All consulting projects are tailored to meet the goals and resources of each client (see Representative Clients for a list). Examples of projects include the following:
Services to Nonprofits
Urban Edge, a community development corporation founded in 1974, is dedicated to strengthening communities and families by building affordable housing and vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. In 2013, Diane led the development of a five-year strategic plan for Urban Edge, working in collaboration with Laurie Gould from VIVA Consulting. The process incorporated extensive community outreach and broad stakeholder contributions and buy-in. UE’s strategic plan features a long-range vision for the future, five primary outcomes to be achieved over five years accompanied by specific indicators of success, and financial projections. In 2016, she consulted with UE to analyze accomplishments measured against the strategic plan after 30% of the plan’s completion including facilitating a board/staff retreat and reflection process.
Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership is a leading nonprofit dedicated to connecting the residents of Greater Boston with safe, decent homes they can afford. MBHP empowers families and individuals to move along the continuum from homelessness to housing stability. Diane facilitated the creation of a five-year strategic plan in 2015–2016, and supported its successful implementation by working closely with the staff to craft a detailed year-one action plan with specific measures of success. She also assisted MBHP to develop a dashboard reporting process to highlight progress at meeting the goals of the plan.
IBA - Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, based in Boston’s South End neighborhood, empowers and engages individuals and families to improve their lives through high-quality affordable housing, education, and arts programs. Diane co-facilitated a multi-year strategic plan for IBA with Laurie Gould of VIVA Consulting using a comprehensive, inclusive process of stakeholder engagement and analysis, program planning, visioning, and setting measures of success. After the five-year plan was adopted by the Board of Directors in the summer of 2016, she co-facilitated the development of a one-year detailed implementation plan with major action steps, timeframes, budget implications, and outputs and outcomes.
The Boston Center for Independent Living is a frontline civil rights organization led by people with disabilities that advocates to eliminate discrimination, isolation and segregation by empowering people with disabilities with the practical skills and self-confidence to freely determine their own life choices and by promoting access and change in society, making full and equal participation of individuals with disabilities a reality. Diane conducted a staff and management assessment in 2008 which consisted of material review, group discussions, and individualized interviews with staff and board members. Her assessment culminated in a detailed workplan, designed and implemented by teams of staff and managers. A year later, BCIL re-engaged Diane to help them review the substantial progress they had made, and craft a new workplan for the following year. The end result was improved organizational dynamics and outcomes.
Diane has developed strategic plans with numerous other organizations including:
- Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood
- Christian Activities Council
- Grow Smart Rhode Island
- Housing Network of Rhode Island
- Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
- Just-A-Start Corporation
- Lawrence CommunityWorks
- Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
- Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research
- The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development
- Worcester Common Ground
The Mel King Institute for Community Building fosters vibrant and thriving Massachusetts communities by advancing the skills, knowledge and leadership ability of professional practitioners and volunteer leaders in the community development field. Diane facilitated the development of a logic model/theory of change document for the Institute in its first year (2009), and has subsequently conducted evaluations of its program every year comparing actual results achieved with the anticipated outcomes highlighted on the logic model. Evaluations have included review of data from participant surveys and follow-up interviews with participants and Executive Directors to measure longer term impact.
The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance promotes healthy and diverse communities, protects critical environmental resources and working landscapes, advocates for housing and transportation choices, and supports equitable community development and urban reinvestment. Diane helped the Alliance create a logic model for its Great Neighborhoods Initiative in 2010, and conducted several program evaluations for MSGA. Her work included designing data collection instruments, reviewing quantitative and qualitative results, and gathering a broad range of perspectives on progress through individual interviews. Findings, analysis, and recommendations were presented in detailed written evaluation reports.
Health Care for All is a Massachusetts nonprofit advocacy organization working to create a health care system that provides comprehensive, affordable, accessible, and culturally competent care to everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us. Diane conducted numerous program evaluations for HCFA including: a W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored three-year initiative to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities (3 evaluations conducted); a Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act project to increase health coverage and access to health care for low-income children (4 evaluations completed); and an evaluation of HCFA’s outreach and public education project.
Services to Intermediaries and Foundations
Greater Worcester Community Foundation serves the greater Worcester area through grants and capacity building programs. Diane provided consulting services to the Foundation in the design and implementation of a multi-year project to increase the impact and outcomes achieved for select grantees. Her services included initial assessment and selection of grantees, and coaching the grantees to develop five-year business plans and to support their work through implementation. She reviewed and analyzed outcomes data from the grantees, and assisted the Foundation to assess progress.
Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance promotes healthy and diverse communities, protects critical environmental resources and working landscapes, advocates for housing and transportation choices, and supports equitable community development and urban reinvestment. Diane worked with staff and leaders to select five sites for the Great Neighborhoods Initiative, and then provided coaching to the sites to help them form cross-sector collaborative partnerships, set an ambitious ten-year vision for transformational change, create a common agenda with mutually reinforcing activities for the partners, and identify meaningful measures of success. Over the course of the Initiative, Diane helped MSGA organize several cross-site learning opportunities and capacity building events, provide technical assistance to the sites in the implementation of their work, collect and analyze data, and monitor the progress of the Initiative.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving operates a Nonprofit Support Program to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Hartford area through numerous programs and funding supports. Diane conducted a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of NSP in 2015, which included extensive program data review, interviews with grantees, foundation staff and consultants, and best practice research.
The Massachusetts Green Retrofit Initiative is a program sponsored by Boston Local Initiative Support Corporation to help affordable housing owners navigate Massachusetts’ utility programs to achieve energy efficiency savings. Diane co-led three evaluations of the Initiative. Services included program data review, interviews with energy officials, stakeholders, advocates, and funders, and preparation of comprehensive reports that highlighted findings, analysis, and recommendations.
The Hartford Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) helps community residents create healthy and sustainable places of choice and opportunity – good places to live, work, raise children and conduct business. Diane conducted an assessment of the Hartford LISC program in 2014 which included internal and external stakeholder interviews, program data review, and preparation of a report highlighting findings, analysis, and recommendations. In 2008, Diane conducted an evaluation of the Hartford Collaborative for Community Organizing, an initiative supported by LISC along with other local funders.
The Hartford Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) helps community residents create healthy and sustainable places of choice and opportunity. Diane has provided strategic consulting services to several grantees of LISC, including Christian Activities Council in Hartford, Sheldon Oak Central in Hartford, and Nehemiah Housing in Middletown, Connecticut. In 2016, Diane facilitated the development of neighborhood plans sponsored by LISC in three Hartford neighborhoods working with Sheldon Oak Central in the North End, the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance in Asylum Hill, and the Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford and the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance in Frog Hollow.
NeighborWorks America supports the implementation of Success Measures - a specialized, outcome evaluation resource for the community development field. In 2013, Diane served as consultant to Success Measures to assist nine community development corporations in New England to conduct an extensive Community Impact Measurement Project. This work entailed a random selection of 200 local residents who were asked to complete a 20-question survey about neighborhood conditions, accompanied by a block and building assessment. Diane worked with each organization to design a process to complete the work and to learn from the experience important information that would help them target their community development activities towards the greatest need. Clients for the project included groups in Massachusetts – Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment & Housing Services, Urban Edge, Madison Park Development Corporation, Nuestra Comunidad, Oak Hill CDC, Lawrence CommunityWorks; in Rhode Island – NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley; in New Hampshire – CATCH Neighborhood Housing; and in Vermont – Windham and Windsor Housing Trust.