Nonprofit management & consulting.


Nonprofit fundraising


Human resources experience


Training and development experience


Management and business process experience


Social Media Strategic Planning/Training

As key as your agency’s website is, your social media strategy is even more so. Today the ability to share your agency’s story with all stakeholders is easier than ever technologically.

Web Development

We live in a world connected by the Web. Your website needs to showcase the organization and all that it does for the community.

Interim Executive Management

At The Niles Partners we offer temporary executive and senior management solutions services. One of our skilled professionals or a person we have screened thoroughly can fill your position temporarily.

Readiness and Capabilities Studies

Experience shows that 60% to 80% of internal projects fail. The reasons are many, yet the most common reason for failure is the lack of a grounded Readiness and Capability study that will measure your organization’s preparedness and ability to complete the proposed project.

Evergreen Strategic Planning

Most of us would not start a trip to an unfamiliar destination without a map or guidance mechanism. A strategic plan is nothing more than the map to get the organization to where it wants to go (usually unfamiliar territory) or what it wants to become.

Operations/Process Consulting

In the for profit sector, efficiency is the key driver of the business easily translated as “faster, better, cheaper.” This is true in the nonprofit sector as well because nonprofits are businesses.

Human Resources

Most nonprofits have at least on paid employee yet spend little time on their Human Resources. Often agencies are unaware of required regulatory compliance or of changes to regulations such as the new overtime regulations.

Program Outcomes

The vast majority of nonprofit programs are never measured for results. Program effectiveness can be gauged only through outcome measurement.

Board Development / Training

Working with nonprofit Boards is exhilarating and frustrating. Nonprofit board members are volunteers and most are extremely passionate about the organization’s Mission. However, more than 50% have had no preparation to serve on a nonprofit board.

Staff Development

Nonprofits are continuously challenged to leverage their resources. Staff is usually the most costly, yet often ignored resource within the organization.

Public Relations and Communications

Remaining in the center of community awareness is a challenge most nonprofits face. Unless your organization is one of the major institutions in the City, staying out front is difficult.

Capital Projects Development and Capital Campaigns

Any capital project, especially a capital campaign the most perilous journey a nonprofit can undertake. If not planned, managed, and executed exceptionally well, it often ends in disaster.


The Niles Partners is a Houston-based consulting firm founded by Mark Niles is 2001 with the focus of furthering “Best Business Practices” into the Houston area nonprofit arena. With 10 years in human resource and organizational development consulting, Niles introduced proprietary systems into his practice.  Programs addressing Strategic Planning, Strategic Decision Making, and Board of Directors Development based upon Niles’ consulting experience and his training in General Systems proved successful.

Niles recognized that in order to offer more complete services to the market, the firm needed to offer expertise in fundraising.  Six years ago Cooky Mays, CFRE partnered with the firm and broadened the scope of services now offered.  Mays brought more than twenty years of experience in fundraising, including many volunteer leadership positions with area nonprofit organizations.

The Niles Partners now offers services covering nonprofit needs: all aspects of Fundraising, Program Evaluation and Readiness & Capability Assessments – a service previously available only to large institutions and organizations.  The combination of Niles’ strategic experience and Mays’ fundraising experience give the firm a unique blend of professional experiences and perspectives.

The firm understands the needs of nonprofit organizations, community service groups and volunteer boards. Our combined thirty years of working with Houston nonprofits means we are familiar with this market, its fundraising climate and resources. We are professionals. We are prepared to deliver a full range of development, planning and training services to improve your organization’s performance and effectiveness. The Niles Partners is prepared to work with every sector of Houston’s vast, vibrant nonprofit community – education, social services, community organizations, environmental, healthcare and religious groups, and the arts.

Our fundraising experience can help you build financial strength to broaden your scope of services, complete brick-and-mortar projects and/or significantly improve current delivery standards.  Our capacity-building experience can help you broaden your scope of service, prepare your organization for change and uncertainty and provide the tools to lead your agency through change.  Our training and development systems are tailored to your needs raising levels of organization-wide effectiveness to new heights.

We believe nonprofit organizations enrich our lives and provide great satisfaction to the staff and volunteers who run them. Each organization’s history and mission is unique.  We want to be your partner and help you build specific financial and human capacity to serve your clients better – and more efficiently.

We help your daily operation run more smoothly, hone your costs, maximize the return of current resources and secure your financial future.  These are just a few of the reasons to work collaboratively with The Niles Partners.

Our history

MAR 18, 2001 (Opening)

The Niles Partners is founded by Mark Niles. Its focus? To further “Best Business Practices” into the Houston area nonprofit arena.

JAN 10, 2010 (We grow our team)

Blake Tritico joins the team

APR 23, 2016 (We grow our team again)

We welcome 4 new team members.

JUN 1, 2016 (Launch of new website)

We revamp our website so that it illustrates the breadth of services we offer the nonprofit community of Houston

Jun 3-5, 2016 (Our first national client with our new, larger, team)

We conduct a 2 day Evergreen Strategic Planning Session in San Antonio for the MPS Society

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The Team

Mark Niles


Mark Niles, the president and principal, started the Niles Partners in 2001. Niles had been engaged in human resources and managerial consulting and coaching when an opportunity to serve the nonprofit community arose. He then founded the Niles Partners, LLC.

