We believe that innovative partnerships and creative collaboration can bring large-scale, sustainable, and replicable change to education, leadership, and capacity building. Through our partnerships, we build and leverage connections that bring together the hearts, minds, and resources needed to inspire and cultivate new models for investing in social change.
INVESTING IN NONPROFIT LEADERS
MISSION: Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL) serves as a leading education, research, and training center to develop nonprofit leaders and scholars, providing them with the skills and courage to effectively address social needs and civic problems. Its Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program is an experiential leadership lab designed for executive directors and senior managers of nonprofits.
PARTNERSHIP: The CPNL has been committed to diversity and scholarship support for its programs, but the need for financial assistance exceeded the program’s available scholarship funding. To address this gap and help the CPNL expand its outreach to engage more local leaders of diverse backgrounds, the Crimsonbridge Foundation partnered with the CPNL to create the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund to support diverse leaders from locally-based and locally-serving nonprofit organizations in the Greater Washington Region with partial and full scholarships.
OUTCOMES: An increase in scholarship funds and a targeted outreach strategy to diverse markets resulted in a significant rise in applications and an increase from 20 to nearly 40% diverse participants in the program. The program has a 100% approval review from participants, who have reported gains in leadership and management skills, as well as value in expanding their local network. Since 2016, 49 local nonprofit leaders have received support from the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund. In 2017-18, the CPNL’s strategic focus is to learn more about how nonprofits are promoting racial equity within their leadership, and the challenges nonprofits face in this area. The CPNL views the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund as a critical piece of this work.
HELPING STUDENTS CONNECT TO GREAT SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
MISSION: The Latino Student Fund (LSF) provides opportunities for a strong academic foundation for underserved Hispanic students in the Greater Washington Region. LSF strives to increase levels of educational attainment in the community by offering year-round, out-of-school-time programs for low-income, at-risk students and their families.
PARTNERSHIP: In 2016, staff from LSF and the Crimsonbridge Foundation met and two existing LSF programs were identified as poised for expansion: the Access Program and Listo Rápido. Through its Access Program, LSF focuses on increasing the enrollment of Latino students in quality independent and parochial schools by making the school search and application process more accessible to low-income, bilingual families. Crimsonbridge support enabled LSF to bring its part-time staff person to full-time, to double the number of families served, and strengthen its partnerships with local parochial schools. LSF also expanded Listo Rápido, a college preparation program that aims to increase college preparedness and access among underserved Hispanic youth at public high schools in the Greater Washington Region. These exciting program expansions motivated Crimsonbridge staff to meet with LSF’s executive director and board chair in early 2017, to learn more about their shared vision for organizational growth and development. Following that conversation, the Crimsonbridge Foundation invited LSF to submit a proposal for a multi-year grant to continue to expand the Access Program, build bilingual communications capacity, and support staff and board development. In summer 2017, LSF’s executive director was selected by Georgetown University to receive a Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund scholarship to attend the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program.
OUTCOMES: For the 2016-17 school year, more than 100 families participated in the Access Program, and 60 students newly enrolled in independent or Catholic schools, a 100% increase from 2015. 75 students participated in Listo Rápido, a 50% increase from the previous year. Students who agreed or strongly agreed that they understood the admissions requirements for college jumped from 59% to 100% after participating in the program. One third of the students in the program had never visited a college campus before participating in Listo Rápido (which included two campus visits). In 2018, Crimsonbridge partnered with LSF to translate its newly redesigned website into Spanish, to ensure accessibility for all students and families served by LSF. LSF also produced 20 to 30 bilingual social media films that highlight success stories and raise awareness of its programs among potential donors, volunteers, and students. In addition to implementing these vital communications capacity building projects, LSF has continued to expand the Access Program, allowing more students to receive a high quality education.
EDUCATING AND EMPOWERING GIRLS
MISSION: Girls on the Run of Montgomery County (GOTR MoCo) delivers a quality program that educates and prepares girls throughout Montgomery County, Maryland for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living, using an experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Established in 2007 as an independent council of Girls on the Run International, GOTR MoCo has served more than 28,000 girls over the past ten years and provided over $1 million in financial assistance to families in need.
PARTNERSHIP: GOTR MoCo strives to serve any girl who wishes to participate in the program, regardless of their families’ economic status. To achieve this aspect of the mission, GOTR MoCo prioritizes outreach to underserved communities, and works to make information about the program accessible to every family. Since the council was founded in 2007, GOTR MoCo has seen a significant increase in the number of Hispanic students in the schools that the program serves. In response to this demographic shift, GOTR MoCo translated all paper communications resources, such as registration forms and flyers, into Spanish to accommodate families that do not read English. The executive director also hired a full-time program coordinator who is fluent in Spanish, because many Spanish-speaking families were calling the office with questions about the program. When Crimsonbridge staff met with the GOTR MoCo executive director in 2017, it became clear that the organization would be a perfect candidate for the Bridges Program. Crimsonbridge Foundation awarded a $3,000 grant to GOTR MoCo for communications capacity building.
OUTCOMES: GOTR MoCo quickly developed and launched a Spanish-language microsite, which includes key information for families to understand general program information, season timeline, financial aid, and 5K information. They also developed three Spanish-language 5K videos, which give parents the most important information to make the 5K a safe and fun experience. In January 2018, GOTR MoCo was honored by Girls on the Run International with a Pacesetter Award for Marketing and Communications, acknowledging the importance of strategic communications capacity building. The GOTR MoCo executive director was invited to present the microsite and videos to the other 225 Girls on the Run councils, located around the country. Soon, the Spanish-language microsite created by GOTR MoCo will be available for use by every council in the country. This example of outsized impact illustrates the tremendous importance and value of investing in communications capacity building work in the nonprofit sector.