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Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a clear goal.

Strategy & Implementation

Our practice is built around our core strengths in research and strategy consulting.  Root Cause helps partners design and implement strategies that are actionable, measurable, and attainable.  Our strategic and business plans define pathways to sustainability and have a core focus on enabling more people to achieve lifelong success.

Grantmaking Strategy For Foundations

We help foundations design, implement, and assess grantmaking programs that produce meaningful, measurable, and long-lasting impacts on people’s lives.  Our approach draws upon our experience in research and organizational assessments and facilitation toward strategic decisions about how to align investments with intended impact.  We provide insight and clarity in purpose, goals, and measures so that social purpose becomes social impact.

Business Planning For Nonprofits

We help high-performing nonprofit programs and organizations with evidence of impact to chart and pursue strategies that expand their reach and impact, improve their organizational and financial sustainability, and strengthen their evidence base.

Network & Coalition Strategy

We facilitate groups of organizations in the early stages of working together or at a particular moment of inflection to develop and implement their strategy. Most often, these complex, collaborative strategic planning projects include foundations, nonprofit direct service organizations, nonprofit intermediaries, school districts, public agencies, and other organizations that share a common purpose.  Our team helps focus groups within a community or at a national level clarify and document what they want to accomplish and why, the opportunity to do so, and how they will achieve their goals.

Project Goals

Strategy and Implementation projects aim to help partners to:

Gain Clarity
Partners focus their purpose and priorities on what really matters for people to succeed.
Achieve consensus.
Partners build trust and a shared sense of ownership and responsibility at the program, organization, and/or community level, leading to a shared sense of purpose about how to move forward in service to people and families.
Be practical.
Our partners are ambitious. Our team helps them translate that ambition into achievable goals and measured steps. Partners engage in action while planning to build momentum that leads to success.
Expand services & reach more people.
Strategy projects are designed to help partners design and implement a plan that increases the capacity of programs and organizations to deliver services and resources that improve more people’s lives.
Increase impact.
Partners harness and focus their skills and passion more effectively and efficiently, thereby delivering stronger outcomes and producing greater impact.
Advance sustainable models.
Partners build programs and organizations that deliver enduring social impact. Our work helps partners connect impact models to cost models and mobilize the resources required to sustain improvements in people’s lives.

removing barriers based on race, class, gender and geography.

Project Activities

In Strategy and Implementation projects, we help partners ask the right questions, collect useful data, and apply what they learn to set the most effective course forward.  Some of the types of activities that comprise Strategy and Implementation projects include:

Engage people and families to learn how they experience barriers to success in their community.

We conduct deep research to learn about people’s experiences and needs so that we can help partners chart opportunities that support their success.  We use this knowledge to help partners identify leverage points that make a difference.

Engage staff and stakeholders in the planning process.

Our team helps partners collect critical input from people who will play important roles in executing your social impact strategy.  From interviews and focus groups, we help you see and articulate a vision that resonates with and inspires your key allies.

Assess programmatic and organizational readiness and capacity for growth.

Strategy begins with establishing a working group and assessing organizational readiness.  We help you identify the capacity and learning needed to complete and launch a successful plan that increases opportunities for people and families to achieve success.

Design, vet, and execute actionable strategies to reach more people and families.

We help partners:

  • Research the needs of people & families.
  • Explore the conditions, policies, and systems that support or hinder their success.
  • Design a theory of change for supporting people’s success.
  • Plan to deliver and sustain impact that is meaningful and measurable.
  • Articulate key activities, including purposeful linkages between programs and topics.
  • Design a measurement plan & continuous quality improvement process.
  • Chart a 12-18 month implementation timeline.
  • Identify staffing & resource recommendations.
  • Produce a financial model and projections for the duration of the plan.
Support implementation and refinement of grant-making strategies.

Collective Action projects start with a common sense of purpose shared by all actors: coordinate services and improve people’s lives in meaningful and measurable ways. Root Cause helps clients and partners find, focus on, and follow a North Star that leads to real and sustained impact across a population.

Design for sustainability.

We help partners design and implement practical plans that achieve and maintain financial sustainability.  Our process helps partners understand the market need for services, articulate unique value propositions, and chart a path forward with confidence.

Create financial models and tools.

We help partners calculate the real cost associated with improving people’s lives.  We create tools that enable partners to understand the financial implications of how programs and organizations are designed, operated, and grown, and make decisions that yield the greatest benefit per dollar.

Communicate impact and attract funding.

Projects enable partners to effectively communicate values, results, and opportunities for investment to stakeholders.

Deliver executive coaching.

Our approach is highly participatory and hands-on as our social impact advisors coach and working side-by-side with leaders and support planning and implementation. Our team-based model connects partners with the expertise and conceptual skill sets of seasoned business and nonprofit leaders.

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