MORE TO EXPLORE: Leadership

Kate Reynolds

Kate Reynolds
MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy2011
Deputy Director
White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities

DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FUTURE PROGRAMMING

Client
JEWISH EMERGENT NETWORK
Faculty
Tricia Davies
Team
Deepak Chaudhari, Beckie Hamroff, Isaac Kurtz, Karin Nilo

The Jewish Emergent Network (JEN) is the umbrella organization connecting seven Jewish community organizations across the US. These seven member organizations are collectively committed to revitalizing the way Jewish Americans explore their religion and spirituality with traditional and creative practices. JEN’s goal is to amplify each member organization’s work and utilize their collective power to transform Jewish life. JEN engaged a Capstone team to help develop its new strategic plan and future programming. The team carried out a literature review and environmental scan and held stakeholder focus groups, using its findings to conduct a SWOT analysis. The team’s recommendations focus on utilizing JEN’s strengths to provide opportunities for leadership development, relationship building, and resource sharing, while also identifying ways to expand the JEN community.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

EVALUATING PROGRAM SUPPORT FOR BIPOC SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Client
ECHOING GREEN
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Chung Eun Kim Armijos, Eliza Heeks, Sindi Mafico, Jenabu Simaha, Natalia Vazallo

For over 35 years, Echoing Green has been building a dynamic ecosystem to support and invest in emerging social entrepreneurs who work at the intersection of global justice, racial equity, and social innovation. In 2020, Echoing Green launched a $50 million Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund and a new Fellow support program to provide equitable and sustainable support to its community of nearly 1,000 Fellows. The organization tasked the Capstone team with developing an evaluation model for its new program structure to determine effectiveness and areas for improvement. The team researched the best ways to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) social entrepreneurs and leaders on a global scale and studied the tools and support mechanisms that are most effective in community building across sectors, geographies, and identities. The team developed an assessment tool to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of the new program structure and its support offerings. The team produced a final report with recommendations for the future of Echoing Green’s engagement model.

Capstone Year

EQUIPPING EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS TO LEAD COMMUNICATION-SAVVY ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS

Client
NARRATIVE CHANGE LEADERS WORKSHOP
Faculty
Andy Moss
Team
Chelsea Roberts, Michael Sandmel, Lia Weintraub

State-level progressive advocacy organizations are vehicles for driving social change in the US, especially in the context of congressional gridlock. However, many of these organizations struggle to reach key audiences through their communication strategies. To better understand and address this gap, the Capstone team conducted over 75 interviews with executives and communications directors at statewide progressive organizations across the country. The team found a shared recognition that effective communications should be culturally infused into an organization’s goal setting, campaign planning, internal processes, and culture writ large. The team also found that organizations working to transition their communications work from a support service to a core strategic function lack support in making this change. The team designed the Narrative Change Leaders Workshop as a nonprofit social enterprise to fill this gap by providing executive directors with the training and coaching needed to build organizational communications capacity to frame social issues and debates within states.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

EVALUATING LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY SUCCESSES OF ELECTED OFFICIALS

Client
NEW AMERICAN LEADERS
Faculty
Matthew Camp
Team
Kathleen Elliott, Jacob Fertig, Hunter Meachum, Kobe Terrier

New American Leaders (NAL) leads a movement for inclusive democracy by equipping immigrants, refugees, and their allies with the tools needed to run for office, engaging in civic action that brings their voices to the forefront of American politics, and supporting successful candidates post-election in their preparation for holding public office. NAL enlisted a Capstone team to evaluate the legislative and policy successes of elected officials within the organization’s network. The team formulated and deployed a survey to capture data on legislative and policy successes—both explicit and implicit—and utilized its survey responses and independent policy research to produce a report on the measurable successes of elected officials across the key states of Arizona, California, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and New York. The team’s report includes a comprehensive analysis of its survey and research findings, paired with recommendations for future surveying efforts.

Capstone Year

ADVANCING STRATEGIC EXPANSION EFFORTS TO EMPOWER LOW-INCOME WOMEN IN THE NORTHERN TRIANGLE

Client
PRO MUJER
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Nicole Briedis, Emily Farley Chang, Hilarina Casie Chitty, Nora Frank, Queenie Tam

Pro Mujer is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides access to financial and digital inclusion, healthcare services, and entrepreneurship support to empower low-income women and promote gender equality in Latin America. As part of its commitment to the Partnership for Central America—an initiative launched by US Vice President Kamala Harris to address the root causes of irregular migration from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador)—Pro Mujer is developing a series of financing vehicles and projects to expand into these three countries. The organization engaged the Capstone team to conduct initial scoping and market mapping to inform such expansion efforts. The team reviewed the literature on impact investing strategies; researched the social, economic, and political contexts of the Northern Triangle; and developed market intelligence on Pro Mujer’s programmatic offerings in each country. The team also identified potential partnership opportunities with donors, investors, and in-country organizations to facilitate Pro Mujer’s entry and strategic growth in the region.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

IMPROVING ACCESS IN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR STUDENTS WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES

Client
EK KADAM AUR (ONE STEP AHEAD) FOUNDATION
Faculty
Victoria Donohue
Team
Kayla Savage, Maggie Soko, Tatiana Walker

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.

Capstone Year