Thomas Colligan

Senior Consultant, Non-Profit Practice

Tom Colligan has worked in the non-profit sector since 1976 with a diverse range of community-based, statewide, regional, national, and international organizations. He has extensive experience working with federated and membership organizations and associations, community centers, human/social service agencies, YMCAs, camping, environmental and social justice organization, arts groups, museums, affordable housing, senior services and care, and shelter organizations. He joined the Turknett leadership group in 2019 to expand TLG’s range and capacity in working with nonprofits.

His skills in conducting organizational assessments and crafting plans based on the organizations’ values and capacity have led to over 30 turnarounds and successful repositioning projects. He is especially skilled at working with high-level or dysfunctional boards and aligning board expectations with executive leadership expectations. Because of his work in diverse organizations, he brings a unique ability to work with diverse staff, board, community, funder and stakeholder populations and businesses.

Career Highlights

  • For International and National Membership Organizations: Successfully transitioned organizations with failed leadership in national and international organizations by stabilizing operations, finances and aligning selection of new executive leadership with the strategic plan
  • For Regional Agencies: Successfully facilitated mergers and implemented integration strategies. Led feasibility studies to identify reorganization and implementation strategies. Facilitated regional and statewide collaborations to fill service gaps
  • For Community Based Agencies: Evaluated the effectiveness of boards, developed strategies to realign board membership with institutional goals and objectives. Worked with executive-level staff and senior board leadership to implement institutional realignment
  • For Nonprofit Agencies in General: Conducted organizational assessments, delivered results to the board, community leadership, and funding agencies, and developed internal and external strategic plans to capitalize on institutional strengths and develop new strategies to address deficiencies and service gaps

Areas of Specialization

  • Executive transitions
  • Interim/turnaround/change management
  • Mergers and partnerships
  • Executive coaching
  • Organizational development
  • Board development and executive committee coaching
  • Fund development
  • Developing high performing teams
  • Strategic planning
  • Leading/facilitating mergers and collaborations
  • Formulating innovative solutions to complex organizational challenges
  • Financial analysis and creation of earned revenue strategies
  • Development of fundraising plans and strategies

Unique Attributes

  • M. Ed from Springfield College in Community Development and Leadership
  • Held leadership, mentoring, training positions in the YMCA of USA
  • Developed State of CT employee membership payroll deduction for CT YMCAs that generates $1.4 M in annual revenues
  • Recognized throughout New England nonprofits for developing creative and innovative solutions
  • Experienced and trained in Situational Leadership training, fund development, team building, and strategic planning
  • Hobbies

    cooking (& eating), political junkie, golf

  • Favorite Food

    Steak, chili

  • Band

    Rolling Stones, Talking Heads

  • Movie

    Apocalypse Now

  • Super Power:


  • TV Show

    Bill Maher, 60 minutes

  • Book

    Money Ball, The Aquarian Conspiracy

  • Quote

    "You will never solve through supervision and training what you fail to do in hiring”

Consultant Insights

  • My ideal client is someone [an organization] that:

    “Is hungry to learn and change.”

  • The highlight of my career so far has been:

    Working with organizations to bring opportunities to individuals and communities that are extraordinary and beyond the realm of thinking without my influence.

  • My superpower as a coach is:

    Helping clients to gain insights, think out of the box and identify alternatives.

  • My philosophy on life is:

    If you don’t experience setbacks you aren’t taking enough risks.

  • I hope my legacy is one of:

    Leaving my clients and organizations in better place, more resilient and effective than when they engaged me.