CLIENT CASE STUDY


LANO: Corporate strategy

Accenture helps Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) respond to challenges presented by two major hurricanes and redefine its strategy.

Overview

Established in 1997, the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) is a statewide network of nonprofits, foundations, corporations and individuals from every region of the state.

LANO’s mission is to strengthen, promote and build the capacity of Louisiana’s nonprofit sector through education, advocacy and member services. In 10 years, LANO has become a leading provider of nonprofit programs and services throughout the state.

In light of the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the nonprofit sector in Louisiana, LANO sought to expand its services and redefine its strategy to continue to be a vital resource for its members. LANO realized the compelling need for a centralized and highly effective structure to support the nonprofit backbone in Louisiana.

In response, Accenture’s strategy development, organization design, process design, project management and technology skills helped LANO meet its pressing needs and fulfill its mission in a sustainable way.

Opportunity

The impact of both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita necessitated a reevaluation of LANO’s mission, organizational structure and ways of operating. In 2005 and 2006, Accenture teamed with LANO representatives to focus on developing a strategic business plan, undertaking organizational restructuring and preparing an overall growth strategy.

Collaborating closely with LANO members, Accenture put its strategic planning resources and analytic skills to work over the course of several months to develop an extensive, individualized plan, or road map, to help position LANO on the path to high performance.

Solution

The strategic plan spanned all business functions, and included recommendations in the areas of operating model, governance, target markets and fund-raising, among others. LANO staff subsequently implemented the recommendations, which helped propel the organization to build a broader statewide presence. Efforts included the opening of a facility in New Orleans, where LANO had lacked a presence and where need was greatest at the time. Accenture also proposed a hub-and-spoke organizational structure to promote operational efficiency, which LANO adopted. Such a structure consists of a central office with a network of regional offices. This approach led to the opening of additional offices in other cities throughout the state and proved to be successful.

A study by the Urban Institute estimated that 80 percent of Katrina-affected nonprofits were still not fully operational in early 2006. Many organizations were still without buildings, donors, board members, volunteers ad staffs.

By drawing on its skills in developing shared services arrangements for private-sector clients, Accenture was able to quickly help design the shared services center for LANO.

Launched in 2006, Nonprofit Central was established as a resource collaborative to provide basic operations, services and technology resources to LANO members as well as local and recovering nonprofits of all sizes in the Greater New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina.

In an effort to make the center self-sustaining, Accenture utilized its capabilities for building strong alliances and assisted LANO in connecting with businesses and other nonprofits to establish ways to charge for the center’s services. This approach included coordinating support across a coalition of service providers, including several foundations, each of which provides assistance within its areas of expertise.

Accenture’s efforts to help LANO achieve high performance are ongoing as Louisiana continues to rebound and rebuild. One of those efforts involves Accenture overseeing grant activity in collaboration with Aidmatrix, an organization that works with more than 35,000 charitable organizations worldwide to connect aid with people in need.

In addition, Accenture senior executive Allen Gaudet, who was personally affected by Hurricane Katrina and provided his time to LANO on the Nonprofit Central project, was asked to join and serve on the LANO board of directors.

Results

As a result of the LANO and Accenture collaboration, LANO has:

  • Provided essential services to returning New Orleans residents.

  • Redefined its services to meet the needs of New Orleans area citizens.

  • Applied best practices in nonprofit management and leadership.

  • Collaborated and teamed in new needed ventures.

  • Increased its financial security and sustainability.

  • Assisted in creating a region where citizen participation and leadership are valued.

  • Developed a sustainable business model and statewide operating model.

These achievements have put LANO on the path to high performance by helping bridge the gap between the organization’s mission and its ability to execute its services.

Collaborating with Accenture has helped LANO become a leading provider of nonprofit programs and services throughout the state.

Additionally, LANO has tripled in staff, and added three field offices and staff in two additional locations. The organization has grown to more than 1,000 nonprofit, foundation, corporate and individual members.

Revenues in 2007 reached $2.8 million. Such growth has enabled LANO to continue to assist with disaster recovery, expand its services, enhance its identity statewide and better serve as a voice for all of Louisiana’s nonprofit organizations.

Melissa Flournoy, LANO’s former chief executive officer, comments: “I’m really pleased that Accenture has invested a great deal of time and talent and resources to help us rethink our own business model. The future is really much brighter because of the business acumen and leadership that Accenture and the Accenture people have brought to the conversation.”