MORE TO EXPLORE: Nonprofits

Developing Key Performance Indicators for Improving Health Outcomes

Client
The Alliance for Positive Change
Faculty
Bob Criscuolo
Team
Junior Burgos, Jean Youn Lee, Rachel Nelson, Lela Sabashvili, Adi Yeheskiel
The Alliance for Positive Change (Alliance) is a multiservice organization that focuses on helping New Yorkers who live with HIV and other chronic health conditions. The Alliance connects clients to housing assistance, medical care, and peer support to help them achieve a healthy and stable lifestyle. To improve health outcomes for their target populations, the Alliance engaged a Capstone team in developing a list of key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure program effectiveness and client engagement. The team interviewed directors and vice presidents of the Alliance’s Peer Program and Care Management Program to understand fully the organization’s strategy and operational priorities. The team then conducted a literature review, environmental scan, and an organizational assessment to derive pertinent KPIs. The team used their findings to recommend operational protocols that will ensure data collection, flow, and integration to aid in the development of additional or alternative KPIs.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Strategies to Enhance the Financial Viability of Environmental Projects

Client
National Audubon Society
Faculty
John Ceffalio
Team
Audrey Campbell, Lucia Herz, Edwin Jacobi
The National Audubon Society (Audubon) is a nonprofit environmental organization that seeks to conserve and restore natural ecosystems and wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. Despite growing demand for investable social and environmental enterprises, a lack of viable environmental projects that can both generate financial returns and environmental gains persists. Audubon engaged a Capstone team to develop strategic recommendations for leveraging its existing programs and generating the gains mentioned above. The team conducted in-depth research, interviews with impact investing practitioners, and an extensive analysis of Audubon’s internal programs. Based on their research, the team delivered a final report that offers a clear description of the impact investing field, preliminary steps the Audubon team should consider, and strategic recommendations on how to use impact investments to finance and scale the organization’s existing programs.
Capstone Year

Developing a Measurable and Impactful Grant-Making Process

Client
Victory Housing
Faculty
Kevin Hansen
Team
Michelle Avila, Sarah Dadson, Audrey Lapiner, Bora Lee
Victory Housing, the nonprofit housing development arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, provides affordable housing and related support services for mixed-income seniors and low-income families in DC and Maryland. Victory Housing uses donated funds to disseminate one-time grants to residents and hourly staff in times of need. Historically, Victory Housing has not had a formal process for defining emergency needs, selecting recipients and award amounts, distributing funds, or measuring impact. Victory Housing enlisted a Capstone team to develop a grant-making process that is measurable and impactful. The team conducted an assessment of key stakeholders to determine levels of need and to assess the feasibility of a grant-making process for the organization. Utilizing data from interviews, surveys, and industry research, the team provided targeted recommendations for Victory Housing to conduct systematic grant-making, assess the impact of these grants, and leverage their successes toward future fundraising and program development.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Recommending Strategies for Increased School Capacity

Client
The Shefa School
Faculty
Kevin Hansen
Team
Ilana Beller, Alix Haber, Yi Meng
The Shefa School (Shefa) is the only Jewish school for students with language-based learning disabilities in the United States. Founded four years ago with just 24 students, Shefa has grown organically and consistently, now serving 110 students. However, without a plan to grow its physical and operational capacity, the school will be unable to accommodate the increasing number of students who can benefit from its curriculum and programming. Shefa enlisted a Capstone team to aid in the development of an effective growth plan to meet enrollment demand. The team performed a market analysis and a stakeholder analysis, which engaged parents, feeder schools, and service professionals in the held. With the results, the team provided recommendations for a growth strategy that will serve as the groundwork for the school’s five-year strategic plan.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Developing a Strategic Growth Strategy for Barbershop Books

Client
Reading Holiday Project
Faculty
Sonia Balaram
Team
Jonathan Cabrera, Candace Chin- Robertson, Benjamin Engle, Mildred Ngminebayihi, Joi Rae
The Reading Holiday Project is a nonprofit literacy organization based in New York City. The organization’s debut program, Barbershop Books, aims to help young black boys identify as readers by placing children’s reading spaces in barbershops. Barbershop Books is looking to grow its program and scale its operations. The Capstone team supported Barbershop Books in developing a strategic growth plan. The team completed a literature review regarding best growth practices for comparable nonprofits and an environmental scan analyzing information from nonprofit literacy stakeholders. The team’s final report issued recommendations on expanding Barbershop Books, including ways to utilize performance indicators, strategies for developing a diverse board of directors, and techniques for engaging targeted stakeholders.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Strategies for Increasing Alumni Engagement

