The W.K. Kellogg Foundation made significant investments over the course of fifteen years to advance early learning in Harrisburg, PA and Atlanta, GA. We were engaged to measure the impact of investments and glean lessons for future foundation grants. After intensive study, we defined a set of lessons for how the Foundation can build sustainable success into projects starting from the earliest stages of investment.
School Readiness Consulting (SRC) provides relevant, strategic practice-based support to early childhood systems, programs, and education organizations. SRC specializes in policy advisement and evaluation services. SRC engaged us to advise on the best way to enhance their marketing and sales process. We also worked directly with SRC leadership to collaborate on a unique three-step visioning process, which helped the organization identify its core values, focus, and visionary goal over a five to ten year period. The information gleaned during the process was translated into a vision document that was a bold and clear statement of SRC’s purpose and mission.
The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning is an educational incubator that develops scalable innovations that are reinventing teacher professional development and student learning nationally and across the globe. Lastinger Center innovations are currently improving the education of over 1.3 million students and the practice of over 250,000 administrators and educators. Our long-standing relationship with the Lastinger Center began with the co-design of a communication strategy to widely promote its value and facilitate sustainable growth. We helped to articulate the Center’s complex work and value-add by designing a plan for a global audience. Most recently, we have advised them on the development of several, large-scale proposals and have help to refine a comprehensive business plan.
The Immokalee Foundation (TIF) has been working to break the cycle of poverty through educational opportunity for the last 24 years. During this time, the Foundation emerged as a provider of highly impactful education services and opportunity for the children of Immokalee, FL. Their services include interventions promoting college and career readiness, literacy support, financial aid, mentorship, and counseling. To encourage further growth and sustainable resource development, we supported TIF as they undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process to guide decisions regarding program refinement and sustainable impact.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation created the Dunbar Learning Complex to bring the best early learning programs and approaches in the nation to one of Atlanta’s poorest neighborhoods. We examined the many national and local partnerships integrated into the center’s work and created an action plan that will make them even more effective in improving young children’s lives. The resulting plan continues to guide and strengthen the Foundation’s efforts in Atlanta.
Take Stock in Children (TSIC) is one of the nation’s pre-eminent college access and completion organizations. It has helped over 22,000 students strive for college completion and currently serves 8,300 students across Florida. TSIC recruits 8th graders living in poverty and provides them with a volunteer adult mentor, a college readiness coach, and a Florida Prepaid Scholarship to ensure students attend and complete post-secondary programs. TSIC is a long-standing partner and has engaged us since 2012 in a variety of capacities. In order to enhance the organizational effectiveness of TSIC’s vast network of affiliate programs across the state of Florida, we created a Balanced Scorecard that will enable TSIC’s State Office to guide growth and development, rather than just monitor it. We have served TSIC as an independent evaluator of programming and operational effectives. As a trusted and reliable thought partner, we advise leadership on how to maximize their effectiveness and impact.
Housing Families (HFI) was created in 1986 by community members in the Greater Boston Area who were concerned about the crisis of homelessness among families. Since then, HFI has worked across MA to end family homelessness by providing safe, temporary shelter, quality affordable housing and supportive services to homeless and at-risk families. HFI is now recognized as one of the largest operators of affordable housing for homeless and low-income families in MA. We have continued to contribute to HFI’s growth efforts by offering advisement on emergent strategy and organizational development.
The Families and Work Institute (FWI) has been a national thought leader for the last 25 years, shaping the way we understand families and the workplace. FWI is dedicated to informing our nation about the ever-changing workplace and its relationship to family structure and communities. Its core value is its unique ability to bring research to action and practice. Our relationship with FWI began with a process evaluation of their ground breaking project Mind in the Making and Community Schools: Crossing Boundaries and Creating Strong Linkages for Children Birth through Eight and their Families. We were subsequently engaged to inform FWI’s strategic planning process by collecting, analyzing, and ideating with staff to create a clear sense of direction for their eventual planning efforts.
Leading for Children is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting leadership across all early learning roles and in turn, improving early learning systems and experiences across the nation. We helped founder Judy Jablon articulate her vision for the field and launch the organization.