Expertise


“Since we started working with Sophia and Art in 2017, we have envisioned, planned, and completed several projects crucial to our Foundation’s mission. The current Schuler Initiative to support liberal-arts colleges greatly benefits from Acorn Advisors’ engagement. Their expertise and sound counsel have been very helpful to our family and senior staff.”

Jack Schuler and Tanya Schuler Sharman Co-Founders, Schuler Scholar Program

“Sophia has been an excellent contributor to Kellogg’s nonprofit executive program as a guest lecturer. We were also pleased she shared her perspective on the importance of nonprofit revenue streams in the Nonprofit Management Essentials video series.”

Liz Livingston Howard Executive Director, Center for Nonprofit Management Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University

“Art Collins of Acorn Advisors has provided me and the CHOP board of trustees extremely practical and valuable counsel as we continued to enhance and strengthen our board governance.”

Madeline Bell President and CEO, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

“The training session Sophia conducted for the Lake County Forest Preserves board was insightful and well received by both the board and staff.”

Ty Kovach and Laurel Diver Executive Director and Manager of Human Resources & Risk Lake County Forest Preserves

At Acorn Advisors, we advise leaders of nonprofit organizations—including foundations and government—on board of directors’ governance, dynamics, and selection; strategic planning and goal setting; succession planning, leadership development and coaching; philanthropic investing; and generational preparedness for family transfer of civic leadership and wealth.

Our principal clients are board chairs, CEOs, and executive directors of nonprofit organizations.

We believe that sustainable success for any organization must be built on a strong foundation supported by a clearly stated and well-understood mission, strong governance principles, strict adherence to an enduring set of core values, unwavering respect for all people, and willingness to embrace change and adapt as necessary.

We bring a unique blend of complementary skills and extensive CEO, executive management, and board of directors’ experience in both Fortune 500 corporations and major cultural and civic institutions. Our experience includes museums and other arts organizations, botanic gardens, conservation and environmental alliances, civic and charitable institutions, public and private foundations, universities, industry associations, consulting firms, private equity firms, and corporations focused in healthcare, financial services, agribusiness, and aerospace.

We tailor our approach for each assignment, first gaining an in-depth understanding of our client’s particular needs, and then developing a set of practical, understandable, and implementable recommendations. When formulating our recommendations, we pay special attention not only to to our clients’ overarching mission, vision, and strategic plan, but also to the governance structure, operations, and supporting activities that make for successful execution over the near and long term.