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Center for Urban Families

Board Strategy Facilitation


Center for Urban Families


Board Strategy Facilitation


How does a well-established nonprofit get its major stakeholders to align around, buy into, and propel forward a revised strategic approach to its work?

Photo of a father and son



The Center for Urban Families (CFUF) was preparing to broaden its services. Traditionally providing parenting and workforce development training to low-income fathers, CFUF developed a new framework that reflected a comprehensive approach to employment, relationships, child rearing, and financial literacy for the entire family. CFUF needed to explain the value of its revised approach and its impact on operations to board members. It also needed to inspire them to take on a larger role as fundraisers and ambassadors, as additional resources would be required for future success.


Root Cause helped CFUF by planning and facilitating an all-day board retreat focusing on the organization’s new strategic direction, its impact on different facets of the organization, and the expanded role board members would need to play – particularly with fundraising.

To prepare for the meeting, Root Cause interviewed multiple stakeholders – including every board member and the CEO – and helped senior leaders create a well-articulated explanation of the framework as the starting point for consensus. Root Cause also reviewed the board’s composition and responsibilities and the organization’s financial picture.

Goals & Results

CFUF leadership emerged from the meeting with a unified endorsement by the board members of the direction CFUF is heading, and each member developed a compelling elevator speech to capture the essence of the new framework as they begin their ambassador roles. Consensus was also reached about changes to the board’s size, committee structures, roles and responsibilities (including a new minimum financial commitment), and how additional money will be raised. The new roadmap has been implemented to lead CFUF into its new phase of work.


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About the Partner

Center for Urban Families

The Center for Urban Families (CFUF) is at the front line of addressing some of Baltimore’s most pressing issues, including poverty, unemployment, father-absence, and family disintegration. Its mission is to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success. CFUF maintains an unwavering focus on addressing the key challenges of Baltimore’s urban families by working to connect fathers to their children, creating opportunities for economic and financial security through work, and providing access to other key interventions and supportive services.

Learn more at