Drawing on research and hands-on experience in organizational effectiveness and performance management, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) developed PropelNext, an intensive program designed to build the capacity of promising nonprofits to deliver high-quality services that improve life outcomes for increasing numbers of economically disadvantaged youth in the U.S. The first PropelNext cohort, which participated from 2012 to 2015, originally comprised 15 organizations across the country. EMCF led a second, California-based cohort of 15 organizations from 2015 to 2018 in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation. In fall 2018, a third cohort of 12 exclusively Northern California-based organizations began the program supported by the Edna McConnell Clark, William and Flora Hewlett, David and Lucile Packard, Sobrato Family, and Heising-Simons foundations.
Engage R+D examined both cohorts that have completed PropelNext on an organization-by-organization basis to answer the following questions:
- Improving overall organizational capacity and operations: How effective is PropelNext in stimulating improvements in organizational capacity and operations?
- Tracking areas of progress: In what areas of organizational functioning is PropelNext most effective in building the capacity of its grantees to serve underserved youth?