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Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

What our client has to say

Need:          Independent and objective review of operations

Service:     Assessment of operations


Prior to engaging Smith Beers Yunker & Company to perform an assessment of their fundraising, public relations, media relations and grants, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland interviewed several consulting firms.


According to Melanie Shakarian, Director of Development and Communications, the presentation given by Smith Beers Yunker demonstrated a high level of personalized service. Says Melanie, “It was obvious in the first interview that Smith Beers Yunker takes a very personalized approach to the services they provide, paying close attention to the specific needs of the organization being served. And that proved true in our case, as we were given very specific action steps that we can move on right away. The assessment also provided us with advice for the longer-term that we can use in future planning.”


The process involved a thorough examination of all aspects of the organization’s communication with constituents and the public at large. Melanie calls it a “very helpful third-party review of how we can improve. What stood out most was how thoughtful and insightful Jim Yunker was. He brought an impressive breadth of experience and knowledge to the process, understanding every aspect of nonprofit work, legal aid work, the fundraising community and the interaction of marketing and fundraising. We felt he really understood who were are and what we do.”


Melanie also recalls that there was a very tight timeline for the project, but says the work was performed efficiently and thoroughly. “We were so pleased with how our needs were accommodated. Given the number of interviews involved, plus the need for travel, it was amazing how quickly and thoughtfully the work was done. They made us feel as if we were their only client, and we know we weren’t. We certainly plan to call upon Smith Beers Yunker again in the future and would definitely recommend them to other organizations.”