Success Stories

The Helotes Humane Society

Strategic Planning and Board Training for Sustainability

The Problem:

The Helotes Humane Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to placing unwanted animals in the Helotes, Texas and surrounding San Antonio community into loving homes.  Its challenge is one that faces many emerging nonprofits:  it had a small but dedicated board that was doing the work of running the organization while also serving as it governing body. It was heavily dependent on support from its onsite thrift store and from events, and had no paid staff. Having gone through an assessment through the CCAT process, the Humane Society was able to hire Lee+ Associates to help with next steps.

The Solution:

Lee+ Associates worked with the Helotes Human Society to strengthen its board, outline the board’s roles and responsibilities, help refine and articulate the organization’s mission, vision, and core values, and conduct its first strategic planning process.

Through the strategic planning process, Lee+ Associates helped the Humane Society to:

  • Determine how to function as a board, and adopt appropriate roles and responsibilities;
  • Refine its mission statement, its vision, and the core values to guide the organization;
  • Adopt new policies and procedures to build continuity into its work and to guide staff and volunteers; and
  • Build standardization into its work so that operations would run more smoothly.

What Lee+ Associates delivered:

As a result of the strategic planning process, the organization continued to grow and flourish and determined that it needed to hire its first staff. The Founder and Board Chair, a devoted volunteer, stepped down from that role to become a part-time Executive Director, eventually becoming fulltime. The strategic plan provided the roadmap for the board to take steps to purchase property for the thrift store, a clinic, and offices for staff. In addition, new board members were added to bring expanded capabilities and expertise to the organization.


The Helotes Humane Society took Lee+ Associates assessment and planning tools and used them to benefit the organization. Alexis DeSela said that, “The Board put our plan into action, and didn’t relegate it to the shelf. By putting our recommendations into action, they’ve been able to grow.” Janice MacRossin, Executive Director of the organization said, “Working with Lee+ Associates on our strategic plan was a turning point for our organization. With their help we were able to refocus on our mission and take the next steps needed to grow our organization.

Services Used

  • Board Training
  • Strategic Planning Retreat