top of page


Learning to Lead Strategic Planning

At Not-For-Profit Organizations:

A 3 hour online workshop $650, Payable in advance by credit card.

We are blessed with such a rich fabric of not-for-profit organizations in our economy. They fulfill important missions in all facets of society.

There are classic charities, grant-making and community foundations, athletic and industry support groups, environmental networks, fee-for-services research teams, professional development, recreation, educational and religious groups.

When it comes to planning the future of these diverse organizations, there are two strategic imperatives common to all of them:

  • Focusing attention onto the changing needs of those who receive your services;

  • And deeply understanding the goals of those who fund your organization.

Restart Growth Workshop V3.png

As a not-for-profit leader, board member or consultant, you will learn a simple, collaborative approach for evolving services to better meet the needs of your constituents, and how to develop more confident funding for your national, regional or local not-for-profit organization.

And you’ll explore a proven visual methodology that guides a planning team from issues to strategic objectives, action plans and budgeting. Consensus on the short and longer term future of your organization develops quickly.

“We have spent most of our respective careers guiding management teams to update plans for the future of their organizations, across almost every business and not-for-profit sector of our economy. Now it’s time to share what we’ve learned with others.

“This workshop is built on the best practices for strategic planning and plan implementation that we’ve distilled from our experience as consultants. And we’ve added a little fun with a whitewater rafting metaphor.”

                                                                        -- Rob Eskridge and Ryan Stock


Join us for a powerful professional development experience. The $650 fee is payable in advance by credit card. Follow up coaching can be arranged.

See available dates and register below


This workshop introduces Growth Management River Trip℠, customer-focused strategic planning, simplified. It’s a proven, stakeholder-centered visual planning system, published in a not-for-profit edition.

Orientation Process Map

This “customer journey” diagram shows how a participant will experience not-for-profit strategic planning using the River Trip℠ approach to five core processes, spread across three distinct planning phases. A river rafting metaphor helps to differentiate the core processes.

See available dates and register below

web guide persona test-01.jpg

This Course is for You if:

  • You are a not-for-profit Executive Director, interested in developing or updating a strategic plan for your organization, whether you’ll be leading the planning yourself or delegating that role to someone else.

  • You are a volunteer director or a member of the board’s strategic planning committee fulfilling your governance responsibilities.

  • You are a not-for-profit staff member who has been asked to lead a strategic planning process for your organization.

  • You are a consultant or an experienced facilitator, using your groupwork and facilitation skills and your knowledge of the not-for-profit sector to guide planning for your clients.

See available dates and register below


State-of-the-Art Management Tools

This set of visual process maps can be used for in-person, videoconference and hybrid planning meetings. They document the process, outline meeting agendas and present key questions to trigger strategy discussions.

The process maps present The Growth Management River Trip℠, a leading-edge visual strategic planning system. Originally developed in the 1980’s, this methodology was based on proprietary research into strategic planning approaches that were practical, effective and customer-centered.

This process has been updated regularly, to accommodate changes in the economy, advances in technology and regulation, developments in the field of visual planning and new types of not-for-profit organizations. It has been used by not-for-profit, business and government management teams in more than 40 industries, around the globe.

See available dates and register below

web altitude test-01.jpg

You’ll learn:

  • How to structure a strategic planning process using the Growth Management River Trip℠ not-for-profit edition, with stickies and visual tools for consensus-building such as the one above.

  • Techniques for soliciting planning input from board and staff members, donors and grantors, and from those who benefit from your services.

  • How to structure agendas and facilitate a comprehensive planning process in-person, by videoconference or in a hybrid setting.

  • To lead the planning team as they craft short and longer-term objectives using an iterative process (which actually does resemble paddling through rapids in a river).

  • Three critical elements of strategy implementation, and how action plans can link directly to the organization’s budgeting process; and

  • To explicitly link funding needs with donor objectives. (This may be the most powerful learning opportunity presented in this workshop.)

See available dates and register below


What This Course Is Like:

Before the workshop begins, you’ll Identify one issue faced by a not-for-profit that you are familiar with. Then you can follow that issue as the workshop proceeds through all five phases of planning. It’s learning to lead visual planning, using a not-for-profit organization as your case study.

A review copy of the River Trip℠ process maps will be sent by Priority Mail beforehand. Registrations are not accepted less than one week prior to the workshop.

Workshop schedule – Participants join a 3 hour Zoom call (beginning at 8:30am or 1:30pm Pacific Time). Short breaks are scheduled as needed.

After the workshop, your workshop leaders will remain on the call to address specific questions. Additionally, a follow up call is scheduled with each participant, for you to ask questions about starting the process; to purchase materials for leading a not-for-profit planning team; or to discuss options for experienced facilitators to guide the River Trip℠ process at your organization.

See available dates and register below

liz bergeron.jpeg

“The visual methodology sets you apart from other consultants. It got the board and staff fully engaged, and brought us all into alignment on the longer term direction of our organization. Our planning dialogue was not only relevant, it was intense.

When the planning was over, we had action plans outlined and our staff knew how to get started on implementing the shorter term objectives. We love the process you brought us.”

Liz Bergeron

Executive Director

Pacific Crest Trail Association


Your Course Leaders

Rob Eskridge and Ryan Stock, your course leaders, have guided strategic planning with board and staff members in dozens of not-for-profit organizations with national, regional and local scope.

They are currently leading planning for Transformation Life Center, which serves black youth in under-served communities, and for California Poets in the Schools.

Rob has founded and participated in raising funds at many not-for-profits during his 40-year career, and has served as a foundation board member, board chair, capital campaign chair and volunteer coordinator.

Image by


  • The workshop fee is $650, payable in advance by credit card. The fee is non-refundable, but with 48 hours notice, the fee can be transferred to another person or used for an upcoming workshop.

  • Email us to setup a group workshop.

  • For multiple participants, the first participant pays the full fee. Additional participants 50% discount each.

See available dates and register below

bottom of page