Foxhall Consulting Services
Foxhall Consulting is dedicated to focusing the vision, improving the execution,
and sustaining the impact of social entrepreneurs.
Maximizing Social, Environmental, and Economic Returns
Social Enterprise/Earned Income Services
At Foxhall Consulting Services (FCS) we understand that nonprofits' purpose is to maximize the creation of social and environmental value. Our experience shows us that social enterprise helps nonprofits build stronger organizations and achieve lasting change. We work with nonprofits to design and implement social enterprises as a mission-accomplishment strategy. In doing so, we take a holistic approach, helping clients align social mission and program objectives to enterprise activities; build institutional capacity and leadership; develop a results-oriented and entrepreneurial culture; and improve asset management and financial viability. In short, we help nonprofit practitioners clients to do what they do, only better.
Too often, consultants to nonprofits on business ventures are cut from the for-profit mold and lack the textured understanding of the nonprofit operating environment. Michael Whitehead-Bust is himself a social entrepreneur, with first-hand experience starting and running a variety of nonprofit and for-profit social enterprises. This experience affords him a more balanced approach to providing rigorous business-oriented consulting support. In working with clients on developing and evaluating business ventures, we apply techniques commonly used in evaluating for-profit businesses, but thoughtfully adapted to the nonprofit operating environment. We typically work with clients in the following areas:
- Idea Generation, Screening and Mission Alignment: Foxhall Consulting Services assists clients in selecting an enterprise that is aligned with the organization's mission, culture, capacity, strengths, and goals, as well as one that meets their revenue objectives. We use a rigorous process for evaluating ideas against financial, operational, and mission-related screens.
- Feasibility Studies: Once a few potential enterprise ideas have been selected, FCS coaches its clients through a market analysis and selection process to determine which ideas hold the most potential for mission-related and financial contributions, given the organization's capacities and resources.
- Business Plans: FCS provides how-to business plan development training, coaching, and capacity building. FCS has developed dozens of business plans for nonprofit organizations in a variety of industries.
- Financial Analysis/Accounting Support: Social enterprises have unique demands from a financial analysis perspective. FCS develops, implements, and trains your staff in the use of financial and accounting systems that meet these needs, and also integrate within your existing system (systems also satisfy restricted funders' needs, gov't grants, etc.). FCS is also expert at developing financial analysis tools to assist in the pricing of products/services, evaluating their potential, and in training staff to understand the financial realities of each social enterprise.
- Marketing Plans/Market Research: FCS helps clients analyze market forces that influence the industry and shape the strategic environment in which the enterprise operates. We teach clients to understand customer preferences, wants, purchasing decisions, as well as how to attract customers in the marketplace. We will also work with you to assess the current competitive landscape.
- Program Profitability Analyses/Cost Accounting/Shared Cost Analysis: Sound cost accounting is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of social enterprise development, but one which can have significant influence over the outcomes of your efforts. Without an effective system, you run the real risk of growing unprofitable businesses and of shutting down profitable businessesâ€”due to inaccurate financial data.
We design logical and effective systems for directly tracing and assigning shared costs to individual programs or even specific activities within each program, enabling sound analysis of the financial costs of various programmatic activities.
- Accounting Systems Development and Budgeting/Budget: FCS is one of the few firms in the country with expertise in designing, modifying, and implementing accounting systems for social enterprises. We design and modify accounting and budgeting systems to improve compliance reporting, fundraising efforts and managerial analysis. Our systems enable organizations to make better data-driven financial decisions that support their mission, values and strategy, as well as comply with various grant and legal requirements. Our support in this area typically pays for itself many times over, year after year. Michael has developed accounting systems for a wide range of social enterprises, and currently serves as the outsourced CFO for a multi-million dollar social enterprise that includes five separate for-profits and two nonprofit entities.
- Fundraising/Development: Few consultants offer the unique pairing of expertise in social enterprise and traditional development support. We have raised more than $14,000,000 in support of our nonprofit clients, including support from a wide variety of sources for social enterprises.
- Business Systems and Training for Staff and Youth: FCS's partners have extensive training and expertise in education. In addition to working for years as educators in the public school system and in alternative settings, we have developed and implemented a wide range of curricula for youth relating to social purpose business development.
- Growing to Scale/Replication: FCS helps clients achieve appropriate scale and plan and manage social enterprise growth. We address human resource, infrastructure, capital and systems needs while helping clients diversify their enterprises in new markets or with new products.
and Lectures: Michael regularly speaks throughout the country on topics
relating to social enterprise, and is one of two trainers for The
Grantsmanship Center's Earned Income Strategies workshop. Michael is happy to work
with you to develop a customized workshop or training series to meet your