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Located in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, TEAM MARIO is on a mission to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorder through education, resources, and advocacy.

TEAM MARIO was founded in 2014 by parents and friends of Mario, a child who was diagnosed with autism shortly after his second birthday. Since receiving his diagnosis, his family has been on a journey to help him reach his full potential. Once recommended he be institutionalized, Mario has shown tremendous improvement. In the process of advocating for Mario and developing a strong support system, the family was moved to establish TEAM MARIO as a nonprofit organization to benefit other children and young adults just like Mario.

Cielo Strategy Group first met TEAM MARIO through the Knapp Community Care Foundation’s (KCCF) nonprofit capacity building program. KCCF contracted with Cielo Strategy Group to deliver a full organizational assessment for TEAM MARIO. The three month assessment process identified areas of strength and improvement through listening, learning, and data collection by our team. It included recommendations for becoming a stronger organization. KCCF used the organizational assessment to guide their investment in TEAM MARIO’s long-term growth and sustainability.

Cielo Strategy team worked hand-in-hand with TEAM MARIO to execute on the agreed upon recommendations. Our focus with TEAM MARIO for the year-long partnership was on developing a strong foundation for Board governance and organizational infrastructure.

This included:

  • Creating a Board Handbook with all the necessary documents a Board member needs to be successful in their role. This included creating a Board onboarding and orientation process, writing and developing Board policies, a Board calendar, an agreement and commitment from, committee charters, Board meeting agenda and minutes templates, job descriptions, organizational chart, evaluation forms, and more. The Board Handbook was then housed online where every member had access to the latest documents.
  • Working with their Board of Directors for education and training on roles and responsibilities.
  • Coaching with the Executive Director on leadership, organizational guidance, strategy, fundraising, grant writing, and needs as they arose.
  • Developing a strategic priorities document that guided the staff and Board’s activities for a full year.
  • Creating a year-end giving campaign.
  • Refreshing their mission and vision statements.
  • Working with staff on goal setting and accountability.

TEAM MARIO’s Board and leadership have embraced these tools to help the have a stronger foundation, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this organization.

  • 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.

    Thrive Youth Center
  • The Bay City ISD School Board and staff could not have been more enthusiastic about the marketing plan that Cielo Strategy Group developed for us. We are extremely excited to see what we can do with the tools you've given us. Thank you so much for making my job easier."

    Bay City ISD
  • 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!

    Girls on the Run Bexar County
  • 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.

    South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association
  • The Cielo team has been instrumental in helping the Weslaco Museum rebuild for the future. As a new Executive Director, I am thankful for their unwavering commitment. They provided our organization with the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” – enabling us to focus on our vision and mission. They have helped the Weslaco Museum grow our member base, streamline our website, strengthen our board, and our overall vision for the future.

    Weslaco Museum
  • Cielo Strategy Group is part of our Clinic family. With our long standing partnership, I have relied on their team as a steady support system – responding to our needs and flexing with us. They have elevated our storytelling and communications, guided us through annual fund development plans, designed and project managed annual appeal mailings, coached us through grant proposals, facilitated Board sessions and a strategic planning process. They push us toward excellence and don’t settle for less.

    San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic