Cornerstone Consultants

Helping Organizations Grow, Change, Succeed

Mary Virtue

Mary Virtue founded Cornerstone Consultants in 1991 to provide technical expertise to nonprofits, cultural institutions, foundations and businesses.  Ms. Virtue facilitates learning meetings and strategic planning sessions. She conducts organizational assessments and program and portfolio evaluations. She has provided training in performance management and planning and evaluation to communities, tribal and community colleges and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Virtue works with funders, foundations and community-based organizations to design and implement earned revenue and economic development programs that build on organizational and community assets. Ms. Virtue teaches strategic planning, human resources and performance management to graduate students and conducts workshops on developing a marketing plan for community-based businesses and loan programs. Her work has taken her to the South Caucasus, Africa, India, Russia, and throughout the United States.

She has worked as vice president for administration and marketing for biotechnology and manufacturing firms. She continues to assist businesses in various sectors with strategic and operational planning. She was the Executive Director of a retail and mail order craft cooperative with five retail stores and a mail order catalog that produced and sold crafts made by rural Americans.

Ms. Virtue holds an Executive MBA from Columbia University and is the author of three publications – the Earned Revenue Handbook, Museum Shop Guidebook and Branding and Marketing Toolkit: Community-based Businesses and Products.  Each of these publications can be found in the Publications section.

Areas of Expertise

Facilitation of Meetings and Learning Retreats

  • Designed and facilitated meetings for boards and staff in the US and overseas to develop specific skill sets and learn from each other’s experience

Strategic Planning

  • Developed a process that incorporates web-based, telephone and face-to-face interactions leading to a strategic plan that has been informed by multiple stakeholders
  • Worked with community-based nonprofits, national organizations and businesses


  • Evaluation of foundation portfolios and potential projects
  • Assessment of state folk arts programming
  • Evaluation of philanthropy seminar series
  • Evaluation of federally funded, distance learning program for financial literacy
  • Community-based program evaluation for nonprofits and community foundations
  • Program evaluation of projects funded by the Federal government

Organizational Assessment and Capacity Development

  • Prepared assessments and capacity development plans for small community-based organizations and international NGOs

Earned Revenue Program Design

  • Designed and implemented earned revenue ventures for nonprofits, museums and community-based cultural centers
  • Developed business plans and financial reports for grant requests and bank loan applications

Collaborative Initiatives

  • Worked with a nation-wide network to design a National Conversation on Poverty and Economic Security

Teaching and Training

  • Taught in the U.S. and overseas in the following areas: Developing a Marketing Plan, Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Performance Management

Click to see resume.