Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Nature of Work

  • Strategic planning
  • Retreat facilitation
  • Stakeholder Research
  • Focus groups
  • 20th anniversary expert panel facilitation


The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is one of the leading adoption resources in North America, and has been finding forever homes for foster children for 20 years. The Foundation needed comprehensive research and strategic planning services to combat the escalating need for placing foster care children.

Gallagher Consulting Group has served as the Foundation’s strategic planning partner since 2002. The firm has spearheaded research and strategic planning efforts for the Foundation and directed all aspects of multi-year strategic planning initiatives that include research and customized planning retreats for the board of directors and staff. The research and communications efforts included interviews and focus groups with stakeholders. i.e., board members, staff, donors, industry experts, public officials, recruiters, etc. Gallagher authored the written strategic plans and suggested timelines for the organization.

One of the ideas generated during strategic planning evolved into the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is a signature program aimed at raising funds for the Foundation. The Foundation then makes grants to local adoption organizations to hire recruiters targeted exclusively on placing foster care children with adoptive families.


The planning sessions were the genesis for ideas including the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, which has resulted in the organization more than tripling its size over the last ten years and the adoption of more than 6,300 children in foster care in North America. WWK based on a child-focused recruitment model the Foundation developed, which is being replicated throughout the United States and Canada.


Gallagher Consulting Group provided the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption the catalyst to move to the next level of organizational excellence through an intensive and creative strategic planning process. By expertly involving all key stakeholders, providing dynamic executive counsel and quickly understanding all the levels and nuances of the organization

— Rita Soronen - President & CEO

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