2011–12 Projects for Nonprofit Boards
Irmke Bonte ’12 worked with mentor Ayesha Vera Yu ’03 at Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK). As ARK sought to expand its organization to more communities in the Philippines, and to Tanzania or Colombia, Irmke analyzed potential new organization structure and resources the organization might need in order to expand.
Jayne Shelton ’12 and mentor Melissa Cheong ’09 worked on a project for Agora Partnerships to help strengthen the board practices. Jayne created a board member self-assessment form to rate the overall skills of the board. The results of the assessment could be used to form subcommittees or task groups. The assessment could also be used as an application to screen potential board members.
Ana Paula Gonzalez ’13 worked with mentor Christian Lee ’07 a board member at BronxWorks, an organization that fosters social and economic development in the Bronx. Ana worked closely with her mentor, along with the CEO and CFO of BronxWorks, to develop a tool that would allow the Finance and Accounting Department to better convey the cash status of the organization. Ann developed a method to record and track past information and present on the cash flows to the board in a meaningful way.
Julia Werb ’13 worked with Carnegie Hall and mentor Tess Mateo ’97 to develop a strategy for a new patron group called the Global Crescendo Council (GCC). Carnegie Hall has historically had problems losing donors after they leave the young patrons group and before they transition into the full patron program. Carnegie Hall plans to create a group for mid to senior level career executives. In her project, Julia created a project plan with steps to determine the needs of the group through execution. Julia also developed a preliminary strategy for the overall structure of the GCC including: dues, organization structure, recruiting ideas, and global partnership recommendations. Lastly, she drafted a survey to send to prospective members to evaluate the proposal.
Brae Holdridge ’13 began working with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and mentor Michael Boublik ’90, just as the museum was beginning to think about moving to a new, larger building. Brae was tasked with researching the various sources of capital that could be available for this endeavor. Brae researched Mission-Related Investing, Program-Related Investing, Community Development Financial Institutions, Community Development Entities, bonds and potential funding from the corporate sector. Brae presented her findings to the Executive Director of the Museum and one of its Board members. Her research is currently being used by outside advisors hired by the Museum.
Betsy Mell ’13 worked with Allan Levine ’95 and Citizen Schools, an organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Betsy developed a strategy for engaging members of the Columbia community, including students and alumni, to teach semester-long apprenticeships to middle school students.
Eric Metelka’13 worked with Brian Ricklin to help Creative Arts Workshops (CAW 4 Kids) improve their marketing materials. Eric analyzed their data and created visually-compelling charts. He used these charts, along with qualitative anecdotes, to design a four-page pamphlet that highlighted CAW's impact, recognition, and gorgeous art. Secondly, he helped CAW with their big fundraising gala for the year, by helping the organization recruit volunteers, prepare for and conduct the event. He then designed a pamphlet that was used to help raise funds for the Gala.
Michael Buchenholz ’13 worked with mentor Vivan Kuan at the CUE Art Foundation. Cue Arts is an arts organization dedicated to promoting culture by supporting the creativity of under- recognized artists by offering comprehensive arts education programming for artists and students, and interdisciplinary arts events for public audiences.
Working with Friends of the Children, an early intervention program for New York City youth, Mark Santangelo ’13 sought to improve the organization’s financial reporting processes. Mark’s involvement included assisting with cash flow forecasting, helping to create a monthly financial report for use by the board, and assisting the executive director on how best to operate moving forward.
Sarah Qian ’12 joined Girls Inc., an empowerment program for young women, to develop a new fundraising model and action plan for the organization. With mentor Judy Vredenburgh, Sarah worked to research corporations with strong women’s networks in order to potentially align with them, and also analyzed the approaches taken by similar non-profits. Finally, she presenting proposed next steps for transforming the fundraising strategy.
Marisa Holman ’13 worked with Tess Mateo ’97, board member of the United Nations - Girl Up Campaign, a national nonprofit UN campaign empowering young American women to develop programs geared at reaching out to young girls in impoverished nations. Marisa helped the year-old campaign formalize its business plan for 2013. She worked with the board members to identify their goals, establish action items and identify metrics to measure the success of those initiatives.
Jitender Chopra ’12 worked with mentor Pam Minetti ’81 and Graham-Windham , a social service agency. Jitender attended Executive Board meetings on an ongoing basis to understand, analyze and propose recommendations against the strategic challenges faced by the organization. Jitender worked to develop an Excel-based model to help improve organizational performance. The model captures and automatically generates measurable performance metrics for senior management and board member's review.
Working with Graham-Windham and mentor Pam Minetti ’81, John Anderson ’13 developed a marketing strategy for foster parent recruitment, and analyzed the organization’s existing recruitment process for inefficiencies. This worked required research with Graham-Windham’s community partners, and analysis of recruitment methods in order to hopefully expedite the process as a whole.
