Non-Profit Project Management

Situation Analysis

Non-profit organizations are truly special, dedicating their resources to improving our world and making differences. These organizations are full of talented and decent people, well meaning and full of energy.  Whether true or not, fair or not, there is a wide spead preception that nonprofits often lag for-profit in business management and execution.  Based on PMO Advisory’s experience, there are three top challenges confronting nonprofits: 1) inadequate resources; 2) insufficient business savvy talents; 3) poor business execution.

  1. Inadequate resources – Almost universally, well-intentioned nonprofits have more they wish to accomplish then the resources they have. At nonprofit, there is an almost infinite and insatiable appeitite to do more but the reality is that resources is rarely if ever adequate.
  2. Insufficient business savvy talents – Very often, people who work for nonprofits are attracted to its mission and vision, not necesssarily a bigger pay check. As such, nonprofits often attract fewer business savvy professionals especially in specialized areas such as project management.
  3. Poor business execution – Even strong nonprofits suffer from this problem. Even though they achieve their goals, more often then not, there is an incredible cost to their people through working long hours that is largely hidden from view. Weaker nonprofits have a poor record of completing projects on time, within the budget, and deliverying the agreed scope.


Most of the challenges confronting nonprofits are beyond simplye solutions. But there is one solution that address all three challenges – improve business execution through project management. Here are three ways in which improved project management can alleviates these challenges:

  1. Doing more with less. Good project management can resource utilization by improving project efficiency (e.g. doing tasks better and faster) and effective (e.g. doing the right work and align with strategy).
  2. Energizing people. Developing project management savvy employees can greatly improve their marketable skills, supercharing their motivation, and elevating their contribution to organization’s mission.
  3. Improve execution. Project management is more than a set of processes, skills, or tools. It’s also a mindset of optimizing “what’s given” and “what’s possible”! The mantra, “yes we can” is powerful but only when ideas become reality.

About Us

PMO Advisory is a leading project management consulting and training company. Our CEO, Dr. Te Wu, have started working with nonprofits in early 2000 including leading major projects at Consumer Reports and Weill Cornell, setting up and improving project management office (PMO) at Collegeboard and American Society of Mechical Engineers, helping organizationsl like Lumina Foundation with evaluation of technologies, and partners with universities like Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers University with deliverying project management courses, including certification preparation classes such as the Project Management Professional (PMP).  Dr. Wu was previously a Vice President of Project Management at a nonprofit financial service company, and he is also a professor at Montclair State University and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). Note: Dr. Wu also worked extensively with for-profit companies as well; for his full credential, connect with him at

Here are top reasons why nonprofit organizations work with us:

  1. We know nonprofits. We have worked in nonprofits in wide range of industries, including advocacy, associations, education (K-12, higher education), financial services, healthcare, public policy, research, and technology.
  2. We are a Project Management Institute Authorized Training Provider (PMI ATP), guaranteeing the quality of our offerings.
  3. Our trainers and consultants are of the high quality with a wide range of professional certifications. Many of them are also college professors and professional consultants.
  4. Our approach to consulting and training can be tailored for the unique culture and challenges of nonprofit.
  5. We offer special discounts to nonprofit organizations.

Example of Project Management Solutions for NonProfits

Project Management Capability Assessment

Recently, we have an increase in demand from nonprofits seeking to develop their project management capabilities, starting with an evaluation of their organization’s readiness.  We have worked with boards and senior executives to create a unique program of evaluating nonprofit processs, project execution performance, and people. Often combined with a mini-training program, the output is a detailed recommendation on how to improve project management and business execution capabilities.  

Fuzzy Front End

Does your organization face the challenging of getting complex project started?  Sometimes there are so many variables that organizations fall into the trap of analysis paralysis (which means they never start or start only after long delays) or literally toss a dice and pick a path forward. But there are better ways to conceive large and complex projects.  Through a combination of interviews, workshops, training, and group decision making, we guide our clients through this journey and start the project right.

Project Management Training

As a PMI ATP, we offer a broad spectrum of training, from basic project management to advanced topics such as program and portfolio management. We can tailor our existing courses or even design new cources. Courses can range from a few hours to multiple weeks delivered either onsite, in person, virtually, eLearning, or some kind of blended learning. Furthermore, our training automatically qualifies for educational units for those who wish to pursue PMI certifications or PDUs for PMI certified professionals.  

Project Management Audit

Is your organization working on a mission critical project in which failure is not an option? Are you confident of the project management discipline on your project?  Are you experiencing project delays, scope creeps, and/or overspending?   For these and myraids of other challenges, project audits may be right for your organization to determine the root causes. We can provide formal or informal audits, followed with recommendations to improve project performance including turnaround.

Project Management Office (PMO)

Projects are a major vehicle for change and newness, from developing new products and services to improving internal processes. As organizations grow, so do projects. At some point, the intensity of the project environment reach a breaking point, and organizations need to think differently and smartly to tackle this new reality. Establishing a PMO is an option of choice for nearly all Fortune 500 companies, and PMOs are common in nonprofits too.  PMO Advisory has deep benchstrength in building and running PMOs. We developed our internal framework based on best and good practices. Combined with process development, tool customization, training, and coaching, we teach our clients “how to fish”.