Personalized Services

Our Personalized Services are customized for each organization and their needs. With a focus on optimal outcomes for your organization and your mission, we offer services in the areas: Board Governance, Strategic Planning, Grant Research, and 501c3.

Our ETCN Membership offers deep discounts on our services, as well as many other benefits that every staff member, board member and volunteer can take advantage of. Contact Us to arrange a face-to-face meeting about receiving help on the following nonprofit issues below.



For more information about Membership click HERE

How to take this assessment:

Identify at least 3-5 individuals within your organization to independently take this assessment. Participants could include the CEO, members of the board of directors, leadership team members, or even well-informed external stakeholders. It will cover five areas of focus:

  • Leadership
  • Management and Operations
  • Community Engagement
  • Service
  • Evaluative


After the Assessment:

We will schedule a time with you to go over your Reflection Report in which we will give you an explanation of the scoring. This discussion will identify where your organization has the strongest capacity and areas that could benefit from capacity building. All findings from the assessment are kept confidential. The final overview with scoring will be given to the organization along with key findings, conclusions, and any areas needing to be addressed. Organizations should consider taking and retaking this assessment on an annual and biannual basis to track how organizational capacity strengths and needs change over time.


NON-MEMBERS: $120 per hour  

MEMBERS: $60 per hour

Board Governance (3 month or 6 month options)

  • Review bylaws including board structure (suggest amendments if needed)
  • Review policies and help amend or create policies as needed
  • Develop strategies and timeline for board recruitment process
  • Customized 1/2 day board training covering survey gaps
  • Monthly governance committee meetings (separate from regular board meetings)
  • Additional input as needed


Hourly Custom Board Governance

  • Board orientation (can include new members orientation)
  • Governance and compliance policies
  • Transitioning from working board to governing board (minimum 5 hours)
  • Fund development strategy
  • Can be developed around organizational needs (by contract)
    • Board/Staff Relations
    • Productive Meetings
    • Building Board Diversity
    • Committees That Work
    • Fundraising Responsibilities

NON-MEMBERS: $100 per hour  

MEMBERS: $50 per hour

A strategic planning process usually involves the steps shown below to be completed over a 4-6 month period.


1. Develop a work plan.

  • Identify issues to be addressed.
  • Clarify roles/develop a committee. Make sure to include all the stakeholders (clients, staff, board members, etc.)
  • Identify information that must be collected for effective decision making.


2. Articulate your organization’s mission, vision and values.

  • If you do not yet have statements of your mission, vision, and values create them now.
  • If you do have these statements, make sure they still express who you are and how you conduct your organization.


3. Assess the situation.

  • Conduct or validate a previously- done community needs assessment/ environmental scan


4. Develop strategic goals

  • Goals define the accomplishments an organization wishes to achieve and the methods — “What we need to do to get where we want to go.”
  • Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic, Timely).


5. Determine objectives.

  • Objectives state the specific results accompanying each goal.


6. Develop strategies.

  • Strategies describe the methods that will be used to reach a goal.


7. Develop action plan(s).

  • Action plan specify responsibilities and timelines to achieve each objective.
  • Action plans should be updated annually.


8. Determine a budget.

  • The budget should specify the resources necessary to implement the action plans.


9. Publish the strategic plan.

  • Publish your plan, so all stakeholders are “on the same page.”
  • Evaluate the plan at intervals, and revise when necessary.

NON-MEMBERS: $100 per hour (minimum of 10 hours)

MEMBERS: $50 per hour (minimum of 10 hours)

Free Consultation

  • Initial meeting
  • Identification of needs
  • Determination of search criteria
  • Review of client’s documents for grant purposes

Research per hour

  • Research of potential foundation sources
  • Identification of best matches
  • If needed, contact with sources to clarify requirements, interests and other

Free Follow-up

  • Consult with client to provide copies of research results and recommend next steps
  • Consultation with client to determine and develop project for which funding is sought


Coaching through the process of granting writing provided by ETCN:

  • Review of the RFP
  • Guidance in gathering information for grant requirements (including mission, budget, policies, attachments, and other grant requirements)
  • Reviewing the proposal after written by client
  • Any revisions suggested by ETCN
  • Instructions for submission of proposal and required documentation
  • Follow up questions by grantor or client


*Edits of client prepared proposals requiring extensive time for the ETCN may result in an additional fee determined on a case by case basis. This fee would be discussed prior to the completion of the edits and would be within a $50-$150 range.


*NON-MEMBERS: $100 per hour  

*MEMBERS: $50 per hour

*After attending Orientation. See available dates and register for Becoming & Operating a 501(c)3 Orientation HERE

  1. Organizational Startup and Board Meeting (monthly or hourly contract available)

Once you have received your Certificate of Formation from the State of Texas you are ready to start the process of operating and applying to become a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

  • Add additional board members (a total number of five is required to operate)
  • Complete IRS Form SS-4 to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Prepare for first board meeting:
    • Create AGENDA for the Organizing Meeting
    • Create Meeting MINUTES
  • Meet with the initial board of directors to transact and record (minutes) of the following business:
    • Create and Adopt Bylaws
    • Elect officers
    • Select a bank; authorize the opening of an account, and the check signers
    • Select and authorize the purchase of liability insurance
    • Authorize filing the state and federal tax-exemption applications


Now that you are official, you can begin operations. However, you are not a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization yet. You will need to prepare and file the federal IRS application for your corporation to receive tax-exempt status.


  1. Apply for 501(c)3 Tax-Exemption (monthly or hourly contract available)

ETCN will provide mentoring and coaching assistance that is more than just filling out the proper form. The services include preparing the Federal Tax-Exemption Application (FORM 1023) and developing the addendum that includes the following:

  • Part II. Organizational Structure: Bylaws, Conflict of Interest and Compensation policies
  • Part IV. Narrative Description: Vision & Mission, Past/Present/Planned activities
  • Part V. Fundraising Plan
  • Part IX. Financial Data: Budget, Income and Expense projections (up to three years)
  • Other Policies and Procedures (based on your organization’s requirements)


Capacity Building Formation Services (hourly contracts)

  • Form 1023
  • Governance and Compliance Policies
  • Program Planning
  • Fund Development Strategy
  • Productive Meetings
  • Board Roles & Responsibilities

Current NO FEE Services:

  • Information and assistance
  • Access to on-site library
  • Monthly orientation for Foundation Center with full day access
  • Monthly Roundtable opportunities throughout East Texas
  • Get Connected East Texas 
  • Initial Consultation- Q&A session to begin assessment of organizational needs and to explain ETCN’s services
  • Meeting Evaluation- ETCN is available to observe a board meeting & conduct a assessment for making recommendations