Cheryl Gooding: Consultant

“It really hit me what side of the class divide I was on the day that I learned about power.  I was 23. That was the day I began to negotiate the first union contract as a worker and new union President at legal services.  I had an epiphany:  management wasn’t going to do what was ‘right’.  In fact, they wouldn’t give us a thing unless we brought power to the table.  Once I understood that I knew what standing up for social justice required.  Being a part of the labor movement solidified my commitment.  That was thirty-five years ago.”

Cheryl has worked in the nonprofit sector for 35 years as an organizer, educator, executive leader, communications specialist and more.  She has also worked in higher education as in faculty, research and program director positions.  While living in Boston for many years she was a key part of organization and movement building including organizing the first union at Greater Boston Legal Services, and the first leadership development organization for women in the labor movement – Women’s Institute for Leadership Development.

Since moving to New Mexico in 1999, Cheryl has been the founding Director of the New Mexico Strategic Leadership Institute, the first Communications Director at the one of the state’s premier policy advocacy organization, and developed a consulting business.  As a consultant she takes a capacity building approach, working with groups to deepen analysis, integrate strategies and focus on learning that is useful to making the work stronger.

Cheryl is the owner of Gooding & Associates LLC (, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Her consulting spans a broad range of nonprofits and foundations, typically focusing on building the strategic thinking capacity of organizational leaders and staff;  clarifying organization’s theory of change and understanding organizational impact (which often involves both strategic planning and evaluation); organizational  assessment and development; alignment of organizational programs and initiatives for greater impact; strategic communications;  and design of capacity building initiatives.  Her work with foundations focuses on evaluation of grantmaking impact, capturing and applying strategic learning from major initiatives, and identifying the capacity building needs of the nonprofit sector.

Clients include the Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, the New Mexico ACLU, the Southwest Organizing Project, Enlace Communitario, Emerge New Mexico, the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, the WKKF Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Foundation, the Bernalillo County Health Council, the Center for Civic Policy, the Metropolitan Homelessness Project, and Southwest Creations Collaborative, among others.