NYU Wagner Convocation | Classes of 2020 and 2021

The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service celebrated the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at New York City Center on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. We are proud of our exceptional graduates and grateful for the opportunity to recognize their accomplishments alongside friends, family, and faculty.

Barbara Ricci

Barbara Ricci
Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders 2019
Principal
Ricci Advisors LLC

CAPACITY BUILDING FOR SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING OUTCOMES

Client
HUNGER PROJECT
Faculty
Kathleen Apltauer
Team
Adi Gorstein, Harvey Han, Sasha Lopez

The Hunger Project (THP) is a nonprofit organization committed to ending hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their adoption worldwide. THP enlisted a team to examine barriers to successful fundraising in select countries in Africa. The team investigated global funding trends, interviewed THP country directors and fundraising teams, and analyzed the organization’s grant database. Based on its findings, the team recommended fundraising strategies for THP to adopt, including an emphasis on local fundraising opportunities, and designed strategies to improve communication among country offices, build technical capacity at the local level, and increase access to regional and local funding.

Capstone Year

Diversifying Revenue Streams in the Arts Impact Space

Client
Sing for Hope
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Nicole Howe, Stephanie Klarer, Sarah Worthen

Sing for Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the performing arts to transform lives. Each year, the Pianos Festival acts as a throughline for their programming in public spaces, schools, and hospitals, placing artist-designed pianos throughout NYC’s parks and public spaces for anyone and everyone to play. The Capstone team was tasked with helping the organization become more financially resilient by diversifying its revenue streams and decreasing its dependency on conventional fundraising methods. The team focused on leveraging the signature pianos program as an emblem of Sing for Hope’s organizational identity and visibility. They conducted a competitive landscape analysis as a means of distilling the organization’s unique value proposition among peer nonprofits to influence Sing for Hope’s communications with external stakeholders. Additionally, the team evaluated existing fee-for-service models and identified revenue-maximizing strategies. The project culminated in a final presentation and report summarizing the team’s insights and recommendations for a financial path forward.

Capstone Year

Bennett Rathbun

Bennett Rathbun
MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy 2015
Program Officer
Pilot House Philanthropy

Irfan Hasan

Irfan Hasan
MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy 2000
Deputy Vice President for Grants
The New York Community Trust

Strategic Direction in Mission-Related Investing

Client
Confluence Philanthropy
Faculty
Alexandra Ruiz
Team
Seth Abramson, Rose Harvey, Dana Schneider, Marisa Siroka

Confluence Philanthropy advances mission-aligned investing by supporting a community of 200 foundations, families, individual donors, and investment advisors committed to moving philanthropic assets towards mission-related investments. Confluence encourages collaboration, resource sharing, and leadership development across its membership by convening members and offering them technical assistance, resources, and educational programming. Approaching its 10-year anniversary, Confluence has reached a pivotal moment characterized by a growing membership and broader interest in the field of mission-related investing. To ensure that its strategic direction is informed by its members, Confluence engaged a Capstone team to perform a membership assessment. The team developed assessment tools, including three interview guides and two surveys designed with a focus on three research areas: membership composition, programmatic focus, and business model. The team conducted member interviews, administered the surveys, and synthesized and analyzed the data to discover key findings. The team’s recommendations provide guidance on how to incorporate members’ insights into strategic actions that strengthen the organization.

Capstone Year

Fundraising Assessment and Action Plan

Client
Asian American Film Lab
Faculty
Michael Dardia
Team
Yujia Chang, Chen Feng, Xiaoyuan Hu, Julianna Reitz, Qi Zhang

The Asian American Film Lab (AAFL) works to promote gender and ethnic diversity in films and elevate the voices of underrepresented groups. Each year, AAFL hosts several activities that are critical to the organization’s fundraising goals, including its annual gala, workshops, and a premier film festival event. AAFL enlisted a Capstone team to design a fundraising action plan to help optimize the organization’s fundraising activities and identify potential alternative sources of revenue. The Capstone team conducted analyses utilizing the donor base and the competitor landscape. Additionally, the team executed a cost-benefit analysis of AAFL’s existing programs. The team’s final deliverable to AAFL comprises a general fundraising activities assessment, a program-oriented fundraising assessment, and an action plan for implementation.

Capstone Year

Industry Scan of Philanthropic Intermediaries

Client
NEO Philanthropy
Faculty
Quintin Haynes
Team
Margarita Calbitaza, Suzanne Chipkin, Rina Cohen, Ariah Dow

NEO Philanthropy (NEO) is a philanthropic intermediary committed to building strong social justice movements. NEO enlisted a Capstone team to conduct an industry scan of peer philanthropic intermediaries working to bridge the gap between funders and grassroots nonprofits. NEO seeks to establish greater transparency and awareness in the field and among peer organizations. The team developed and administered a web-based survey to more than 50 organizations to better understand the programs and services philanthropic intermediaries provide to nonprofits and funders. The team analyzed and compiled the findings into a report that will help NEO better understand its positioning in the field; assess its current operations in relation to peers; and identify areas for growth, change, and potential realignment. The findings were also shared with all survey participants to strengthen their understanding of the field overall.

Capstone Year

Karen R. Brown

Karen R. Brown
MPA 1998
Vice President of Development and Philanthropic Services
Fairfield County's Community Foundation

Jonathan McGrath

Jonathan McGrath
Master of Urban Planning 2013
Communications & Engagement Manager
Safe Water Network

Marc Vigliotti

Marc Vigliotti
Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders 2016
Senior Director, Planned Giving
Save the Children US