Pivoting the Nonprofit Sector One Step at a Time

The Cramer Team


The nonprofit sector is known for being slow to change. But in times of disruption – whether it be from a pandemic or change in leadership – you cannot afford to navigate on autopilot. You must be swift, agile, and more purposeful in fulfilling your organization’s mission, and that’s where Cramer’s Pivot Plan™ comes into play.

The Pivot Plan™ is a fully integrated roadmap to help nonprofits reposition their strategies and establish mission-driven goals during times of disruption. The plan revolves around the 5 “pivot gears” of every nonprofit, including leadership, programming and services, finance, fundraising, and marketing and communications. At the heart of the plan is the understanding that each of these gears must work together to develop a path forward during any type of crisis.

When Ginger Young, CEO of The Childhood League Center, and her team were abruptly disrupted by the pandemic, she leaned on Cramer & Associates to walk her leadership staff through the Pivot Plan™ to provide clarity and a path forward.

“I felt stuck and needed to take the next step to build positive momentum,” said Ginger. “Michelle Cramer is a well-trusted nonprofit advisor in the community and created this tool for leaders to advance their teams and mission. I knew this was a solid next step and well worth the time and energy.”

The plan helped Ginger and her team build a short-term operational plan, stay laser focused, embrace change, and communicate more efficiently and effectively.

“At the start of the pandemic our team felt disconnected,” said Ginger. “The results of the Pivot Plan™ have kept the team focused on the next action and it’s improved how we communicate with one another.”

Ginger meets with the team weekly and conducts frequent check-ins with both her leadership and middle managers.

“We’re a complicated organization, so it’s important to bring everyone to the table,” explained Ginger. “Each staff member brings a unique perspective that advances the organization forward; and since the Pivot Plan™, I’ve developed deeper relationships with my staff and uncovered their struggles and strengths.”

Not only did the team improve their processes and communication, but they’ve welcomed change and implemented remote services to fulfill their mission of helping children get the best possible start in life.

“Since last year, we’ve become more adaptable,” said Ginger. “Adopting a hybrid model for services allows us to connect more deeply with children, and we haven’t seen a decrease in productivity by allowing staff the ability to work remotely.”

As Ginger continues to lead The Childhood League Center, she is often reminded by the words of her grandfather, “You put one foot in front of the other. You need to take the next step.” And that’s just what she and her leadership team have done and are continuing to do.

For more information about the Pivot Plan™ and to schedule a working session with your team, visit cramerphilanthropy.com/pivot-plan.


Cramer & Associates is a nationally recognized philanthropic consulting firm that has been serving nonprofit organizations, corporations and foundations since 1987. Our full-service firm offers clients a wide range of services, including feasibility studies, campaigns, strategic planning, board training, development audits, events, executive searches and much more. The Cramer Team identifies organizations’ strengths and opportunities and develops campaigns that succeed, empowering organizations to impact their communities.

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