Organizational Development

Navin Associates designs and implements organizational development services for not-for-profit and public sector organizations. We work with a very wide range of clients — from new organizations with few staff in a storefront, to mature ones with hundreds of people at many locations. We are experienced community coalition-builders, skilled at assessing community needs and helping communities develop practical strategic plans for meeting them.

Understanding the assets and needs of an organization or community requires multiple perspectives and actionable information. Accordingly, our approach to assessment and planning is inclusive and data-driven. We use data from diverse stakeholders, which means that the resulting plan will be grounded in reality and that participating individuals and organizations will be invested in its success. We apply this approach to both types of organizational development discussed below.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning should provide an opportunity and structure for the organization to: re-examine its values, vision and mission; illuminate its most critical challenges and opportunities; and set long-term direction and near-term priorities. Three examples of our strategic planning engagements follow.

Client: Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health, Boston University School of Social Work

Navin Associates facilitated the development and implementation of the Center’s first strategic plan, and worked with Center staff to address issues of staff integration and innovative program design.

Client: English for New Bostonians

English for New Bostonians (ENB) is a not-for-profit intermediary that is a national model for collaboration among community-based organizations, major local foundations, and city government. Navin Associates assisted ENB to transition from an initiative with part-time staff to a robust organization with full-time staff, new Board leadership and increased organizational capacity.

Client: Boston Alliance for Community Health

Boston Alliance for Community Health includes Boston’s hospitals, neighborhood health centers, community health coalitions as well as city and state health departments. Navin Associates facilitated a transformational needs assessment and planning process that resulted in new vision and mission statements, a new governance structure, a transition in Board leadership, and a five year strategic plan.

Client: Boston Adult Literacy Initiative

Boston Adult Literacy Initiative (ALI) is a network of about 25 Commonwealth of Massachusetts-funded and City of Boston-funded adult education and literacy programs convened by the City of Boston. Navin Associates led a 12-year community planning initiative that involved: creating neighborhood-based coalitions; training them to conduct community assessments; assisting them to develop and implement strategic plans; and helping the ALI to develop and implement two citywide strategic plans. Navin Associates also provided statewide workshops on strategic planning for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Navin Associates helps organizations and partnerships increase their ability to achieve their mission. Typically, we 1) conduct a 360 degree assessment of the organization’s strengths and challenges given its stage of development; 2) review the assessment results with the organization to identify priority areas to be addressed (e.g., governance, administrative systems, funding); and 3) help the organization develop and implement a plan to address those areas. Two examples of our work follow.

Client: Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians – The Haiti Fund Capacity-Building Initiative

This three-year, public-private partnership provided on-site technical assistance as well as central training workshops in fundraising, board development, and grantwriting to nine, small immigrant-led organizations.

Client: Boston Centers for Youth and Families Capacity-Building Project

Designed and implemented by the team of Navin Associates and Amory Associates, this Project trained 139 staff from 35 ESOL and GED programs and provided on-site technical assistance to nine organizations on: intake and assessment; recruitment and retention; data collection and management; and evaluation.

A Sampling of Other Organizational Development Clients:

  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • Boston Public Health Commission
  • Boston Youth Services Network / Boston Private Industry Council
  • Coalition for Local Public Health
  • Educational Development Group
  • Ethos AgeWell / West Roxbury
  • Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Dental Practice
  • Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians
  • The Codman Square – Four Corners Financial Opportunity Network
  • United Way of Mass. Bay and Merrimack Valley Revenue Mix Task Force
  • Adult Basic Education Community Planning Coalitions in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, South End, Roslindale, Downtown Boston, East Boston, and South Boston