• creating a feedback loop between funders, leadership, staff and service clients
• designing systems that generate quantifiable measures of outcomes
• training leadership and staff to use technology and tools
The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem
to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.
-John Foster Dulles
Tools and technology can promote communication and coordination between
organizational silos. They result in increased effectiveness and cohesive decision-
making, ultimately generating more revenue.
A common misconception is that capacity building is limited to administrative functions.
However, capacity products can dramatically increase revenue. Efficient products:
• facilitate rapid turn-around times so organizations can apply for more
opportunities with less effort
• lower time-on-task decreasing staff burden
• deliver higher quality products that attract bigger funders and awards
• clearly communicate differentiators and win themes that distinguish the
organization from competitors
• minimize disruption during growth and transitions
• maximize the impact of existing assets to reduce expenditures
• promote transparency and accountability that helps retain current funding
The best capacity building deliverables produce results not reports.
Cross-Silo Communication and Coordination
My training and experience has led me to develop a systematic process to developing
effective deliverables. This process follows products from conceptualization to outcome
evaluation. It involves all stakeholders from leadership to end-users.
Assess Where are we now? Where do we want to be?
During assessment, I work with an organization to develop a realistic picture of
their As-is state. Together, we take stock of their current assets and resources,
as well as challenges and roadblocks. My asset-based approach is to first look
at how existing resources may be leveraged. Typical assessment activities
• gathering information from stakeholders across department silos and
• reviewing systems, software and tools
• observing user tasks and processes
• documenting workflows with business mapping tools
Assessment also includes developing a To-be vision that identifies dreams and
needs for the future. I believe it is important to respect the roots and mission of
an organization while supporting the evolution of their strategy and capacity.
Analyze What do we need in order to improve?
Next, I identify processes, systems, tools and training that can be improved to
increase capacity. If an existing resource is not working, my philosophy is not to
blame the user. The source of the problem is almost always found in poor
system design, inappropriate tools, lack of user training and/or ineffective
processes. It is my job to maximize the potential of existing assets to bring the
most benefit the client.
If a client needs to invest in new technology, I am able to inform their decision-
making by analyzing: market options, return-on-investment (ROI), scalability,
reusability and sustainability. I have worked with large enterprise-level systems
to free open source tools and I don’t try to sell clients more than they need.
Plan How will we get there?
Business Development projects are time-sensitive, high-profile and have big
impacts on organizations. Capacity building projects increase efficiency to
improve turn-around times, individual time-on-task and quality. A well thought
out project plan encompasses high-level strategy and detailed tasks.
Too often, the pressure to respond to urgent demands delays careful planning. I
can help organizations to prioritize their needs and set realistic goals based on
resources. In many cases, I can immediately implement remedies to acute
Champion Is everyone in agreement?
Before a project is launched, it is critical that the stakeholders buy-in to the
project plan. Change can be daunting, but I am passionate about being an
advocate for solutions. Championing a change includes: educating
stakeholders, answering all questions, addressing issues, discussing realistic
roles and responsibilities, committing to the project plan and setting guidelines
for collaboration and updates.
Design What will the solution look like and how will it work?
During the design phase I build the content architecture and fill-in the detailed
elements of the product. Most clients need to see a concept to concretely
understand how it will fit into their work. I create mock-ups, storyboards,
wireframes and prototypes to visually demonstrate the end-product.
This is a great opportunity for collaboration with stakeholders. We identify and
solve issues before they become problems. This is also a time when users get
really excited. The say, “Wow! This is going to make my job so much easier!”
Build How is it going?
Content management projects generally begin by deconstructing information
into small chunks. Large, cohesive documents are broken up into objects and
organized into categories. This reveals how information is overlapping and work
is being duplicated. The initial stages can appear as chaos from the outside,
however, the architecture quickly takes shape into its new and improved form.
During the building phase, current operations are conducted normally as I
develop in a test environment. This ensures a seamless transition to the new
While building a solution, most of my time is spent heads-down or collaborating
with subject matter experts (SMEs). The project plan is the guide and closely
monitored. I am in regular communication with my clients about the project’s
Test Does the solution really work for us?
What good is a system if it doesn’t work? Any system or tool needs to be
verified that it functions and meets the original needs. Just as important, it must
be verified that it works for the users. To test usability, I sit down with clients
and supportively ask them to perform tasks with minimal instruction. A good
system should be intuitive. I make note of trouble areas and identify what needs
to be corrected and clarified. Testing ensures that the end-product fully meets
Train How do we use it?
Similarly, what good is a system if no one knows how to use it? Users at all
levels need to be trained on technology and processes. I can provide interactive
trainings tailored to the client’s needs. Most users prefer a visual approach to
instruction so I conduct live walk-throughs and create recorded screencast
videos to “show” rather than “tell.” Instead of writing lengthy manuals that no one
actually reads, my written materials are task-oriented how-to guides and quick
Remote workers benefit from web-based user assistance and virtual
interactions. Again, it is not the user’s fault if they don’t understand, it’s my job to
create an intuitive product and educate users until they feel confident.
Support What now?
Successful capacity products become the working tools that users depend on
every day. Sustainable solutions grow and evolve with the organization. All of my
templates and tools can be easily reused and customized.
