Highlights from the 2022 Project Wrap-Up Celebration. How CCT clarified Minds Matter Boston's direction to prepare them for growth and helped Bread & Roses Housing create a formula for action.
In June, the annual CCT Wrap-Up Celebration was held in person for the first time in two years! We got to mix and mingle and celebrate the accomplishments of our teams and clients, including:
Co-Chairs Lorri Veidenheimer and Lisa Coney kicked off the evening by sharing our latest initiatives, highlighting our new core values, and thanking both new and long-standing volunteers. The floor was then opened to this year's clients to share the dilemmas they faced, the learnings they gleaned and the impact they saw. A few were unable to attend in person, but still able to share their message, posted in full below. Over light fare and drinks, we finally got to see many friendly faces in person after months (or years) of emails, calls and Zoom meetings. It was gratifying to hear our clients' progress and the ways CCT helped advance their important work.
Words from Minds Matter Boston
Our organization now has a clear direction that is rooted in the needs of our community members and plays to the organization’s strengths. MMB’s next phase of growth and increased impact will be because of CCT’s hard work!
My experience with my CCT team has been nothing short of spectacular. CCT has helped Minds Matter Boston (MMB) kick off our next strategic planning cycle by:
Conducting stakeholder interviews to capture input from across our community regarding our next phase of growth;
Developing a competitive landscape analysis that gathers data from similar nonprofits to help us define our value proposition and identify other organizations serving a similar student population as well as potential partners;
Creating a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis.
As a lean organization with limited bandwidth, additional support from CCT has been critical to our success. CCT gave us the added capacity to conduct the data collection and analysis that is needed to lay the groundwork for our planning.
The CCT team recommended potential growth opportunities for the organization based on the feedback they collected from our key constituents and peer nonprofits. Their work helped us answer the age-old question: Do we plan for vertical or horizontal growth or both? We can now move forward with confidence that MMB should deepen our offerings across our college transition, college success, and career development programs. CCT went the extra mile and even made recommendations on what growth opportunities would easily align with our current strengths and resources and what would we could aspire to do with more capacity and expertise.
Our organization now has a clear direction that is rooted in the needs of our community members and plays to the organization’s strengths. MMB’s next phase of growth and increased impact will be because of CCT’s hard work! Thank you all so much!
Words from Bread & Roses Housing
By the end of the SWOT analysis project, the board of directors, executive director and staff better understood the organization's mission and had a roadmap on how to take advantage of its strengths, address weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities and deter threats.
CCT’s mission to amplify the impact of local non-profits has far reaching tentacles. It was through serendipity that Bread & Roses Housing was introduced to CCT. The organization had been awarded a grant from The Philanthropy Connection and been assigned two amazing grant liaisons. One of those individuals was a CCT volunteer – Valerie Godhwani. Valerie encouraged the organization to apply for CCT’s pro bono strategic consulting services after having many conversations with the executive director about the post-pandemic future of the organization. It was Valerie’s keen ear and insight that helped shape the baseline framework the organization needed to answer some of the existential questions that existed – a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. Thank you, Valerie, for your keen insight and introduction to CCT.
Of course, we followed Valerie’s recommendation to apply to CCT for a SWOT analysis project and were successful! The award and engagement started a months long journey with our CCT team to break down the acute ontological questions the organization faced and turn it into a formula for action.
It was very clear from the beginning that our team would not codify an arbitrary list of strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities – it had to be a formula for action. Our strengths were aligned with opportunities, and weaknesses aligned with threats horizontally. An example of this alignment was pairing our commitment to the success of homeowners to the opportunity to train first-time homebuyers with the skills they’ll need to fix and maintain their homes. Matching a strength to a market opportunity will lead the organization to insights which drive quicker and more effective decision making, or “aha moments.”
The team evaluated our weaknesses and threats the same way but with a benevolent and impartial lens – encouraging the organization to consider our own internally based weaknesses and self-subscribed blind spots in order to align those weaknesses to the threats faced, whether from competing organizations or market risks, and leverage the resulting insight to prioritize the challenges in order to draw real conclusions and build plans to mitigate those external factors.
By the end of the SWOT analysis project, the board of directors, executive director and staff better understood the organization's mission and had a roadmap on how to take advantage of its strengths, address weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities and deter threats. Similar to the genesis of this project, the lasting impact of this project will have far reaching tentacles. The SWOT analysis project will have a wide range of applications including providing a visual overview of the organization, offering insight to advance more effective and systematic decision making, integrating and synthesizing strategies to better foster our mission, and promoting continued discussion about the future of the organization as we bridge the end of this project with the beginning of a strategic planning process – a first in the organizations’ 34-year history.
Thank you CCT Boston for amplifying the work we do and for connecting us to the amazing team that worked on the SWOT analysis project – Amy Casher, Chris Cramton, Peter Donovan, Julie Fox, Lisa Hillebrand, Fernando Pachas-Luna, Sarat Pothuri, Todd Randolph, Yicong Li, Alissa Snowden and David Woodrow. Special thanks to our assigned CCT Team for your valiant effort to resolve existential questions, identify factors that impact the organizations’ functioning, and ensure Bread & Roses Housing remains relevant and viable in the future. Your work is a transformative bridge to our first strategic plan. Thank you!