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. While completing her Ph.D., Susan did significant research regarding nonprofit founders and continues to research and consult on this topic with in depth expertise.

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 Lifecyles: 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’s most recent endeavor is Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute 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.

For more information, please visit the Nonprofit Lifecycles Institute website

Contact me


Send me founder Questions


The Art of Self-Assessment

Regina, Saskatchewan, SaskCulture

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

AGILE Consultants' Meeting 

Phoenix, AZ, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

11:45 AM - 3:30 PM

AGILE Leadership Team Meeting

Phoenix, AZ, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

8:15 am - 11:30 AM


  • LinkedIn Clean
  • Question_Mark2-square








Accountants & Bookkeepers Community

of Practice Book Club

Phoenix, AZ, Changing Hands Book Store

5:00 PM

Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity

Considered an essential read for nonprofit leaders for over a dozen years, Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity has sold over 20,000 copies, is in its second edition and is used in nonprofit management schools across the country.

It is a must read for:


  • Nonprofits seeking an overall understanding of the predictable characteristics and challenges they will face at various stages of organizational development;

  • Foundations interested in making capacity investments that add value, hit the mark and effectively strengthen nonprofit capacity;

  • Consultants, evaluators and academics seeking to diagnose and assess organizational challenges and performance against normative patterns of organizational development and maturation;

  • The capacity-building field as a whole to embrace a common language and set of definitions about the lifecycle dimensions of nonprofit capacity.

Susan Kenny

Stevens Ph.D.

Experienced Consultant. Trusted Advisor.