Suppose you lead a very effective but small nonprofit dedicated to helping disadvantaged local youth attend college. You want to scale your innovative program, but you worry that you will lose the tight-knit and fluid connections you have achieved between your organization and the community. What should you do?

Eight years ago, The Wooden Floor (TWF), a nonprofit based in Santa Ana, Calif., faced this dilemma. That is when its leadership, in deliberations about its strategic plan for the next...


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