Subject Area: Donation Expansion
Region: Northeastern United States
Industry: Non-Profit Youth Mentoring
Company: DREAM Program Inc
Decision Maker: Mike Foote
Challenge: The DREAM Program Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides youth mentorship programs to children in low-income housing facilities in the northeast. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted major issues in DREAM’s funding sources that may lead to stagnation in the long-term. The client has expressed interest in finding other avenues of sustainable donation sources that will allow DREAM to continue to grow in the future. Our team has narrowed down two feasible options that Foote may be able to pursue: either launch a new social media campaign to attract new donors or implement new donation options that may entice both current and new donors alike.
Project’s Relevance: Team Composition
Our team was brought together due to our common interest in upholding community welfare through public goods and social enterprises. Each of us have a vested interest in making the world a better place and plan to pursue this in our careers post-graduation. We were inspired by DREAM’s dedication to closing the opportunity gap for children in our communities. As college graduates, we all have benefited immensely from our access to education and recognize the importance of supporting childhood learning.
As a team, we used our skills in our respective fields – finance, economics, entrepreneurship, and management – to analyze DREAM’s challenge and formulate the best possible solution. Our team members and their unique experience are listed below:
John is a current Northeastern DREAM Mentor and used his experiences with the company to explore the current culture and status quo of the company. John hopes to use this experience as a jumping off point to work with a Non-Profit in the future.
Savanah utilized her knowledge of entrepreneurship to identify new and creative options for DREAM’s growth. She plans to use this consulting experience to guide her career in Human Resources.
Anthony applied his knowledge of accounting by conducting industry analysis. Anthony will use these skills in the future as he pursues Business, Nonprofit, and Individual Tax Compliance and Planning.
Megan used her knowledge of economic markets in DREAM’s internal and external analysis. She will continue to work to boost childhood education through funding school districts in Public Finance.
Mira employed her consulting experience to help create a strong overall plan and communicate the team’s thoughts and ideas. This project gave her the chance to learn about acquiring funding which will help her in her career in Human Resources.
Connecting with the Company’s Reality and Investing in Social Capital:
Methodology & Data Generation
Our team conducted different primary and secondary research to better understand the problem DREAM was facing. Through our interview with Mike Foote, we were able to uncover the current state of DREAM, as well as the desired future state of the non-profit organization. We were also able to gather information from Mike and other online resources, like reports and analysis, to get a better understanding of the internal and external environment, competitive forces, and industry of DREAM. To dive deeper, our team also reached out to different non-profit consultants via LinkedIn to better educate ourselves on methods of donations and possible financial routes. After deeper analysis, our team was able to formulate the most efficient strategy for acquiring donations for DREAM and assist with the organization’s sustainability.
Generating Value and Investing in Professional Capital: Findings and Recommendations
After analyzing the organization, the industry, and the potential donation options through SWOT and PESTEL, we concluded that DREAM’s best course of action is to pursue the long-term giving solutions through Donor-Advised-Funds, Bequests, and Planned Giving. Using our knowledge of the non-profit industry as well as our backgrounds in Finance, Accounting, and Marketing, we believe that this option will fulfill the long-term issues that concern Mike and the DREAM Organization. If DREAM decides to go this path, it will provide a sustainable long-term competitive advantage. The frameworks used in class supported our logic in identifying the best option to meet the DREAM’s Stakeholder’s expectations.
Strategic Vision: Capitalizing on the Project
This project has been an important stepping-stone for all members of our consulting team. Through investigating the company’s internal and external environment we were able to hone our data analytic skills as well as deepen our understanding of the non-profit industry overall. Working with one another has made us better communicators, better time-managers, and better coworkers. We have learned to overcome difficult challenges, and from that each member has gained confidence in their ability to formulate and present innovative ideas to industry professionals. This project has made us better critical thinkers, and as a result, will help us to continue to grow as we progress in our careers.