As a trusted advisor to nonprofit organizations and foundations for three decades, Susan Kenny Stevens Ph.D. understands the challenges nonprofits face to build capacity and sustainability. She is the author of Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity considered an essential read and guiding force for nonprofits for over a dozen years. Her strategic counsel has guided numerous foundation executives, and her down to earth connecting approach is valued by hundreds of nonprofits. Susan is an award-winning author, captivating speaker and a highly effective and trusted consultant for nonprofit and foundation leaders.


Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute is the culmination of Susan’s thirty years of advising organizations directly or through contracts with foundation sponsors. Founded in 2015, the Institute is Susan’s legacy and brings together nonprofits, foundations, and consultants in the nonprofit sector, as well as academic practitioners who have adopted her approach in their university courses on nonprofit management. As Susan continues to build the Institute and continues her consulting, writing and speaking engagements, the Institute is inspiring a community of nonprofits, foundations, academicians and master level consultants to continue her work and expand the wisdom and knowledge she has built over the last three decades.


Susan has designed and led capacity building programs in the past or presently for an illustrious list of foundations across the U.S. and Canada including: national funders Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Warhol Foundation; as well as many place-based funders who have adopted lifecycles as a key component of their work: Gifford Foundation (Syracuse, NY), Dekko Foundation (IN), GR Dodge Foundation (Morristown, NJ), Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust (Phoenix, AZ), Rose Community Foundation (Denver, CO), Vancouver Cultural Services (British Columbia).


Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity is used in nonprofit management schools including: American University, Baypath University, Drexel University, George Mason University, Lasalle University, Metro State University, Saint Mary’s University and University of Missouri KC.


As founder of The Stevens Group and Principal-in-Charge of Larson Allen’s Nonprofit and Government Division at points in her career, Susan also has hands on management experience at the helm of organizations.

Susan Kenny Stevens Ph.D. is a highly sought after nonprofit management consultant providing:

  •  Strategic advice to nonprofits and foundations; especially those at a directional crossroad.
  • Capacity-building counsel for foundations seeking a customizable, proven method for building the sustainability of grantee partners.
  • Coaching for nonprofit and foundation executives transitioning through the lifecycle stages.