CCT has awarded its 2023 consulting grants, each valued at $100,000 in services, to ten nonprofit organizations in the Boston area. Over the next five months, the consulting engagements will address a variety of strategic issues, ranging from business planning to growth and marketing analyses. The following nonprofits were chosen based on demonstrated need, organizational stability, and readiness to plan and implement change.
Boston Post Adoption Resources - Mental Health & Crisis Intervention
Community Consulting Teams of Boston - Community Improvement
Family Access Newton - Youth Development
La Alianza Hispana - Human Services
Mystic River Watershed Association - Environment & Farming
Plummer Youth Promise - Human Services
The Family Van - Youth Development
The Umbrella Community Arts Center - Arts, Culture & Humanities
Worcester Center for Crafts - Arts, Culture & Humanities
Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy - Environment & Farming
Among the selected clients are a few returning clients, including Plummer Youth Promise, who received a strategic assessment in 2019. Following that project, Executive Director Nicole McLaughlin shared, "It was our second project and, in both cases, it was very clear that we could not have moved on the projects without CCT's help, from both a skill and bandwidth perspective. They gave us the tools and scoring devices for prioritization. In the last month and a half, the leadership team has been very actively using the analytical tools and filters provided by CCT to help clearly define the organization's highest priorities."
It was very clear that we could not have moved on the projects without CCT's help, from both a skill and bandwidth perspective.They gave us the tools and scoring devices for prioritization. In the last month and a half, the leadership team has been very actively using the analytical tools and filters provided by CCT to help clearly define the organization's highest priorities. - Nicole McLaughlin, Executive
Volunteer teams have been assigned projects and became acquainted with their respective clients at a Project Kickoff event at Boston's Nonprofit Center early January. Behind the scenes, Project Managers and Sponsors have been working on refining project scopes to provide their clients with actionable deliverables.
Learn more about CCT's new projects below.
Boston Post Adoption Resources
Since 2012, Boston Post Adoption Resources has been providing adoption competent therapy to individuals touched by adoption. They connect people to post adoption resources and educate the public about the impacts of adoption. Through their services, BPAR invites those touched by adoption to join their community in an environment that encourages lifelong healing. The need for their services continues to grow. Additional traumas and stress exacerbated by the pandemic, racial reckoning, and political challenges increase the requests for therapy.
BPAR wants to augment their clinical practice by focusing on the education part of their mission with a Learning Center. The Learning Center will be an online educational platform for all professionals, adoptees, and adoptive families. Current clients would also benefit by taking courses on adoption-specific topics to help them concurrently in their treatment. Through stakeholder and peer analysis, this project will make the strategic recommendations that BPAR can use to develop their implementation plan for the Learning Center.
Learn more: https://bpar.org/
Community Consulting Teams of Boston
CCT recently updated its Mission Statement to read “Our mission is to amplify the impact of local non-profits through pro bono strategic consulting projects performed by teams of experienced professionals.” Despite this update, their mission remains as it has since their founding – helping other non-profit organizations address strategic issues by providing actionable recommendations so that they are able to increase their impact on their constituents.
With the ultimate goal of enhancing its product offerings, CCT would like to engage a CCT project team to complete an analysis of the market for its services, including market sizing (an exploration of the range of clients CCT could serve) and an investigation of project categories (e.g. marketing, expansion/growth, HR, fundraising, governance, implementation) and project design (e.g. length, structure, team size and make-up). CCT would like the project team to provide a prioritized roadmap for testing or implementing their recommendations around market opportunities.
Learn more: https://www.cctboston.org/
Family Access Newton
For over 100 years, Family Access empowers and strengthens families and the community by providing programs that nurture child development, promote effective parenting skills and support working parents. Their Child Assault Prevention (CAP) program is at an inflection point, due to the changes in elementary schooling during the pandemic, the availability of adult volunteers during school hours, and the loss of the program’s largest client.
Even though this program has a successful 30-year track record, Family Access of Newton is seeking help to redefine the business model of the CAP program with consideration to historic trends and future opportunities. A successful project will outline CAP’s possible routes to continued relevance and success by exploring untapped market opportunities and best practices in curricula, staffing and revenue models, thereby reaching as many kids as possible in its mission to keep kids safe.
Learn more: https://familyaccess.org/
La Alianza Hispana
La Alianza Hispana’s mission is to improve the lives of the Latino community of Massachusetts. In partnership with the community they serve, they provide educational, health, and workforce programs in order to create a society in which all members can realize their fullest potential.
La Alianza wants to open a daycare facility for the women/children in their constituency because there are limited affordable childcare options for them. They are asking CCT to build a business plan that explains how they can move forward with this child care program. The project will include a financial analysis and business plan focused solely on how to proceed with this daycare program.
Learn more: http://www.laalianza.org
Mystic River Watershed Association
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MYRWA) was founded in 1972 with a mission to protect and restore the Mystic River, its tributaries and watershed lands for the benefit of present and future generations and to celebrate the value, importance and great beauty of these natural resources. Their vision is a vibrant, healthy and resilient Mystic River watershed for the benefit of all their community members. To achieve this, the Mystic River Watershed Association is protecting water quality, restoring important habitat, building climate resilience, transforming parks and paths, and inspiring youth and community members.
