Jean Butzen

Founder, M+S Consulting; President, Jean Butzen Consulting, Inc.

Jean Butzen is the founder of Mission + Strategy Consulting. Ms. Butzen’s interest in nonprofit strategic restructuring began in 2005, when the organization she was leading, Lakefront Supportive Housing, completed a merger with Mercy Housing. Ms. Butzen formed Mission + Strategy Consulting (M+S) in 2006 and the firm is now the largest Midwest-based provider of merger and partnership restructuring services to the nonprofit sector. 

Since 2006, Ms. Butzen has worked on hundreds of merger and partnership transactions, including partnership searches, feasibility analyses, merger and partnership agreements, and implementation planning for agreements. She has worked with a wide variety of organizations across the nation in fields such as human services, affordable housing, arts and culture, and advocacy, with annual revenues of $250,000 to $100 million.

In 2016, Ms. Butzen designed and produced the groundbreaking report Mergers as a Strategy for Success, the first nonprofit merger study for the Chicago metropolitan area, and created a companion microsite, The Merger Tool Kit, a free step-by-step explanation for nonprofit leaders on how to complete a merger. She has been published widely on the topic of nonprofit mergers and is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops.

In 2021, Ms. Butzen released her book Letting Go of Your Nonprofit: Mission-Centered Leadership During a Merger.

Prior to launching M+S Consulting, Ms. Butzen had a successful career managing nonprofit organizations in Chicago, including serving for 18 years as President/CEO of Lakefront Supportive Housing, one of the most respected supportive housing providers in the nation. At Lakefront, Ms. Butzen led the development of 1,000 units of housing and services for homeless adults and families in Chicago.

Ms. Butzen has received numerous awards in her 40-plus years in the nonprofit sector, including the Chicago Sun-Times “100 Most Influential Women in Chicago,” Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40, and Leadership Greater Chicago’s 2001 Distinguished Fellow. Ms. Butzen has a B.A. in Political Science from Antioch College and an Executive M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.