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Cooky Mays, CFRE

Senior partner

Cooky is a certified professional fundraiser. She has been involved in the nonprofit community for more than 20 years. She has provided professional consulting services to several area agencies, led nonprofit organizations, and served on boards of Houston non-profits. She has also been a senior professional mentor for new development professionals.

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Cristy Jennings


Cristy has served the nonprofit community in virtually every capacity, from administrative assistant to board member. She is an accomplished team builder with exceptional writing, communication, and interpersonal skills. Her leadership style is to build consensus and commitment by valuing, empowering, and mentoring her team.

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Tina Marie Jones-St.Cyr


Tina Marie has trained in all venues, from small conference rooms to stadiums and all spaces in between. Her specialty is in bringing new, transformative perspectives to a situation, allowing the human ability to solve problems to flow forth easily.

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Latest news

Jan 17 / Posted by Mark Niles

The Strategic Plan as a Map

A Strategic Plan is a map. Strategic Planning is a systematic, documented process where the stakeholders agree and build commitment to, what actions need to be taken by the organization to reach its Vision. The term Strategic Plan usually brings chills to board members, the leadership team, and staff because of the usually confusing, complicated […]

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Oct 28 / Posted by Mark Niles

Hiring and retaining employees

Simple, common sense approaches to issues are often the least expensive and most effective. Continuously having to replace staff is very costly and the true cost is never known. Ramp up time for the new employee, lost client service opportunities and two of the costs that cannot be calculated. The time it takes to recruit […]

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Oct 12 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

The Need for Metrics

We made a preliminary call on a local nonprofit. They wanted to meet us and asked whether or not we would facilitate a workshop to come up with a “Yearly Work List.” We asked if there were documents about how they did this process. We needed to determine exactly what the organization was looking to […]

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Oct 12 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

“Noblesse oblige” and power imbalance in ...

Last week the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rice University hosted an insightful lecture by Dr. Bob Reid on transparency in private philanthropy: “A Foundation of Trust: Should Private Philanthropy be More Transparent?” (see featured image) Reid is the Executive Director of J. F. Maddox Foundation, a private philanthropic institution in Hobbs, New […]

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Jul 23 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

Building Rapport

During any staff or board training engagement, the facilitators from the Niles Partners emphasize rapport building. What does building rapport mean? Michael Brooks, author of Instant Rapport, defines rapport this way: “Being in rapport is the ability to enter someone else’s model of the world and let them know that we truly understand their model;” […]

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Jul 23 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

Strategic Plan Implementation

When the specialists at The Niles Partners facilitates a strategic plan, we take time to discuss implementing the strategic plan. All too often we see a beautiful binder sitting in the executive’s bookcase covered with dust. When asked about it, they respond, “oh that, it’s our strategic plan.” The dust tells the story of the […]

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Jul 23 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

Board Diversity

The Niles Partners believe board diversity is the primary consideration when assessing a prospective board member. The ability to give or get money is extremely important, however it is not the only qualification for board membership. If getting money is the only criterion by which new board members are brought on, the board may well […]

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Jul 23 / Posted by Ana Boa-Ventura

The Board Member’s Annual Gift

The single most important responsibility a Board member has is to ensure the fiduciary viability of the organization they serve. Looking at the data The Niles Partners has collected over the years, the largest cause of friction on a Board is the annual personal gift we suggest each board member make to the agency. This […]

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Yes. One of The Niles Partners team will meet with your leadership team to assess your current needs and discover possible solutions we are able to offer. We will prepare a Summary of Findings and present those findings to the designated team.

Yes, our fees are very competitive. Most of the time they are less than our competitors. As a boutique consulting company we are able to keep our overhead low and pass these savings to our clients.

Yes, we assess your needs, discuss the needs as seen by your leadership, and establish an ideal outcome. Only when we agree on these things do we move forward. Our training and development services are customized to help you meet your ideal outcome.

What people say about us

Here are some testimonials of those we have helped in the Houston community.

Bank President

“Having served as a Board Member of several local non-profits and on the board of a national organization, I have attended many Board Training exercises. The Board of Directors Development Training presented by Mark Niles and his team was the most useful and the most practical. It clearly articulated the responsibilities of board membership, provided clear definitions and descriptions of Committee tasks, and presented unambiguous guidelines that led to more effective Board operations, oversight and governance. The Niles Partners’ training told us what we were charged with doing and how to do it better.”

Corporate Manager, Community Relations

“I joined the Board shortly after The Niles Partners provided specialized Strategic Planning Training for the Women’s Center. The following year, my responsibilities as president-elect included spearheading implementation of the Strategic Plan. The plan itself provided time-driven benchmarks for the Board, its committees, and staff, while clearly establishing goals for every stakeholder. As president of the Board, I saw incredible results. The staff buy-in, the can-do attitude of the
Board, and the increased visibility of the agency in the community was significant. The Niles Partners challenged everyone associated with the organization to reach for previously undefined and unattained goals, and gave us explicit instructions on how to do so.”

Business Owner

“I have been involved with a non-profit for many years; I was elected President of the Board. Early on in my presidency, the Board contracted with The Niles Partners to provide Board of Director Development Training. During my 2-year term as President and 1-year term as Immediate Past President, I was amazed how the organization turned around. The Board became a true Board and the entire organization flourished. I attribute the success of the organization in large part to the Board of Director Development Training provided by The Niles Partners.”

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