Skip to main content

Your work is as meaningful to us as it is to you.

The Hive Collective

Your partner for strategy that leads culture.

Your partner for strategy that adapts.


The Hive Collective is a national firm on the cutting edge of strategy and transformation for nonprofit organizations.   We help you create culture that drives your strategy and provide a hands-on partnership that structures your organization for success. We are dedicated to strengthening social benefit organizations by cultivating cultures that lead to community, profound impact, and highly functional, purpose-focused leadership.

We align values with structures and behaviors. As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” At The Hive Collective, we know that culture doesn’t just eat strategy, culture IS strategy.   Organizational culture happens whether you plan on it or not. No matter how hard you work on your strategy or structure, it is the consistent organizational and human behaviors that are responsible for its success or its demise. Prioritizing the human factor in governance, strategy, and implementation will lead you to the change you envision.

The Hive Collective works with your stakeholders to create an organizational culture, plan, and structure worthy of the purpose of your organization. The behaviors, systems, language of your values, from bylaws to meetings, is the culture you are leading.  Policies are too often treated as separate from the culture and purpose of the organization.   We work with you to structure your organization for accountability and commitment to the alternative future you envision.

The consultants at The Hive Collective believe that a foundational culture of “belonging” creates the trust and community that is important to the necessary work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. A culture of belonging ensures a trustworthy environment for people to learn, question, make mistakes, advise, and thrive during difficult conversations. This environment is optimal for iterative and adaptive planning for your organization’s strategic future.

The Hive Collective

We prioritize five principles for purpose-driven leadership:

Purpose before organization:

Prioritizing the organization’s purpose, above the organization itself.

Respect for ecosystem:

Acknowledging that the organization’s actions can positively or negatively impact its surrounding ecosystem, and a commitment to being a respectful and responsible ecosystem player.

Equity mindset:

Committing to advancing equitable outcomes, and interrogating and avoiding the ways in which the organization’s strategies and work may reinforce systemic inequities.

Authorized voice and power:

Recognizing that organizational power and voice must be authorized by those impacted by the organization’s work.¹

Shift the Context:

Organizations become impactful when they choose to shift the context within which they act in the world.²

1. From BoardSource. The Four Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership.  Beth Ellen Holimon, Founder and CEO of The Hive Collective, is a BoardSource Certified Governance Consultant.

2. Peter Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging.

The Hive Collective

The Hive Collective

The Hive Collective is a growing consortium of thought partners in nonprofit theory and practice who believe both the ends and the means matter. We believe that one person, one comment, and one thought can change the way the world works.  Justice and equity drive us to action every day.

We derived our name from the practice of beekeeping and the communal life honey bees lead.  The honey bee dedicates her short six week life to something she will never see –  hundreds of pounds of honey that come from her work.  Her work will sustain the thousands of bees who come after her. Incredibly, she will only create 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, but the contribution to her community is life sustaining!

Time to Ditch SMART Goals?Goals
November 15, 2023

Time to Ditch SMART Goals?

A couple months ago while on a coaching call with a nonprofit exec, I suggested ditching the usual SMART goals for her coaching goals.   She was in favor of…
doctrine of discoveryguest blogindigenous communities
October 14, 2023

Guest Blog: A Background on the Doctrine of Discovery and Its Historical Implications to Indigenous Communities

By Pat Gonzales-Rogers Former Executive Director of the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition Lecturer and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence Yale School of the Environment and Yale Center for Environmental Justice The period of prolific…
Strategic Planning: More Than Just a Plan, It's a Cultural BlueprintOrganizationsStrategic Planning
October 3, 2023

Strategic Planning: More Than Just a Plan, It’s a Cultural Blueprint

When one mentions "strategic planning", the immediate imagery that comes to mind for most is a long document filled with objectives, key performance indicators, and action items. While all these…
The Hive Library Blog Resourcesboard culture
June 27, 2023

Why Your Board Needs Both Bylaws and Board Policies

Board bylaws and board policies are both essential elements of governing nonprofit organizations, but they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Understanding the difference between these two governance tools…

The results of our program exceeded expectations. The program content was what we needed to inspire and re-energize our Board as a more cohesive team of dedicated volunteers. With a better understanding of our governance strengths and opportunities and a renewed commitment to the values of belongingness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, we were ready to take on our challenges with a deeper understanding of where we are and where we wanted to grow. Thank you, The Hive Collective, for being a supportive member of our team as we navigate these challenging times.

Stand Up Placer Board of Directors, Auburn, CA

[The Hive Collective] is amazing and very knowledgeable about governance systems, boards and CEO. In my opinion [they] brought a sense of enlightenment to the group because focusing in the future is so needed.

Sherman College of Chiropractic, Spartanburg, South Carolina

I highly recommend [The Hive Collective] for their outstanding work in developing a successful fundraising plan and updating the mission and vision for our community action organization…and creating a comprehensive plan that is enabling us to secure the necessary funding to continue our vital work in the community. [The Hive Collective] was able to quickly assess our needs and develop customized solutions that were tailored to our unique circumstances.

Jen Trowbridge, CEO, Northwest Indiana Community Action Network