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Knapp Community Care Foundation – CEO Search

The Knapp Community Care Foundation (KCCF) seeks to help Mid-Valley communities in the Rio Grande Valley improve access to healthcare, wellness, nutritional services, and education by supporting local nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2012, the Foundation has granted more than $47 million to local organizations supporting children and families in the Mid-Valley region.

In 2022, when the founding CEO announced that she would be stepping down, we had been working hand-in-hand with Knapp Community Care Foundation on a variety of projects; mostly focused on building capacity within the Foundation’s grantee partners, but we had also spent a great deal of time with the Foundation board on identifying strategic priorities and talking through succession planning for both board and staff.  We had grown to love the strength, resiliency, and warmth of the Rio Grande Valley community and appreciated our varied projects with the Foundation, so when KCCF’s CEO approached Cielo Strategy Group to lead the executive search, we said a resounding yes!

The gift in this search was time.  The 18-months that the CEO provided for gave everyone (board, staff and Cielo Strategy Group) an opportunity to really concentrate on succession planning before even beginning the search.  We supported the succession planning committee in its efforts to ensure that all organizational policies, practices, and procedures were in place. We led conversations around staff compensation, emergency planning, communications plans, and helped the committee update the organization’s Bylaws. Once that work was complete, we supported all efforts associated with the executive search. We guided the Foundation in:

  • Selecting the search committee 
  • Working with the committee on process
  • Designing the CEO position guide
  • Creating the process timeline
  • Drafting selections criteria
  • Announcing the positions
  • Coordinating all outreach efforts 
  • Vetting candidates
  • Developing the interview rubric
  • Researching compensation ranges
  • Coordinating virtual and in-person interviews
  • Checking references and coordinating background checks
  • Informing candidates of progress
  • Coordinating meet and greets with board members
  • Drafting committee motion for Board
  • Writing the welcome letter and announcement

We are grateful for having the opportunity to guide the Knapp Community Care Foundation team in such an integral process and are honored to have forged such a strong partnership with the Foundation. The search process was successful and we are confident the Foundation’s second CEO will lead with grace and humility as she takes the Foundation to its next level.

  • The Cielo Strategy Group team brings a passion for strengthening nonprofits to their work, and it is evident in their every detail – from their outstanding customer service, to their impeccable follow-through, to the way they engage with residents, board and staff – I just can’t say enough good things. They are professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely dedicated to creating a sustainable organization. I am forever grateful to them.

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  • Thank you so much, Cielo Strategy Group for creating capacity within our organization now and for the future. You guided us, coached us, encouraged us, and taught us how to execute ideas that had always felt like far-off dreams. You didn’t come in and point out our weaknesses – you celebrated our strengths, and then, you met us where we were and gave us actionable steps to strengthen our board governance, fundraising, communications, storytelling, and operations. We are stronger because of you!

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  • The Cielo team has been a trusted partner strengthening our organization from the inside out. After facilitating our initial organizational assessment process, they identified key areas we needed to focus on that would move our mission forward. They didn’t just give us a report with recommendations, they jumped in and created the infrastructure we needed to help us operate more effectively – from basic Board governance documents and processes to a staff and volunteer handbook, to operational planning and goal-setting. They have coached me to become a better leader. As we celebrated our ten-year anniversary, we accepted a transformational gift to purchase our own land and build upon our vision. We could not have done this without “getting our house in order”, which is what Cielo Strategy Group did for us.

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    Weslaco Museum
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    San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic