Assessing your opportunities, clarifying your goals

Successful organizations must be strategic, committed to learning, and focused on clear and productive paths forward — in other words the big picture. Day-to-day demands on leadership often leave too little time for reflection and planning. It often takes hiring an outsider with experience and perspective — a consultant — to make room for and drive a change process.

MLK & Company consultancies bring a fresh perspective, an intense focus, and significant results to teams looking to the future. Projects are led by Mary Lou, with content experts called in as needed.

Consultancies are customized to your organization’s particular circumstances and unique culture. Sensitive to the many demands on your team members, projects are designed with consideration for each participants’ involvement and your budget.

Mary Lou considers consultancies a partnership — the client provides the context and she designs and advances the project. Mary Lou structures an initial project flow to address imminent challenges and emerging priorities. Together appropriate and impactful goals are agreed upon. Resulting work plans specify measurable outcomes, costs, and specific timetables to expedite implementation. Meetings are well-designed and productive. Mary Lou's facilitation style is respectful, engaging, and always direct.

Mary Lou’s presence and presentation are one in the same. She effortlessly guides individuals through reflection, learning, and decision-making in a remarkably short time frame, leaving staff, boards, and leadership groups feeling heard and empowered to seek and follow through with meaningful work. My leadership training with her is unforgettable.

Allison Grappone
Ascendle Tech

Cultivating adaptive, strategic, and effective leaders
and organizations

Strategic Planning

Understanding an organization’s place in the community and trends in its specific field are critical to planning. Through stakeholder interviews, environmental scans, departmental audits, and comparisons with like-organizations, MLK & Company consultancies will test assumptions, clarify goals, and help refine an organization’s unique niche. Planning processes are mission-centric with work groups identifying key challenges and questions. The return on investment is immediate, as the process sharpens an organization's focus on desired outcomes which quite naturally leads to enhanced results.  Of equal importance, the planning process creates a rejuvenated and motivated leadership team.


An organization is at its best when it works to develop the skills and harness the energy of its full team — board, staff, volunteers, and members. MLK & Company guides, teams through retreats and trainings, to address growth and change.  Consultancies offer individual coaching, board development, succession planning, and executive director searches.

Network Development

Collaboration among multiple players is essential to tackling many of our most challenging community and societal issues.  Hiring an outside coordinator, with a singular focus, is the most effective approach to accessing the expertise and leveraging the resources of the participating partners and organizations. Mary Lou has extensive experience in bringing together thought-leaders and problem-solvers. As a skilled facilitator, she has built collegial network processes that led to highly productive collaborations among educators, scientists, healthcare professionals, and elected officials. 


All aspects of fundraising — an annual or capital campaign, planned giving, foundation and corporate relations, donor acquisition, and special events — build on the results of an organization’s past efforts and the clarity of its future plans. Establishing a strong case for support, plus trust and respect in the current leadership, are fundamental to the success of any fundraising efforts. From this premise, Mary Lou works with management to develop clear strategies and programs to engage the philosophical and philanthropic interests of its donors, members, and audiences. The array of fundraising consultancies offered include: assessing development departments, growing mature fundraising programs—particularly in relation to major gift programs, capital campaigns, and endowments.