I continue to support my clients after the end-products are delivered and
adopted. I am available to troubleshoot, train and develop any add-ons to the
original scope. Feedback from my clients is vital to my practice and I follow-up
with clients to evaluate the results of my work and measure outcomes.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
- Warren Bennis
Faith-based urban community development non-profit
Need: Increase grant revenue to support organization’s growth and
complement strategic planning initiative.
Solution: Assessing past proposals, researching opportunities,
developing strategy, writing new standardized boilerplate for
organization and programs, creating templates, developing information
tools, writing corporate/private foundation, city, state and federal
Business process improvement consulting firm with multinational
Need: Provide clients with value-added knowledge resources to
support the firm’s consulting products.
Solution: Wrote customized product manual, designed reusable
templates, created interactive training and marketing materials.
CDI, Corp. Engineering and technology services and staffing company
Need: Improve consistency, accuracy and usability of newly adopted
Business Development Content Management System (CMS).
Solution: Analyzed information architecture, conducted usability tests,
edited content, revised processes and modified user-interface.
IT services consultant firm for government healthcare organizations
Need: Respond to business development demands created by a
recent merger and begin to pursue federal opportunities.
Solution: Redesigned proposal resources for increased regulatory
compliance, wrote federal-focused boilerplate, developed processes
and procedures for rapid turn-around and quality control.
Grassroots non-profit providing health services to the uninsured poor
Need: Apply to become a 501(c)3 and begin to pursue grant funding.
Solution: Advised client about funding and reporting requirements.
Wrote narrative descriptions of mission, work and strategic goals.
Created reporting capacity tools.
Swift Air, LLC Private aviation operations and management company
Need: Rapid development of highly-regulated documentation and
training materials for 20-million dollar certification project.
Solution: Built technical publication CMS from ground-up. Developed
auditable reporting systems. Teamed to create 13 manuals in 3
Small business start-ups
Need: Revenue for business launch and first 2-years of operations.
Solution: Researched markets, developed business development
strategies, wrote business plans and marketing materials, created
efficient business management systems.
Deliverable Menu for Proposal Departments
• Business Development Strategy
• Market and Competitor Research and
• Opportunity Research and Tracking
• Opportunity Pipeline and Forecast
• Bid Criteria and Decision Matrix
• Pre-Release Planning
• Bid Committee Processes and
• Partner and Subcontractor
• Funder Profiles and Targeted
• Proposal/Project Conceptualization
• Proposal Level of Effort Analysis
• Formal Proposal Planning
• Proposal Participation Facilitation
• Proposal Review Coordination
• Post-Award Pass-off to Contract and
• Content Management Systems
(CMSs) for documents and data
• Donor Databases that capture
• Metric Systems to analyze efforts
• Centralized Knowledge Libraries to
collect and document internal
• Project Management Software
(brand name and free access)
• Web-based Collaboration Tools to
support remote workers
• Proposal Document Templates
• Up-to-date Organizational Boilerplate
• Proposal Archives
• Project Management Processes and
• Knowledge Resource Libraries
• Time-on-Task and ROI Reporting
• Submitted Response Tracking
• Proposal Requirement Gathering
• Proposal Overview Worksheets
• Scope of Work Development
• Key Personnel and Staffing Plans
• Pricing and Cost Justifications
• Indirect and In-Kind Cost Descriptions
• Past Performance Summaries
• Organizational Charts
• Effective Graphics
• Proposal Production Checklists
• Oral Presentation Materials
• Award Tracking
• Meeting Agendas and Facilitation
• Quality Assurance Processes and Tools
• Interactive Technology Training
• Proposal Department Policies and
• Style Standards and Brand
• In-Document Review and Revision
• Writer Evaluations
• Partnership Relationships
• Proposal Close-out and Lessons
I am a technical communicator that specializes in translating
complex content to business decision-makers, product users and
compliance organizations. For over 10 years, I have been
collaborating with cross-department teams in high-turnover
I recently completed a Certificate in Technical Writing and
Communication where I learned the emerging trends and tools in
web and mobile communication.
My goal for every project is to balance the momentum of growth
and innovation with meticulous quality standards. I have a proven
record of delivering sustainable solutions on-time and in-budget.
What I bring to the table
• Dynamic communication and media: My passion is using language to translate
complex concepts to real people. I specialize in creating user-centric written and visual
content for online and mobile delivery.
• Meta- and micro-perspective: I am able to look at projects from the big picture of
business processes and strategic goals to the minutia of metrics and editing.
• Flexibility and creativity: I am eager to try, test and refine new ideas and tools. I am
energized by turning problems into opportunities.
• Facilitation and collaboration: I have 10 years experience of leading cross-department
stakeholder teams. Strategic project management and fluid communication is key to a
• Advocacy and championing: I am passionate about helping organizations embrace
current trends and innovation. Implementations can be challenging, but it is exciting to
show users how changes can be solutions.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.
The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward
organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people
to attain uncommon results.
- Andrew Carnegie
Capacity Building for Business Development
Thank you for taking the time to review my services.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about my skills or experience.
Portfolio Samples and References available by request.
I look forward to talking to you soon about your organization’s capacity needs and
business development goals.
Transforming dreams into tangible realities