Stories of Impact

Stories of Impact

Every Term Executive engagement is custom-designed to meet the nonprofit’s needs and position the organization for its next level of excellence. Read these stories to learn how Trellis Partners drives results in organizations evolving from start-up to scaling, experiencing rapid change and growth, and needing support in the midst of a leadership transition.

the enough project

The Enough Project

The Term Executive: Preparing the Organization for its Next Stage of Growth

The Enough Project was founded in 2007 by visionary leaders John Prendergast and Gayle Smith to counter genocide and crimes against humanity. By 2014, when Anna Prow joined the team, serving as Managing Director and COO, Enough Project leaders had decided they wanted to create a new arm of the organization, focused on holding war criminals accountable by creating financial consequences for their actions. Yet, they did not have the managerial structure and culture that would help the organization effectively launch this new initiative.

“Because we had grown so fast, we had not had the time to develop an effective management structure and a strong executive team,” said John Prendergast, Founding Director, Enough Project, and Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Sentry. “We needed structure, decision-making processes, a clear budget, performance reviews to establish some level of accountability, and other organizational functions. Anna did a great job of slowly but steadily establishing these processes and structures.”


During the two and a half years that Anna worked with the Enough Project, she managed the spin-off of The Enough Project from the Center for American Progress to its new fiscal sponsor, the New Venture Fund, and worked with the founder to refine the organization’s mission and vision. Creating operational systems and processes needed to support the growth of the organization was a major focus of Anna’s work. She led the development of a staffing strategy, increased employees by 35 percent, established a performance management process, and improved role clarification. In finance, Anna supported a 35 percent increase in the budget, strengthened internal controls, and synced business systems with program delivery needs. She also led the creation of programmatic objectives and tied program outcomes to the performance review process.

“Anna addressed our issues with a customized approach, which made her work much more impactful than if she had come in and said: this is how it is done,” said John. “She said: let’s get the problems out on the table. And then, she began iteratively working with staff to find solutions. She quickly gained staff confidence so they were comfortable with the kinds of processes that she was introducing.”

A few weeks after Anna completed her work with The Enough Project, the organization officially launched The Sentry, an investigative and policy team that has become highly respected for its efforts to hold war criminals accountable. “Anna helped lay the foundation for this development,” said John. “She supported us in taking the organization to another level, essentially unlocking potential that had existed but was repressed due to administrative and managerial challenges.”

Campaign Legal Center

Campaign Legal Center

The Term Executive: Leading through Organizational Leadership Transition

Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonprofit that leverages the legal system to advance democracy, experienced a significant leadership transition in 2016: The Executive Director retired and Trevor Potter, then the President of the Board, became the part-time President of the organization. Trevor needed someone to run the organization’s operations, develop much-needed systems, and create policies to support the expansive growth the CLC was experiencing after the 2016 presidential election. Anna Prow proved to be the ideal candidate to help the organization strengthen its infrastructure and culture.

Typical of start-up nonprofits, CLC had not had the bandwidth to set up many operations, nor did it have staff with the administrative background necessary for a strong infrastructure.  Anna quickly assessed the organization’s needs, helped CLC hire an accounting firm and its first Development Director and head of Human Resources. She then guided the build-out of a number of foundational systems critical to running an effective nonprofit, including a budget that integrated with program design and operational planning, scaled-up business systems, clear decision-making processes, a strategic approach to recruitment and diversifying staff, and Human Resources policies.


“Anna joined us when we were moving from one type of organization to another, in terms of operations and management,” said Trevor. “We needed someone who understood the evolution of organizations and could help us set up processes. For example, as a 12-person organization, we often made consensus decisions by email. When you are bigger – we are now 65 people – that approach no longer works. Anna helped us figure out what we needed to do and how we needed to do it.”

CLC decided to hire a time-bound change leader at this inflection point, rather than a permanent COO, because the organization did not know what functions and roles it needed to support future success. “This approach gave us time to figure out what staff we needed without making a long-term commitment to a role that might ultimately not serve the organization,” said Trevor. “The Term Executive model provides the short-term interjection of expertise in an organization at a critical stage of its development. Because Anna had worked with organizations that were growing and in transition, she was able to help guide our organization through this phase.” The organization ultimately hired a Senior Vice President of Programs and a Senior Vice President of Operations.

Trevor sees the Term Executive as an effective model for addressing organizational transition – providing an opportunity for strategic thinking and development in between leaders. “It gives the organization the time to explore who it is, who it wants to be, and who should lead it.” The CLC has evolved into a nonprofit with an annual budget of $15 million that has successfully employed litigation, policy advocacy, and other tools to help create a more transparent, accountable, and inclusive democracy.

explosive growth

Center for Policing Equity

The Term Executive: Guiding an Organization through Explosive Growth

By the spring of 2020, the Center for Policing Equity (CPE), a nonprofit that works to advance equity in public safety, had received the largest infusion of funding in the organization’s history and was poised to scale. Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Co-Founder and CEO, knew that he needed a partner to help guide the organization during this period of increased engagement on public safety, and set up all of the foundational structures required to expand the organization’s impact and influence. After the murder of George Floyd by police in May of that year, interest in CPE’s work intensified, as did the imperative to scale the organization.

“I was the typical founder – stronger on the programmatic side than I was at running the organization – and with so much scaling to be done, there was a worry it would happen by default,” says Dr. Goff. “We needed someone to oversee the day to day, and set up the organization for growth, so that I could focus on the strategy. Everyone inside CPE was busy seeing to their rapidly growing jobs and I didn’t want to hire a consultant, so the Term Executive seemed like a great model for us. Anna came in and took on the role of COO, then chief of staff, then knowledge management advisor – and we are a much stronger organization because of her contributions.”


When Anna joined the organization, the work involved “all hands on deck” to address the rapidly changing landscape. She helped the organization interpret a strategic plan that another consultant had created, defining what aspects of programming would remain, what would be discontinued, and how to navigate from the present to that future. As the landscape shifted, the organization expanded its approach from working primarily through law enforcement to engaging more frequently through communities – which required a different set of skills and competencies. Anna collaborated with staff to determine what roles were needed (and in what priority order) and developed an equitable pay scale, job descriptions, and a plan for recruiting new talent.

The organization had a team with strong management experience, but limited nonprofit executive expertise, so Anna devoted a great deal of time to guiding leaders and bringing the executive team together as a cohesive unit. “Anna was a fantastic coach to me and others – helping us to understand how nonprofits should work and how we should structure the organization,” says Dr. Goff. “It can be hard to come into an organization where people have been working together for 10 years and know when to listen and when to push. Anna excelled at understanding the pulse of our organization and managing the cadence of our growth.”

Dr. Goff had an ongoing sense that what CPE was going through was unique, but Anna – with her years of nonprofit expertise – assured CPE staff that they weren’t alone in their challenges, and helped the organization translate problems into best practices. “Anna was a great thought partner for me and CPE,” says Dr. Goff. “She was the arrow on the GPS of where we are going.” During Anna’s tenure at CPE, the organization grew fivefold, and it is on the trajectory to double that expansion. Most importantly, CPE has an important message to deliver about equitable public safety, and with its new focus and strong operational and leadership foundation, it has taken its rightful place on the national stage.

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