Client
HOSA-Future Health Professionals
Faculty
Quintin Haynes
Team
Joyce Chiao, Alexandra Hare, Farah Louis, Viktoriya Syrov
HOSA-Future Health Professionals (HOSA) is an international organization that supports students pursuing careers in healthcare through leadership training and competitive events. Despite having served over two million members, HOSA lacks a robust alumni engagement strategy to leverage this population, with only 20,000 alumni currently registered in their database. HOSA engaged a Capstone team to assist with developing a strategy to grow their alumni network and increase industry brand awareness. The team completed external and internal assessments of current alumni engagement practices, evaluated areas for improvement, and determined motivating factors for alumni engagement. The team’s assessments consisted of a literature review; over 40 interviews with external and internal stakeholders; a survey of members and alumni; and an analysis of HOSA’s membership databases, social media platforms, and website. Building on their findings, the team delivered a strategic plan for enrolling and engaging alumni that incorporates recommendations for cultivating brand awareness and industry partnerships.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Guiding Strategic Planning Through Program Evaluation

Client
Homeless Services United
Faculty
Kevin Hansen
Team
Favio German, Scott Leisner, Ziye Li, Stacy Sakane
Homeless Services United (HSU) is a coalition of nonprofits serving the homeless population and at-risk adults and families in NYC. HSU provides advocacy, information sharing, technical support, and training to its 50 member agencies to expand their capacity and maintain their high-quality service provision. HSU enlisted a Capstone team to evaluate the organization’s program implementation and development processes. The team conducted a review of the organization’s operational framework and program design, interviewed key stakeholders, and undertook comparative research of best practices in program evaluation. The team also surveyed member organizations regarding their experiences in service delivery to identify current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improving HSU’s support of their members. Given the results, the team crafted a final report including an analysis of gaps in the program implementation, program assessment tools, targeted recommendations for leveraging the findings, and tools to facilitate a short- and long-term strategic planning process.
Capstone Year

Improving Thrift Store Donor Experience

Client
Goodwill Industries of Greater New York & Northern New Jersey
Faculty
Erica Hamilton
Team
Harry Adler, Staphany Lu, Brian O’Neil, Liliana Sanchez Montenegro
Goodwill Industries aims to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the dignity and power of work. The organization uses revenues generated from their thrift store sales to fund their programs and services. Facing changing trends in the donated goods space, Goodwill NYNJ enlisted a Capstone team to develop strategies to improve the donor experience. The team conducted 10 observational store visits across five diverse locations and spoke with over 50 donors. Based on their assessments, the team identified several key areas of improvement for Goodwill NYNJ and recommended the following three changes to improve the donor experience: a detailed strategic communication plan via social media and email marketing to more effectively communicate with donors throughout the donor lifecycle; a revamped Standard Operating Procedures guide to ensure a consistent and top-notch level of customer service across all store locations; and a new loyalty program to develop lifelong donors and advocates.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Informing the Planning Process of a Museum’s Creation

Client
American Museum of LGBT History & Culture
Faculty
Sonia Balaram
Team
Greta Essig, Arman Hirose-Afshari, Christina Napolitano, Katharine Zeigler

Over the past two years, a committee of LGВТ community leaders and activists took preliminary steps towards creating a museum focused on LGВТ history and culture. The committee enlisted a Capstone team to research the stages of museum development and create recommendations for a strategic plan. The team performed extensive research on how museums are founded and shaped, conducted an environmental scan to understand the landscape the new museum would be entering, developed a strategic business plan to help guide the committee through the early stages of the museum’s development, and generated a set of final recommendations. The team’s research findings, business plan, and recommendations culminated in a final report that will inform the planning group as they pursue the establishment of the museum.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Informing a Strategic Planning Process

Client
AchieveMission
Faculty
Erica Foldy
Team
Elizabeth Angeles, Molly Canavan, Tracey Kirke, Emily Klinger, David Ng
Achieve Mission is a national consulting firm committed to enhancing the impact of social sector organizations through leadership development and talent management. Following the fulfillment of its first strategic plan and a change in leadership, AchieveMission engaged a Capstone team to inform its second strategic plan. The team completed an internal and external assessment, a literature review, and an environmental scan to develop a solid understanding of the market in which AchieveMission operates. The team also interviewed and surveyed a variety of stakeholders—including employees, clients, prospective clients, and board members—and analyzed AchieveMission’s governance and operations. The team synthesized their findings into a final report for AchieveMission’s leadership team and board. The report included actionable recommendations around service offerings, target clients, and internal structural recommendations.
Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

Marc Vigliotti

Marc Vigliotti
EMPA 2016
Director, National Outreach
Natural Resources Defense Council

Vrunda Vaghela

Vrunda Vaghela
MUP 2014
Director, National Initiatives
Enterprise Community Partners