Craig Smith Consulting: Crafting the perfect solution for your group or business. We provide facilitation, planning and training to nonprofits, for-profits, government and community based organizations in the Northwest. Our assistance is tailored to your unique needs or situation. And we always include follow-up coaching to help you as you move forward.


Do you need help with clarifying roles and responsibilities; engaging board members, stakeholders and volunteers; improving communication, resolving disagreements, and/or building collaborative agreement? We design our facilitation assistance to get you the outcomes you desire whether for a 2-hour meeting or a multi-day retreat.


Our planning assistance will guide you through crafting or refining your mission, vision and/or logic model. We then will help you create goals, strategies and an action plan that details the steps for moving forward. The action plan answers the questions; who is responsible, who will help, the timing for getting it completed, the cost and what success looks like. We can also help you organize for implementation and provide coaching moving forward too. The plans we facilitate are inclusive, consensus oriented and dynamic. They won’t just sit on a shelf.


Whether you are looking for one-on-one coaching and skill building or training for your board, staff or volunteers, we can help. We customize the training for you. Key topics include: Asset Based Community Development, Appreciative Inquiry, Board Roles and Responsibilities, Budgeting, Building Agreement, Collaborations and Partnerships, Communication, Economic Development, Effective Meetings, Fundraising, Marketing and PR, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Planning and Project Implementation, Stakeholder Engagement, Transition Planning and Change, and Volunteer Engagement and Management.


Craig Smith has more than 30 years’ experience working with nonprofit and for-profit businesses providing facilitation, planning and training. He earned his undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with a specialization in Community Organizing and Development from Sonoma State University where he started a community resource center. After graduation, he began his professional career as a small business owner and helped govern and manage a nonprofit, the Portland Saturday Market. In 1990, he received an MBA from Portland State University, sold his natural foods business to his employees and started working with the Regional Services Institute at Eastern Oregon University.  While directing the Rural Oregon Marketing Project at Eastern Oregon University, he contracted with the Oregon Economic Development Department Community Initiatives Program to provide assistance to entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) was spun off as a nonprofit from the Community Initiatives Program by the Legislature in 1992. Craig started working for RDI at its inception to help communities, businesses and nonprofits. Craig became the Executive Director in 2009 and stepped down in April 2016 to start Craig Smith Consulting, LLC. Its mission is to help nonprofit and for-profit businesses and government entities with planning, facilitation and training.


Sue Niezgoda
Board Chair, River Restoration Northwest

“Craig provided excellent support and assistance with the design and facilitation of our Annual Board Retreat. We had several large and somewhat controversial agenda items that needed to be worked through, and Craig helped us immensely in focusing our discussion on organizational strengths and weaknesses and also helped to remind us why we are all so passionate about our organization and its mission. He facilitated discussion such that no one in the room was afraid to speak their mind, and then he helped us channel emotionally charged discussion into productive decision making. We accomplished quite a bit during our Retreat, and also learned how to better communicate with each other. I attribute much of our ongoing productivity and success to Craig’s assistance during our retreat, and can highly recommend his exceptional facilitation skills.”

Heidi Khokhar
current Executive Director of RDI

“Craig is a mentor and the type of leader who drives you to stretch for more and sit with confidence at important tables.”

Maui Meyer
Hood River County Commissioner and RDI Board Member and former Chair

Much of the success of the Ford Institute Leadership Program comes from teams Craig has lead over the years. The depth and breadth of it, the enthusiasm at the true grass roots level, the commitment to process, often in communities where it never existed before, this has come from Craig, both as a facilitator, and a leader. The entirety of Oregon owes him a debt of gratitude that is as large and essential as the state itself.”

Denise Holmes and Denise Dethlefs
Community Ambassadors and leaders from Banks Oregon:

“Our journey with Craig began in 2002 with the Rural Futures Forum and his facilitation of the Banks Strategic Plan. Since then remarkable growth and change has occurred in Banks, much with the assistance of Craig and associates. We experienced first-hand his leadership training skills when he led the first Banks leadership class and Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).”

Tom Gallagher
former Director of the Ford Institute for Community Building

“Craig’s leadership provided the energy and talent that permitted the Ford Institute Leadership Program to take advantage of a window of opportunity to design and deliver leadership training to all rural communities in Oregon and Siskiyou County California over 13 years.  Under Craig’s leadership, Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) was the the perfect partner – thoughtful, creative, flexible – not only making the Ford Institute look great but winning other grants and resources for rural communities.”


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