Submitted by Harvard Business School Club of New York
Community Partners, a program of the Harvard Business School Club of New York that provides pro-bono consulting and business advice to New York area non-profits, announced the winners of its first ever Community Partners Leadership Award for excellence in leadership and demonstration of best practices in non-profits. Community Partners received 55 applications from its clients of the past ten years, chose 10 finalists and selected a winner of a Gold award, a Silver award, and two Bronze awards. The winners were announced last night at an event that included a panel discussion moderated by Harvard Business School Professor Kash Rangan focused on best practices in non-profit management.
In the fiscal 2013-2014 period, Community Partners delivered the equivalent of $5.4 million in pro bono consulting services. HBS alumni volunteers provided consulting services on issues ranging from organizational growth and strategic planning to marketing and public awareness; from budgeting and financial planning to governance and general management; and from mission definition to program analyses. Each project is unique and is tailored to the needs of the nonprofit client.
Ava Zydor, Community Partners Co-Chair, said: “Non-profits serve an essential function in our communities, and developing the skills and knowhow to operate efficiently and productively maximizes their impact. We are thrilled to recognize these four non-profit organizations for their leadership and best practices and the positive examples they set for other non-profits.”
Award Winners for Outstanding Leadership
Gold Award ($25,000): Per Scholas
Creating a Successful, Scalable Model
Bronx-based Per Scholas has pioneered a unique model of workforce development in the technology area which has proven effective and scalable. Per Scholas offers free technology training to unemployed and low income individuals to directly address the nationwide skills gap. Per Scholas works with employers to design curriculum that meets their needs. This tailored specific training is then provided to the students in full time classes that last between 2-4 months. Through support and coaching over a 2-year period, Per Scholas aides the students to advance from an initial entry-level job averaging $30,000 a year to $65,000 a year positions. One year after their first job placement, 75% of graduates of the program were already working at a median wage 20% higher than the year before. Per Scholas has replicated the New York model in 5 cities across the country with additional locations planned.
Silver Award ($10,000): Bronx River Alliance
Providing Strong Community Leadership
Bronx River Alliance serves as a coordinated voice for the Bronx River and develops the Bronx River Greenway, working in partnerships to reclaim the area and provide healthy, ecological, recreational, educational and economic resources for the nearby communities. For the past 14 years Bronx River Alliance has focused on the idea that the process is at least as important as the outcome, involving the community in all of their work. The organization demonstrates best practices in building partnerships with NYC Parks Department as well as several organizations which focus on jobs training.
Bronze Awards ($2,000 each):
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Innovative Revenue Generation and Marketing
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a 27-year old organization preserving and interpreting the history of immigration through personal experiences of generations of newcomers and enhancing the appreciation for the role of immigration in shaping America’s history. The organization has done a remarkable job of growing consistent with a well-developed strategic plan which tracks progress against quarterly operating goals and programs. The organization has an intense focus on metrics including earned income which has grown to 70% of operating costs.
NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
Execution of a Strong Strategic Planning Process
The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project aims to end violence in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected communities through hands-on direct services and action as well as education, advocacy, and leadership development in the community. To be effective within their 10 sites in New York, the organization has involved their Board, the senior management, and staff in a strategic thinking and planning process which monitors their accomplishments, function-by-function and site-by-site, and makes adjustments in direction as needed to stay on strategy and maximize success. With the aim of not only preventing violence but also changing minds and attitudes, they actively use the tools of objective setting, planning, program management, and review to reach their aims.
About Community Partners
Community Partners provides pro bono consulting and business advice to local nonprofit organizations through well-defined consulting projects. A program of the Harvard Business School Club of New York, Community Partners’ mission is to create constructive partnerships between Harvard Business School alumni and nonprofit organizations in the greater New York City metropolitan area that are seeking assistance with business and management issues. The organization fulfills its mission by offering nonprofits cost-free access to the kind of professional expertise they may otherwise not be able to afford. In turn, Community Partners’ client nonprofit organizations offer HBS alumni volunteer opportunities to serve the community in which they live or work in a truly meaningful way. For more information: http://hbscnycommunitypartners.org
Community Partners is governed by a Board of HBS alumni committed to promoting public service and volunteerism within the alumni community. In addition to our Board, we have four interest group committees in the fields of Arts & Culture, Education, Environment & Health, and Social Services. Members of our Board and committees organize all pro bono projects for nonprofit clients, and serve as coordinators over the course of each project. We have completed projects on issues ranging from organizational growth and strategic planning to marketing and public awareness; from budgeting and financial planning to governance and general management; and from mission definition to program analyses. Each project is unique and is tailored to the needs of our nonprofit clients.
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