Rebecca (Becca) Kaufman ’13 worked with Sylvia Kier ’80 and the Iyengar Yoga Institute on her Non Profit Board Leadership project. She completed a market survey of the New York City yoga market, including Brooklyn, and helped the Institute update a spreadsheet documenting competitors' offerings. The Iyengar Yoga Institute was interested in expanding to Brooklyn so was interested in where expansion may be possible and what opportunity exists in the market. Becca also had a chance to attend a board meeting at the Iyengar Yoga Institute.
Jennifer Lynch ’12 and mentor Mimi Boublick ’90 worked with Jericho Project, an organization that helps homeless men and women move off the streets by providing housing, comprehensive counseling services and aftercare. Jennifer worked on assisting an outside consulting agency with a piece of their strategic plan for the organization.
Andrew Padilla ’13 worked with Literacy Inc. and mentor Shari Levine ’87 to research potential funding sources for this teen literacy program. Andrew focused on marketing research and fundraising strategies and, more specifically, worked to obtain lists of corporate donors to similar non-profits and of key people in corporate donor organizations.
Working with Chymeka Olfonse, Executive Director of MindsMatter, and John Bernstein ’08, Chairman of the Board, Lindsay Norcott ’12 helped to research and draft a three-year strategic plan for MindsMatter. MindsMatter has grown to nine chapters across the United States on an almost exclusively volunteer-led effort. Lindsay solicited feedback from chapter leaders on three pillars of the organization: Chapter Growth, High Quality Programming, and Staffing. By conducting over 25 interviews, Lindsay listened to the unique concerns and ambitions of individual chapters, compiled this feedback into areas of consensus, and made recommendations to the board for moving the organization forward.
Jason Simeral ’12 worked with Sue Memberg ’92 a board member at Mosholu Montefiore Center, a community based organization in the Bronx. Jason worked with a committee of board members and MMCC staff to develop fundraising goals, arrange event logistics and solicit donors.
While working with NY Foundation for the Arts and mentor Whitney Stevens ’90, Josie Chiles ’13 developed a sustainable, integrated marketing plan. She focused on social media and digital channels for Artspire, a NYFA online community for artists and arts organizations. Josie’s efforts on behalf of the NYFA helped build the organization’s credibility in the learning and development space.
Albert Lim ’13 worked with Matt Kirk ’08, Treasurer of the Board, and Alison La Ferlita, Chapter President, of Operation Homefront Tri-State, a non-profit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. Albert analyzed Operation Homefront Tri-State’s current revenue and fundraising sources and provided recommendations for growing the non-profit’s revenue base going forward.
Elisa Kerr Joia ’13 worked with Qualitas of Life Foundation, an organization aimed at providing financial education to the hispanic community in New York. Elisa helped Qualitas in its growth strategy, by proposing actions to increase its outreach and its average classroom size and attract more people to its courses. Actions were based on external benchmarks of other financial education organizations and the space in New York, interview with Qualitas' current partners and assessment of the organization itself.
Lanna Chan ’13 worked with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and CEO Melissa Berman on two key projects. In one of her projects, Lanna measured the effectiveness of philanthropy thoughtware by determining appropriate metrics to target various audiences. Additionally, she drafted an article discussing the rise, evolution, impact, and future opportunities of the global giving culture around the world.
Alexia Sadun ’13 paired with Soho Rep, an innovative contemporary theater in New York City. Alexia worked with mentor Naomi Usher to identify and engage new individual donors, and provide recommendations on how to engage these new prospects. She did a field study and research on Soho Rep’s current major donor and audience list, donor lists from other arts organizations as well as donor lists from local service organizations in Tribeca.
Tom Brasberger ’12 worked with George Polsky, the founder and director of StreetSquash, to explore governance issues related to a possible expansion of the program. StreetSquash is a Harlem-based urban youth enrichment program that combines academic tutoring, squash instruction, college preparation, community service and mentoring. Tom researched and presented best practices with regards to governance of expansion programs focusing on brand image, consistency of mission, funding sources, staff, and board of directors participation.
Edward Rayner ’13 worked with Streetwise Partners, a workforce development and career self-sufficiency organization for low-income individuals. Edward worked with Jon Friedland ’97, a board member of Streetwise Partners, and Tracey Allard, the organization’s executive director, to support the program’s expansion into Boston. He identified and researched organizations to source participants and mentors for the program and connected with those organizations in preparation of the 2012 launch.
Karen Goldfeder ’12 worked with the Westside YMCA and Lisa Canoura-Reid ’00 to assess cost of different program activities at the organization. Karen’s recommendations will help the YMCA staff and board assess allocation of appropriate resources and pricing decisions of the programs.