Strategic Restructuring Consultant

Consultant Details:

Contact: Luis Vergara, Partner / Head of Practice
Name of Firm: La Piana Associates, Inc. (D/B/A La Piana Consulting)
Language Spoken: English, Spanish
Website/LinkedIn URL:

Consultant Expertise

Communications strategy & rebranding/marketing, Cultural due diligence/integration, Facilitation of exploratory/negotiation phase, Facilitation of integration planning, Financial due diligence/integration, Wind-down and dissolution

Program Areas

Number of Individuals in Firm:


Names and Titles of Individuals in Firm:

David La Piana,
Managing Partner
Luis Vergara,
Partner / Head of Practice
Onuka Ibe,
Partner / Head of People
Sylvia Kim,
Partner / Head of Growth & Innovation
Kristen Godard,
Partner / Head of Finance and Operations

Names and Titles of Individuals in Firm:

David La Piana,
Managing Partner
Luis Vergara,
Partner / Head of Practice
Onuka Ibe,
Partner / Head of People

Firm or Consultant Address:

Virtual / national (no office) Mailing Address: 144 W. Los Angeles Ave. #106-137

RFQ Contact Name:

Luis Vergara, Partner / Head of Practice

RFQ Contact Phone:


Geographic area currently served by firm (select all that apply):

Los Angeles, California, USA International

How would you describe the range of diversity reflected in your firm’s consultants and leadership (or self, if sole practitioner)?

Our Management Team is 60% BIPOC (3 of 5) and 40% women (2 of 5). Our staff is 55% BIPOC (12 of 220), 60% women (13 of 22), and 9% Non-Binary (2 of 22).

Please describe your mission, values, and approach:

We help our clients achieve their greatest impact. We work exclusively with organizations working to make the world better, safer, more just and sustainable for everyone. We approach our engagements through “co-creation”, working collaboratively with clients rather than coming in as outside experts. Our core values include: Equity & Belonging, Innovation & Creativity, Accountability & Transparency, Social Impact & Transformation, Collaboration & Collegiality, Flexibility.

What expertise or perspective do you bring to organizations looking to ground their collaboration practices in values of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

At La Piana Consulting, our work provides us with an opportunity to help the people and organizations driving positive social change to be their best, to use their resources wisely, to create equitable workplaces where colleagues can thrive, and, as a result of their organizational health and strategic alignment, to make measurable progress on the critical missions we all rely upon them to advance. In order to be effective in this role, we have developed a racial equity framework. What this means is that, while we are far from perfect, we strive toward justice. We recognize that race and racism do not exist in a vacuum; identities are intersectional and overlapping. Applying a racial equity frame to our work also informs our efforts to counter other forms of discrimination. We work extensively with organizations committed to racial justice, including most of the major civil rights groups (e.g., ACLU, Race Forward, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and UnidosUS). We are currently in our second year of an initiative with the Ford Foundation, helping 63 of their racial justice grantees to manage rapid growth in the wake of the 2020 uprisings. We use the SR negotiation process to help clients model their DEI values so when a partnership is ready to launch, culture change has already begun.

Please describe your ideal engagement. Feel free to include issue area and scope of project:

We work with clients on the full range of SR activities including partner identification, readiness assessment, negotiations, financial due diligence, budget development, post-merger strategy development, business planning, implementation, and integration. We also work with clients on ‘non-mergers’, including shared service arrangements and joint ventures. We work across all nonprofit subsectors and issue areas, as well as with every size of organization. Our ideal engagement is with two or more organizations that have identified a clear “goal” such as serving more people, strengthening an advocacy voice, reducing overhead costs, consolidating space, etc., and seek guidance on how to get to yes. We also help foundations and public funding entities design efforts to foster strategic restructuring in their communities.

How many strategic restructuring projects have you or your firm been involved with?

La Piana Consulting coined the term “strategic restructuring” in 1998, and our firm has been the nation’s leader since that time in developing and using the power of partnership to advance social justice and progressive agendas. We have conducted about 250 SR engagements in the past 5 years and over 700 since the firm’s founding 25 years ago. Our firm is widely recognized for the development of well-tested methodologies, tools, and publications on SR. Our two “Nonprofit Mergers Workbooks”, “Part I: The Leader’s Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger” and “Part II: Unifying the Organization after a Merger”, have been embraced as the go -to resources for organizations pursuing a partnership. Our recently released Merger & Alliance Toolkit provides practical information and concrete guidance to help nonprofits move forward in considering a merger, alliance, or some other form of collaboration.

Please describe your fee structure:

We work on a fixed price model for most SR projects, although we are open to billing on an hourly basis in appropriate situations. Depending on the complexity of the work, a partnership assessment generally starts at a fee of $15,000, negotiations at $45,000, financial due diligence and/or consolidated budget planning at $12,000 each, and implementation and integration planning at $25,000 and up.

What percentage of your clients are within the nonprofit sector?


Are you open to remote engagements?


Briefly describe 1-3 examples of restructuring projects with which you have been involved. Please name all participating organizations. (Please prioritize NSI-funded and/or LA-based organizations).

ACLU California Action, facilitated the collaboration of ACLU chapters in LA, SF, and San Diego, strengthening the civil liberties voice in Sacramento politics. This complex undertaking, creating a 501c4, required extensive collaboration facilitation among 6 boards (each ACLU chapter has a c3 and a c4), close coordination with legal counsel, both internal and external to the chapters, and an 18-month process of staff integration. NAMI Los Angeles County Council , conducted an assessment, negotiation, and due diligence for the consolidation of 12 independent NAMI affiliates throughout LA county. Uplift Family Services, negotiated multiple mergers between Bill Wilson Center, Families First, Hollygrove, and EMQ to create Uplift (now a $105M statewide organization).

Add any other information you feel would aid in understanding the value you or your consulting firm can bring to a strategic restructuring exploration or implementation process:

With the support of local funders, La Piana Consulting first launched the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative in Los Angeles in 2012 at an event attended by more than 700 LA nonprofit leaders, based on a model we developed in several other cities. For 24 years, we have been the national leader in both the theory and practice of strategic restructuring. Our consultants are a diverse team of highly experienced merger consultants. Many nonprofit consultants will do 2 mergers in the course of their career, we work on dozens each year, plus dozens of other SR and collaboration projects. All this experience allows us to continually improve our process and our clients’ outcomes.