Program R&D Sample Projects

FACES for the Future: Documenting Need for Program Expansion

A high school internship and mentorship program to help inner-city minority youth transition into health careers learned that their graduates were struggling to stay in college. With conditional interest from a funder, program leaders sought to create a new program component to extend their supportive pipeline to FACES alumnae in college. Staff sent a survey to their graduates and held a focus group to learn about their struggles at college. The survey and focus group documented significant need for the college retention component. A staff planning session created the design of and implementation plan for the new activity, including clarification of partners’ roles and yearly measurable outcomes and evaluation plans.

“We owe much of our success to you. You challenged us to tease out the necessary details. It really made a difference.” –Tomás Magaña, Director, Faces for the Future Coalition, Public Health Institute

Visit FACES for the Future Coalition site



Shanti Project: Improving the Program’s Design for Clients and Staff

 A program to help immigrant women with cancer more easily navigate the healthcare system faced significant growing pains. Referrals to the successful program were increasing while the group lacked the resources to hire more staff to handle the rising demand. Staff was nearing burnout. A review of the program revealed that clients continued to receive staff support longer than originally intended. Many were staying far beyond the critical period after diagnosis and during treatment. The program director determined that the program needed to be redesigned to build the women’s social skills so that they could be transitioned to community and family support after the intensive first several months or year.

“Working with Eleanor was amazing. She helped me clarify my program’s goals, outcomes and evaluation methods, making it more attractive to funders AND better for clients.” –Beth Pickens, former Program Director, Shanti Project

Visit Shanti site


San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center: Developing a Results-Focused Program

This mid-sized nonprofit recently had undergone restructuring that split a large department into two new departments. Leaders wanted to use theory of change and logic modeling to create a social impact framework and an implementation plan for the new departments. They hoped these processes would facilitate the creation of strong new programs focused on community-level results right from the start.

The planning led to new theories of change and logic models constituting an impact-oriented blueprint for success. Leaders then began modifying, designing and developing activities based on these blueprints for each phase of their multi-year work plan. Before even launching the new departments and programs, key indicators of success and strategies for tracking progress had been defined and are being implemented.

Visit Prevention Center site