Strategic Planning - Social Enterprise Development
Strategic Planning & Marketing/Communications – Business Plan & Outreach Tools
Client: United Way of the Bay Area has worked for 80 years to harnesses creativity, expertise and philanthropy to create pathways out of poverty for struggling Bay Area families. United Way of the Bay Area combines forces with non-profits, grassroots activists, individual donors, corporations, and labor to fight poverty.
The year before seeking Walker and Associates Consulting's services alone, United Way invested more than $14.8 million in Bay Area nonprofit programs building pathways out of poverty.
Outcome: The consulting team facilitated survey and focus group research, wrote a compelling business plan and produced marketing outreach tools such as convenings and client profile videos. These tools have been leveraged by United Way in the development and operations of SparkPoint Oakland and to secure the support of new partners and funders. United Way was so impressed that they also asked Walker and Associates Consulting to leverage a framework produced by McKinsey & Company to develop a Regional Business Plan covering nine SparkPoint Centers across seven Bay Area counties which helped strategically guide SparkPoint's expansion.
Project: United Way was launching SparkPoint Centers across the Bay Area providing a full-range of services to low-income families for up to three years including personalized financial coaching, as well as programs that help families move up the career ladder, build assets and manage their credit. SparkPoint Centers were aiming to serve 12,500 families over the next five years helping them create step-by-step plans to tackle their unique needs and connect them to a comprehensive range of benefits and services. United Way of the Bay Area retained an external consulting team comprised of our partner NonProfit Communications and Walker and Associates Consulting to create a Business Plan and provide Marketing tools for the pilot center, SparkPoint Oakland.
profiles of their constituents; provided training on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals; helped the team brainstorm new ideas and identify their top five priorities; led the group in a fun team-building activity; and even captured action and group pictures of their Retreat. NR MAC felt rejuvenated and was very pleased with the experience, immediately offering to be a client reference for our work.
Outcome: Walker and Associates Consulting managed a productive and fun retreat that accomplished NR MAC's goals and ended on-time. Beyond agenda-setting and retreat facilitation we established ground rules for the day; reviewed and updated the team's scope of authority, policies, vision, mission and values; provided demographic and psychographic
Project: NR MAC blocked out a full day for a Retreat to focus on team-building, sharing community feedback, goal-setting and prioritization and to discuss the issues of crime, employment, building a stronger sense of community and increasing attendance and engagement at NR MAC meetings and events. With so much to accomplish in such a compressed time period NR MAC sought the professional services of Walker and Associates Consulting to prepare for and facilitate their Retreat.
Client: Contra Costa County’s North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council (NR MAC) is the advisory body that provides community input for the unincorporated area of North Richmond to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors. NR MAC advises around important community issues including unemployment, health, and public safety focusing on enhancing the quality of life for all residents and supporting businesses with projects that will create jobs for local residents.
Convening Management - Retreat Facilitation
Outcome: Walker and Associates Consulting delivered the final product on-time and within budget. In our “Landing Pad” survey CRDC rated our service as “excellent,” said they were “extremely satisfied” and felt their organization was better and stronger for having worked with us citing “excellent communication, great team players and amazing on-time completion against an impossible timeline.” Our Business Plan helped CRCD focus their enterprise on Graffiti Removal, a high demand service with powerful community impact, under a phased growth approach that was built upon lessons from the field, market analysis, management overview, and financial projections. The Plan set up CRCD for $500,000 in government contracts and was leveraged to secure additional private sector contracts.
Project: CRCD was launching a new Social Enterprise as a strategic outgrowth of its Neighborhood and Community Beautification Program. CRCD sought the help of Walker and Associates Consulting in creating a Business Plan inform the development and management of the enterprise and to aid in securing external funding to support the enterprise. There was a great sense of urgency as CRCD needed to submit the Business Plan along with a $600,000 grant application due only a month away.
services that address the needs of low-income residents and small businesses in South Los Angeles. CRCD runs three major programs: Neighborhood and Community Beautification, Workforce Development for Youth & Young Adults, and Housing and Economic Development.
Client: The Coalition for Responsible Community Development (CRCD) is a visionary, youth-centered, community development corporation operating in the Vernon-Central neighborhood of South Los Angeles. CRCD’s mission is to better sustain, coordinate, and improve local planning, development and community
Strategic Planning - Business Modeling
We strive to leave a positive impact on the organizations we serve. Here is a sampling of some of the clients we have impacted recently through our consulting engagements:
Client: The Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight Center) is a national research, consulting and legal organization dedicated to building economic health and opportunity in vulnerable communities. The Insight Center's mission is to help people and communities become, and remain, economically secure. Their program work spans Workforce Development, Savings & Asset Building, Early Care & Education and Legal
Services. The Insight Center also manages networks of people and organizations developing programs and policies and provides additional services such as research; program planning, implementation and evaluation; and advocacy and communication.
Project: Following a leadership transition placing Henry A.J. Ramos at the helm, The Insight Center sought to create organizational stabilization in preparation for future growth. Walker and Associates Consulting was called upon to assist The Insight Center in gaining consensus around an alternative, more sustainable business model. Walker and Associates Consulting worked with a Board committee and conducted interviews with key stakeholders including funders and clients, expert Board members and staff; fielded an online survey of the entire Board of Directors; assessed the pros and cons of five representative benchmark organizations to glean unique keys to their successful models; uncovered field trends related to best practice, organizational effectiveness and sustainability; recommended two feasible tracks to move forward on with supporting financial analysis and provided a comprehensive Implementation Plan with resource development and cost-cutting strategies.
Outcome: Walker and Associates Consulting’s final Board presentation led to organizational adoption of the recommended model and its supporting three-year implementation plan. The Insight Center’s Board and staff developed a common understanding of how the organization operates to deliver value to its clients and communities. The Insight Center’s structure (leveraging Senior Consultants and Advisors to build capacity and enhance scale), facilities (leveraging shared-costs and providing greater flexibility) and technology and data use (leveraging systems for enhanced network communication and research) all became key components of its next stage business model with lower costs and new revenue diversification strategies. CEO Henry A.J. Ramos said that Walker and Associates Consulting “helped us move forward as a more efficient, impactful and sustainable organization.”
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