RCLA Reports

RCLA scholars engage with leaders as co-researchers to reflect on their leadership successes, challenges and what they are learning through their work in order to develop insights and best practices from how leadership happens.

Recent Reports

Beyond Foundation FundingBeyond Foundation Funding: Revenue-Generating Strategies for Sustainable Social Change
By Jennifer Dodge, Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, Angela Beard and Caitlin Murphy, February 2013

As social change organizations diversify their funding to be less reliant on foundations, they are finding creative ways to adapt traditional strategies and experiment with new ones. This report from RCLA and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation offers specific revenue-generation strategies and examples of nonprofits putting them into practice to offer immediate, actionable guidance for social change organizations, funders and technical assistance providers. Read the report 

Learn and Let LearnLearn and Let Learn: Supporting Learning Communities for Innovation and Impact
November 2012

This guide from RCLA and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations explores the power of learning communities to build connections and knowledge to increase organizations’ community impact. Based on six case studies, the guide explains ways grantmakers can strategically support these efforts as well as key elements for designing learning communities, executing for success and extending the learning. Read the report 

Executive Summary IIE EvaluationExecutive Summary: Evaluation of the IIE West Coast Center's LDM Program

The Executive Summary offers highlights from RCLA's comprehensive participatory evaluation of the Institute of International Education (IIE) West Coast Center’s Leadership Development for Mobilizing Reproductive Health (LDM) Program. The LDM program helped develop and sustain leaders working on the front lines of family planning and health issues in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines for more than a decade. RCLA assessed the program using a Participatory Action Research to document and integrate the experiences of the Fellows, stakeholders and LDM staff and to provide them with the opportunity to connect, collaborate and develop sustainable next steps.  Read the report 

Creative CourageCreative Courage: Leadership Practices to Build Resilience and Vitality in Performing Arts Organizations

Leaders from presenting arts organizations across the US came together to focus on a shared question of critical importance: how can arts nonprofits build resilient missions and visions to adapt and thrive in unpredictable times? Together they generated a set of essential leadership practices that draw on experimentation, courage, values, and reconnecting with the artistic spark driving their work.  Read the report 

Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion: Insights from ScholarshipLeadership, Diversity and Inclusion: Insights from Scholarship 
By Sonia M. Ospina, Waad El Hadidy and Grisel Caicedo with Amanda Jones, April 2011

This report from RCLA and National Urban Fellows highlights recent research on leadership and diversity, with a focus on public service. The authors find that scholars are linking diversity with adaptability, arguing that learning how to build organizations that effectively leverage racial diversity can foster the leadership capacity to adapt to other kinds of diversity and thrive in an increasingly complex environment. Yet there is less agreement in the literature on just how to do that. Limited empirical research in the public service field has resulted in a dearth of evidence for what works, even two decades after the diversity agenda has become a focus for public service organizations.  Read the report 

Advancing Diversity & Leadership in Public ServiceAdvancing Diversity and Inclusion in Public Service: A Review of Leadership Development Programs in the US
By Sonia M. Ospina, Waad El Hadidy and Grisel Caicedo with Amanda Jones, April 2011

One in three Americans are people of color, yet minorities occupy just one in six leadership positions in state and federal government, nonprofits and foundations. A new RCLA report offers a listing of leadership development programs at the regional and national levels that are dedicated to supporting leaders of color, committed to diversity and open to all public service leaders, or that focus on diversity management.  Read the report 

Baby Boomers, Public Service & Minority CommunitiesBaby Boomers, Public Service and Minority Communities: A Case Study of the Jewish Community in the United States
By David M. Elcott, PhD, June 2010

In this report, David Elcott finds that most Jewish Baby Boomers see retirement as a time for work and service, not rest. But he argues that organizations are unprepared to tap this potentially huge influx of talent and experience. Based on a nationwide survey of 34 metropolitan Jewish communities conducted in July 2009, the survey elicited the attitudes of more than 6,500 individual Baby Boomer respondents about their future plans for public service and civic engagement. In addition to analyzing the survey data, Elcott offers recommendations on how the Jewish community can find substantial pathways that will engage Baby Boomers in communal institutional life. Read the report