Your Ingenious Nonprofit
Karen Eber Davis
“If we used government money,” said Joe Carbone, CEO of The Workplace in Bridgeport, Connecticut, “some businesses wouldn’t have been interested. They fear the potential interference.” Three years ago The Workplace successfully launched a new program: Platform to Employment (P2E). To pilot P2E, The Workplace raised $600,000, over half from corporations. Supporters sponsored individuals at $6,000 each.
Born in the Great Recession, P2E provides those who have been unemployed longer than two years with five weeks of classes, the services of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and an eight-week paid internship. Participants had recently exhausted their unemployment and were motivated. Most were college educated and in their 40s and 50s. At the end of the program, seventy percent found employment, compared to a national average of ten to fifteen percent for the same cohort. The success of P2E is being shared. It will be started in four additional cities this year with plans in place for twenty-five more cities next year.
For nonprofit leaders like you, P2E’s design contains a number of replicable components, including:
How to Use the Ideas in this Model
Be inspired to boldly design programs that serve your customers’ needs. What are the critical areas in your program design? What do your customer’s need most? How can you obtain the resources, i.e., jobs, for the long term unemployed that you need? Raise money as a tool to fund your most challenging components as necessary.
This month’s strategy explores one way a nonprofit solved its customers’ needs by creating a program that reduced their barriers to employment. Platform to Excellence is worth examining for its success, its design, and as an example of a traditionally funded government nonprofit that created services without government funding. What results can you create using this model?