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Local Growth & Roll-Out

An Experiment in Scaling Impact: Assessing the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation provides a comprehensive assessment of its five year experiment called "Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot" which started in 2007. The pilot tests whether a new form of coordinated, collaborative philanthropy could help high-performing organizations expand to significant, sustainable scale and improve the life prospects of America’s growing numbers of economically disadvantaged youth.

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work
This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review provides a deep analysis of collective impact. Three conditions must be in place before launching a collective impact initiative: an influential champion, adequate financial resources, and a sense of urgency for change. Together, these preconditions create the opportunity and motivation necessary to bring people who have never before worked together into a collective impact initiative and hold them in place until the initiative’s own momentum takes over. This article provides examples of collective impact, how to bring it to life, and how to measure its impact.

Citizen Schools: Creating a strong program locally as a basis for national expansion
When Citizen Schools launched its after-school program in Boston in 1995, it already had its eye on broader horizons. “We always intended to use growth to drive larger change,” said President and Co-Founder Eric Schwarz. “In addition to running a Boston R&D lab, running a national network of branded Citizen School programs would be an important strategy.” But the organization was patient, fine-tuning its innovative apprenticeship model and carefully tracking outcomes for Boston youth until it had established a solid foundation. In 2001, when Citizens Schools was finally ready to expand, it grew along three dimensions: extending the program in Boston, developing a training program for other organizations, and expanding to other cities. By maintaining clear outcomes and investing in key talent along the way, Citizen Schools has actually improved its quality as it’s grown.

Community-Service Group Develops a Guidebook to Manage Growth
This article discusses the approach that City Year, a Youth service corps, takes when deciding to expand its program into another city. The organization developed a list of criteria each site must meet to ensure that it is "operationally sound and sustainable."

Ensuring that Bigger is Better
Explores how nonprofit federations manage themselves and how the national offices can achieve their full potential by giving affiliates four tangible benefits: a valuable national brand, a reliable system for measuring performance, shared administrative services, and coordinated fund-raising.

Expanding the Supply of High Quality Public Schools
Everyone knows that individual schools work, but how can what works be effectively reproduced in other contexts?

Going to Scale: The Challenge of Replicating Social Programs
Tackles question of how proven nonprofit programs can increase their reach beyond single communities and how nonprofits can think about the decision to replicate and steps they can take through lessons learned by Jumpstart, City Year and STRIVE.

Greater than the Sum of Its Parts, Part I: A Regional Perspective on Changing Demographics
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) prepared this report to offer practical lessons from the experiences of four nonprofit leaders in the VPP portfolio who expanded to new jurisdictions to fill unmet service needs. In addition to interviews with each of the four leaders, long-time observers of the region’s human services sector also shared insights about the short- and long-term implications of the demographic trends in light of the economic crisis that the region, the country and the world are experiencing.

Growing Bigger Better: Lessons from Experience Corps' Expansion in Five Cities Executive Summary
This summary presents key findings from the full report, Growing Bigger Better, which examines the Experience Corps program's four-year expansion initiative. The summary briefly considers whether and how the local sites, and the program as a whole, benefited from the expansion effort and presents lessons that are relevant to other programs considering expansion.

Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations
In January 2004, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation commissioned the Bridgespan Group to study growth in U.S. youth-serving organizations: the prevalence of growth, the factors that were critical in shaping how these organizations grew, and the major consequences of growth. We hoped that by increasing our understanding of this phenomenon, we could become more effective in our own work. We also hoped that these efforts would be useful for other organizations committed to supporting nonprofits that serve young people.

Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations: Appendices
Executive summary of the white paper, "Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations," commissioned by The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity
In this book, Morino calls on funders to empower nonprofits to manage smarter through greater use of information on performance and impact. The book also includes essays written by sector leaders with hands-on experience leading the transition to managing to outcomes, a framework to help organizations begin "managing to outcomes" and a compendium of relevant readings.

Locally Grown: Key Strategies for Expanding Workforce Services
This report profiles three workforce organizations across the country—in Colorado, Georgia and New York—and explores the strategies they used to grow their programs locally. The report examines the dilemmas workforce organizations frequently face in meeting not only the needs of their dual customers—job seekers and employers—but also the needs of a third customer, the public funding agency that is often paying the bill. Along with a look at how these organizations created environments that supported staff in their work, the report also considers the ways a vision and commitment to the workforce field—beyond the interests of the organization—contributed to their success.

Managing Multisite Nonprofits
Explores ways to accommodate the unique dynamics of the multisite nonprofit organization to inform and inspire management decision and action by focusing on Outward Bound USA, Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, SOS Kinderorf, and The Nature Conservancy.

Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity [requires purchase]
Thanks to Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens, the nonprofit sector has a vocabulary to describe nonprofit capacity and understand what it looks like in each of seven stages: Idea, Start-up, Growth, Maturity, Decline, Turnaround and Terminal. This book is geared towards nonprofit executives and board members, foundation officers, consultants and evaluators, and dozens of academics for whom this book has become a core part of their management curricula.

Nonprofit M&A is No Oxymoron
This paper is a guide for nonprofits in mergers and acquisitions. John Macintosh provides advice on how to develop a successful collaboration among nonprofits.

Nonprofit Organizations and Their Local Affiliates: A Study in Organizational Forms
Compares two structures semi-autonomous franchise model and a wholly-owned branch office model against the distinctive management concerns of nonprofits and argues the advantages of the franchise structure and discussing mechanisms for enhancing intra-organizational coordination in that model.

Partnering with Intermediaries
The purpose of this paper, published by Grantmakers in the Arts, is to explore the dimensions of foundation-intermediary partnerships in order to inform future philanthropic strategy and practice. A prime strategy for extending a foundation’s reach and augmenting the knowledge and skills of its staff is to partner with a variety of intermediary organizations (IOs). In addition to providing specialized expertise, IOs can take on a variety of critical assignments, including program design and management, regranting, fiscal sponsorship, capacity building with subgrantees and convening and coordination of a field.

Pathways to Social Impact: Strategies for Scaling Out Successful Social Innovations
Discusses a conceptual framework to help social entrepreneurs systematically identify and assess their scaling options based on examination of historical success stories and interviews with numerous practitioners.

Public Allies: Building the Infrastructure for Growth
Strong support from AmeriCorps, fees from organizations who sponsor "Allies" and clearly documented program results have propelled Public Allies' growth. Over the years, Public Allies has worked hard to find the appropriate level of control and decentralization with its branches, and the organization recently decided to migrate all of its sites to a licensee model in which organizations or universities manage local programs, relieving some of the administrative and financial burden on local sites. Public Allies also is planning future growth with a new, lower cost model and a more targeted approach to site development.

Talent Initiative Case Study: Nonprofit with High Performing, Vibrant Culture Builds Talent Infrastructure to Support International Growth
Often, as nonprofit organizations grow and face new situations, or if other external factors such as the competition for talent change, human capital management practices that worked well in the past may no longer be effective. An organization’s human capital management capabilities need to evolve to keep developing the leadership and organization its strategy requires. A new case study on Root Capital provides an excellent example; sustaining its success through rapid growth required a conscious effort to maintain its shared culture and build its team’s capabilities. This case study looks at why an organization might think critically about its human capital management in order to preserve and continue a track record of success.

The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations: Where You Are, Where You're Going, and What to Expect When You Get There [requires purchase]
This book asserts that the life stage model is a powerful tool for understanding — objectively — an organization's current status and preparing it to move ahead to the future. This useful guide helps nonprofits understand where it is in its life and how to avoid unnecessary struggles and act on opportunities to boost the organization's development.

The Fulfillment Fund: Managing Programmatic Growth
Over the years, the Los Angeles-based Fulfillment Fund has received extensive support from individual donors, frequently relying on relationships with locally-based major studios and celebrities. This case study describes how the organization initially grew by adding programs to address students’ unmet needs and subsequently decided to double the number of students it served. It is an analysis of the consequences of these changes, unexpected management challenges, and new performance management strategy to satisfy a new base of funders.

The Growth of the Social Enterprise; Geographic Expansion: Branches, Affiliates, or Both?
Harvard Business School's Jane Wei-Skillern and Duke-based colleague Beth Battle Anderson discuss their analysis of some 300 social enterprises.

The Growth of YouthBuild
This case study highlights the strategic decisions made in the scaling process of YouthBuild. YouthBuild combined both replication and advocacy efforts to effectively scale its impact. Learn about the challenges it faced and how it got legislation passed and partnered closely with the federal government to support its expansion.

The Spiral of Sustainable Excellence
This article is adapted from a new book by Paul Light entitled Sustaining Nonprofit Performance: The Case for Capacity Building and the Evidence to Support It, published in 2004 by the Brookings Institution Press. Light compares a nonprofit’s life to a journey up and down a development spiral. Some organizations start with a simple idea for some new program or service and then move up the spiral toward greater and greater impact, progressing through five landings, or stops, along the climb while others linger at one stage or another, perhaps for long periods, without any guarantee that they would advance. He asserts that nonprofit development varies in direction and speed, which is why it is important to understand the organic history of an organization.