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Clapping Audience

Advancing the Greater Good


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Chicago Youth Programs Quadruples its Financial Support through Strategic Planning

The Client

Chicago Youth Programs (CYP) is an organization focused on improving the health and life opportunities of at-risk youth with 600 volunteers delivering programming in some of Chicago’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.

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The Impact

Thanks to their lively monthly planning sessions, Cinaiya felt “motivated, challenged, and empowered with tools to tackle the job.”

And, with AltruNext’s help, she ultimately raised more grant dollars than at any other time in the organization's history.

When Cinaiya started, it was a $750k/year organization. After partnering with AltruNext, they brought in a 20-25% increase every year.

After seven years, when Cinaiya left the organization, they were at $2.1M annually—an increase that has been transformational for those benefitting from CYP programs.

The Challenge

When she took on her first Executive Director role, Cinaiya Stubbs had confidence and experience, but no peers to “think aloud” or problem-solve with. She was actively looking for partners to help her with strategy.

AltruNext was already providing CYP with grant support, and Cinaiya started to consider the merits of leveraging AltruNext’s other areas of expertise such as governance, strategy, planning, and organizational health. But she had concerns: how could she maintain a streamlined process? Would working with an external partner be too logistically complicated? 

After discussing it with Kristin, Cinaiya realized that she could never match the deep skill set and incredible flexibility of the AltruNext team with another solution. She decided to give it a shot.

“One of my initial concerns was the logistics of working with an external partner—but that concern quickly went out the window because we gained so much efficiency.”

The Collaboration Process

Ultimately, AltruNext became the strategic partner that Cinaiya needed.​

Over a period of over six years, their collaboration evolved into a multi-faceted partnership that included:

  • Grantwriting activities including prospect research, creating a grant strategy and calendar, and writing grant proposals.

  • Managing a full strategic planning process with the board and committees that resulted in a three-year plan.

  • Conducting an HR assessment and revamping the org chart and job descriptions.

  • Regular, monthly strategy calls that touched on many other topics, such as: governance, staff challenges, individual giving strategy, database and CRM issues, and more.

“Working with AltruNext on mapping our agency to our newly-developed strategic plan gave us access to expertise, bandwidth, thought partnership—and an ear to the pavement when it came to funding opportunities.”

Key Project Elements
  • Organizational Assessment

  • Policy and Procedure Review

  • Staff and Board Coaching

  • Prospect Research

  • Strategic Planning

  • Fund Development Plan

  • Grant Writing

"If you’re on the fence about outsourcing: it’s a vital function. I was blessed to find a great partner in AltruNext. Go for it!” 

Cinaiya Stubbs / Executive Director / Chicago Youth Programs

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