MYRWA has grown significantly in recent years and needs guidance on developing an organizational structure that will allow them to keep their entrepreneurial spirit, ensure sustainability, and address staff development and management needs. They would like to have transparency for staff about compensation/raises, career development, competencies, and evaluations. They recognize the importance of and need for organizational development to achieve goals, to pursue new projects and funding, and for organizational sustainability.
Learn more: http://www.mysticriver.org
Plummer Youth Promise
Young people who leave the foster care or juvenile justice system without safe, stable and permanent family connections face grim outcomes, including high rates of homelessness, unemployment, early parenting, and lack of education. Plummer Youth Promise is changing that by deeply and effectively engaging families for each young person they serve while building their skills and community connections, and by sharing their knowledge and expertise with others in the field.
In 2016 Plummer created an internal consulting group - the Permanency Practice Leadership team (PPL). The PPL team provides Plummer staff with substantial training and supervision from some of the country’s foremost experts, which has resulted in better outcomes for youth. It also serves as a national training and consulting team for public and private child serving agencies. This extends the reach beyond Plummer’s direct care, as they train leadership and clinical skills to Directors, CEOs, managers, and direct care staff across the country.
Plummer must strategically address the financing of the PPL team and seeks CCT’s help in creating a business plan and strategic options to achieve long term financial sustainability. The focus will be on developing a pricing strategy for existing consulting and training services, a business case for new products/services as additional revenue, and the appropriate staffing/cost structure to support these revenues. The goal is to sustain the national training and consulting, ensure opportunities for continued growth and innovation, and ultimately increase young people’s access to permanency expertise to reconnect them to family.
Learn more: http://www.plummeryouthpromise.org
The Family Van
The Family Van is a mobile clinic that provides free, preventive health services in Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston under the auspices of Harvard Medical School. Mobile Health Map builds on their work locally to strengthen the mobile health sector across the U.S. The Family Van’s mission is to educate, counsel and assist community members in strengthening and protecting their bodies, minds, and communities. Mobile Health Map's mission is to measure, maximize, and communicate how mobile clinics improve health, save money, and advance equity. Despite their different missions and brands, the programs are operated by the same team with the same infrastructure. They share many of the same challenges with data capture, storage and use.
Mobile clinics reach populations that do not typically engage with traditional healthcare. The Family Van/Mobile Health Map (TFV/MHM) program works both locally in Boston’s under-resourced communities and nationally as a leader in the mobile healthcare industry. This operational and strategic data management project will:
Facilitate staff’s documentation of the gaps in the current state of their data and systems.
Analyze the best practices of comparable organizations, make recommendations, identify resources and a plan required to implement and sustain the recommendations.
Identify new strategic and innovative uses of data to support the mission and expand the impact of The Family Van and Mobile Health Map.
The goal of the project is to make the program’s data more effective in identifying ways to improve health outcomes and enhance client, volunteer and donor engagement.
Learn more: http://www.familyvan.org/
The Umbrella Community Arts Center
The Umbrella Community Arts Center (UAC) enriches lives and builds a vibrant and inclusive community through the arts. They promote creativity, learning, personal growth, and cultural exchange through accessible arts education programs, performing and visual arts presentations, and community collaborations. Just before the pandemic they finished work on a major construction project that included a new Education facility and two new Performing Arts venues.
As they moved back into the new building in 2019, The Umbrella’s Performing Arts program moved from a community theater model to The Umbrella Stage Company, Boston’s newest professional theater company. CCT is being asked to assess the market opportunity for UAC Performing Arts programming and determine how it can build its audience. This assessment will include an audience survey, a market analysis of the footprint from which it can draw customers, and a competitive assessment of other performing arts centers in the area and nationwide. CCT consultants will use this work to refine UAC Performing Arts’ positioning and its marketing plans.
Learn more: http://www.theumbrellaarts.org
Worcester Center for Crafts
Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is the oldest non-profit, educational craft center in the US, founded in 1856. It has evolved over the past 164 years into New England's leading public center for craft education, exhibition & entrepreneurship. In 2009, WCC expanded its vision as a community resource when it affiliated with Worcester State University (WSU) to create a unique public/private partnership that allowed the Center to remain an independent 501c3 org by providing studio space for WSU classes.
WCC is seeking CCT’s help in laying the groundwork for their next 3-year strategic plan. Specifically, a CCT project will include:
An assessment of potential new funding and revenue sources for WCC for the immediate future and next 3-years.
Recommendations on the organizational structure and capabilities needed to drive its financial needs.
Recommendations on brand positioning and marketing strategies that enable WCC to stand on its own and be seen as independent of WSU.
Learn more: https://www.worcestercraftcenter.org/
Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy
The Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy builds broad community and seeks to model sustainable practices through active learning, organic agriculture, land stewardship, and an appreciation of their historic New England farm. They have five departments (Agriculture, Education, Farm To Go, Events, and Kitchen) with operations that include: growing certified organic vegetables, fruits, and flowers for local consumption; farm-based educational experiences for people of all ages through structured programs and informal learning; public and private events, providing a venue for recreation, leisure, and gathering.
As consumer habits are changing with the “reopening” of the post-pandemic economy, WLFC is in need of a more comprehensive understanding of their current customer base across departments, including who they are, their interest in Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy, and resonant messaging, thereby providing a foundation for full-funnel, lifecycle marketing efforts. Deliverables of this project are likely to include:
Value propositions and positioning statements
Marketing best practices survey of peer organizations
Learn more: http://www.wlfarm.org