MEASURING ORGANIZATION-WIDE IMPACT
ExpandED Schools is an education nonprofit that provides after-school programming in New York City, and has served over one million children since 1998. Its mission is to close the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences. Since its current data collection processes are not formally coordinated across the organization, ExpandED Schools enlisted a Capstone team to create an organization-wide strategy to measure its overall impact across all programs. The team conducted a literature review, analyzing best practices in the after-school industry, and developed and implemented a survey to investigate ExpandED School’s current program goals and data collection activities. Following this research, the team designed a roadmap for strategic goal-setting and data collection to measure organization-wide impact in the near term and beyond.
DEVELOPING A BUSINESS PLAN FOR A MUSEUM CAFÉ PARTNERSHIP
Queens Community House (QCH) is a multi-service settlement house with the mission of providing individuals and families with tools to enrich their lives and build healthy and inclusive communities. QCH’s Young Adult Food-Sector Employment Initiative (YAFSEI) is a workforce development program that targets at-risk young adults in Queens and prepares them for job opportunities in the food sector. QCH engaged a Capstone team to develop a business plan for a café in partnership with the Queens Museum that would allow YAFSEI trainees to receive instruction and gain real-life experience in the food industry. The team researched and evaluated various business models and crafted a comprehensive and effective business plan based on programmatic and socioeconomic data to guide the museum café’s operations.
EXPANDING CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Citizens Committee for Children of New York (CCCNY) is a New York City-based nonprofit that advocates for policies that enhance the lives of young people. CCCNY enlisted a team to develop strategies to enhance its civic engagement techniques, widen the reach of its impact, and inform the development of an online advocacy hub. The team conducted a literature review to research best engagement practices, including digital usage, and performed a field scan to gain insight into the current civic engagement landscape. The team provided CCCNY with a final report that includes recommendations on techniques for overall and online civic engagement, as well as sample systems and content to guide CCCNY in the launch of its advocacy hub.
ASSESSING AN ORGANIZATION’S ROLE IN MOVEMENT-BUILDING
TakeRoot Justice (TRJ) leverages legal and policy expertise to help community-driven movements dismantle systems of racial, economic, and social oppression. TRJ engaged a Capstone team to evaluate its role in community campaign advancement and ensure that its legal representation of individuals feeds into an organizing strategy for systemic change. The team conducted a literature review on movement lawyering and administered a survey to twelve of TRJ’s partner organizations. They also carried out focus groups across four key TRJ practice areas: consumer justice, housing rights, immigrants’ rights, and workers’ rights. Drawing on its findings, the team produced a report with guiding documents to increase internal capacity for organizing and a toolkit to facilitate stronger partner relationships.
IMPROVING ACCESS IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES
Ek Kadam Aur, Hindi for “One Step Ahead”, is a nonprofit organization that provides education and skill-building resources to disadvantaged children in India and Nepal. Their High School Leadership Program (HSLP) offers world-class education to high school students in India. Ek Kadam Aur enlisted a Capstone team to aid in the development of their Technology for the Visually Challenged Program. Since the existing curriculum has not been adapted to meet the needs of students with visual impairments, the team was tasked with evaluating its accessibility and effectiveness. The team conducted a gap analysis to identify limitations of the current program structure and developed specific recommendations to improve accessibility and the inclusion of visually challenged students.