Case Detail

Case Summary

Farm to School of Park County: A Journey from Program to Nonprofit (A)

Case Number: 5-418-751(A), Year Published: 2019

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Key Concepts

board of directors, entrepreneurship, leadership, nonprofit management, organization design, social responsibility, strategic planning, women in business, nonprofit startup


This case series describes the startup of Farm to School of Park County, an emerging nonprofit organization in the US state of Montana. Case (A) describes the community, the need, and the origins of Farm to School in Livingston, Montana. The leaders of Farm to School face a budget crisis and need to evaluate four options to decide whether, when, and how it should become an independent organization. As Case (B) begins, Farm to School has decided to enter into a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the local community foundation. The next task for the organization's leaders is recruiting founding board members. They need to decide whom to ask and how to do it. In Case (C), the board develops a strategic plan and establishes committees. However, the board members and leaders start to feel fatigue in the face of the demands of a startup organization, leading to questions about what is truly strategic and how work will get done. The Farm to School organization in Case (D) has just issued its first annual report, filled with meaningful accomplishments. The leaders of the organization begin to plan to build an organization that will outlast them.

Learning Objectives

After reading, analyzing, and discussing the case, students will be able to: understand the types of issues and decisions emerging service organizations face as they try to survive and grow, and use a process for thoughtful action choices to evaluate options for survival and growth (Case A); explain the purpose and function of a nonprofit board, identify criteria for selecting board members, understand a process for approaching potential board members and vetting them, and know when to suggest that members leave the board and how to approach those conversations (Case B); understand the importance of committees to how boards get work done and identify core or foundational standing committees and other options for committee formation and dissolution (Case C); and identify core skills needed to maintain a successful organization over the long term, share methods for sustaining donor and board member energy and enthusiasm, and explain strategies to ensure sustainable fundraising and volunteers (Case D).

Number of Pages: 6

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Non Profit

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Montana, USA

Industry: Nonprofit

Organization Name: Farm to School of Park County

Organization Department: School district and community foundation

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Executive Director

Decision Maker Gender: Female