EXPANDING AN ONLINE MATCHING PLATFORM
BoardStrong’s mission is to help nonprofits achieve the highest standards of board leadership, governance, and oversight through board training, consultation, and the provision of educational resources. BoardStrong currently has an online matching platform that helps organizations find talented board candidates in New York. The organization enlisted a Capstone team to conduct research on how to expand this matching platform to new markets. Although BoardStrong has nonprofit connections across the country, it sought additional context on regional nonprofit environments. The Capstone team met with stakeholders across various nonprofit landscapes and crafted an expansion strategy, identifying regions for initial expansion and the important players within those regions. The team presented its final report to BoardStrong leadership, detailing its findings, recommendations, and best practices for scaling the technology platform.
LEVERAGING PHILANTHROPY TO ADVANCE ANTI-DISCRIMINATION EFFORTS IN RENTAL HOUSING
It has been 55 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, yet housing discrimination continues to impact people of color disproportionately. The Wells Fargo Foundation tasked the Capstone team with designing a grantmaking strategy to advance anti-discrimination efforts in the rental market. To do this, the team interviewed professionals working on fair housing issues—including fair housing testers, sociologists, economists, housing litigators, and advocates—to understand the current state of the field. Concurrently the team undertook a literature review to understand the specific mechanisms through which housing discrimination can occur. The results of these efforts led to an evaluation of the different ways discrimination takes place throughout six phases of the housing procurement process. Ultimately, the team crafted an informed and targeted grantmaking strategy with recommendations that focus on increasing equity and access to information about available housing units, proactively addressing tenant screening systems that perpetuate disparate impact, and enhancing housing discrimination enforcement.
RELIGIOUS SPACE RENTAL IN NYC: UNCOVERING A NEW MARKET
Bricks and Mortals is a membership-driven nonprofit organization that helps faith-based organizations (FBOs) maximize the use of their buildings and properties to serve their communities. In support of the launch of its new space-sharing platform, Venuely, the client enlisted a Capstone team to provide fair space pricing guidelines, event insurance research, and market analyses. The team conducted several forms of market and competitor analyses and developed a burn rate equation to assist with on-platform pricing. The team also conducted interviews, surveys, and market research on the costs of running, renting, and insuring venue spaces across NYC. The team’s final report highlights its recommendations on Venuely’s strategic deployment, which will empower FBOs to enter the rental market smoothly, coordinate space-sharing operations with local artists and other community groups, and generate additional revenue streams for their congregations.
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF ACCESS TO SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES ON STUDENT OUTCOMES
Students with special needs have historically been overlooked in the American public school system and only in the last 50 years has the federal government provided explicit protections for these students. Existing literature shows evidence of ongoing and significant differences in referrals to special education services based on race and gender. The Capstone team sought to understand whether, and to what extent, disparities in special education access contribute to disparities in educational outcomes for marginalized groups. The team analyzed data from the 2011 Early Childhood Longitudinal Study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and developed a final report outlining its findings to help inform special education support and services.