David La Piana

David La Piana

Managing Partner, La Piana Consulting

David La Piana is the Managing Partner at La Piana Consulting. David helps social sector executives to develop powerful strategies while becoming better leaders for their staffs, boards, and communities. He helps clients quickly home in on their most important strategic issues and begin to develop real, practical solutions. He has authored a number of popular books, including The Nonprofit Strategy RevolutionThe Nonprofit Mergers Workbooks I and IIPlay to Win, and The Nonprofit Business Plan, and numerous articles appearing in Stanford Social Innovation Review, including “Merging Wisely,” “The Nonprofit Paradox,” and “When Organizational Change Fails.” David has consulted to a wide cross-section of nonprofits including AARP, ACLU, the Ford Foundation, Beneficial State Foundation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Y USA.

David’s background includes community organizing as well as nonprofit management and executive leadership. Prior to founding La Piana in 1998, he was CEO of a children’s mental health nonprofit, leading it through an extended period of unprecedented growth driven in part by strategic mergers. He also served as a VISTA volunteer organizing migrant farmworkers, and held management roles with food security and refugee organizations. He has an MPA from the University of San Francisco and holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. He has also studied at the University of Madrid.

David is available as a speaker and media resource on a variety of topics including nonprofit trends, philanthropy, leadership, and change management. He recently presented at the BoardSource Leadership Forum on effective CEO/board chair relationships and at the United Way of Greater Houston on strategy development in uncertain times.


Voices from the Field

State of the Social Sector: A Message to Family Philanthropy

Posted on August 24, 2020 by David La Piana, Madison McAleese

hands reaching out to each other, helping
The COVID-19 crisis has detrimentally impacted every industry over the past several months. While record numbers of Americans are filing for unemployment and communities around the country are facing serious health and economic crises, the social sector, responsible for supporting and engaging these communities, is desperately holding on while funding dries up. As the pandemic shutdown began to unfold, we… Read More

Strategic Lifespan Peer Network: Discussions with Boards and Senior Staff—A Dialogue with David La Piana

Posted on February 18, 2020 by David La Piana

Consultants are often brought to the table to help board and staff make critical decisions and to lend expertise as external voices in the process. Consultant David La Piana has worked with many spend down foundations about their own strategic decisions within the organization. Join David to hear experiences of foundations across the field and to learn about working closely… Read More