Capstone Courses and Projects

Fiscal Management Associates

Prediction of Nonprofit Dissolution
Fiscal Management Associates (FMA) is a management consulting firm based in New York City that empowers nonprofit organizations with fiscal management, accounting, organizational, and technological knowledge and skills. One significant segment of FMA’s client base includes private grant making foundations, which have routinely asked FMA for help in assessing the risk that a potential grantee will dissolve during a grant term. The Capstone team predicted and quantified the probability that a nonprofit organization will cease to operate through a statistical model. After an extensive literature review and interviews with NYU faculty and nonprofit consultants, the team identified IRS revocation of tax-exempt status as the most reliable indicator of nonprofit failure. The team gathered data on nonprofits in NY State and defined independent variables from public tax filings. The team then specified a theoretical equation to explain non-profit failure and formulated a hypothesis about the relationship between variables of interest.

Harlem Educational Activities Fund

Leveraging Organizational Strengths to Generate Income
Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) is a college preparatory and completion program that provides an extended continuum of education and youth development and leadership opportunities to underserved New York City students. HEAF has received multiple requests for youth development curricula, site visits, and management best practices from similar organizations. HEAF requested a Capstone team to evaluate its opportunities to leverage program strengths, staff expertise, and organizational capacity to create a new revenue stream. The team conducted site visits; interviews with HEAF administrators, partner organizations, and nonprofit earned-income experts; a literature review; and a competitor analysis to assess the market and organizational strengths and guide its recommendations for an earned-income model.

Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability

Preserving New Jersey’s Industrial Heritage: A Business Feasibility Study Assessing the Restoration and Reuse of the Hackensack Waterworks
Recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the eleven most endangered historic places in the United States, the Hackensack Water Works is a monument to New Jersey’s industrial past. Since its donation to Bergen County in 1993, the site has languished in a state of abandonment and disrepair due to a lack of funding and common vision for the site. The Rutgers Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability, through interactions with government representatives and public stakeholders, has identified the creation of a business feasibility study as a crucial next step toward the restoration of the historic water works. This study included an examination of comparable projects, an analysis of supply and demand conditions in Bergen County, a financial model for potential cash flows given specific assumptions, and recommendations for a possible nonprofit entity to engage in public/private partnership with Bergen County.