Over the past three years, through a grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Education First has supported the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness (NEACCR). A recent change in Nellie Mae’s grantmaking has forced the alliances to re-examine their growth strategies and fundraising goals. Education First engaged Pear Associates to provide sustainability consulting services to three of the five alliances ( Maine Spark, Advance Vermont, and the New Hampshire Alliance for College and Career Readiness) as they navigate their future growth without the continued support of Nellie Mae funding. Pear Associates worked with each Alliance one-on-one to develop an action plan for future sustainability that explored foundations, business partnerships, and membership structure and facilitated a three-hour boot camp to address shared sustainability challenges.
The Phoenix Charter Academy was established in 2006 to provide high-risk youth with the academic and emotional support needed to successfully complete high school and become high achieving, self-sufficient adults. When Phoenix was restructuring their external affairs team in 2019, they engaged Pear Associates to fill a temporary grant writing role. Based on the great synergies between our teams, this short term gig has become a long term partnership. Over the past year, we have helped Phoenix secure grants to enhance operations, and expand the Phoenix Forward program, which offers high school students early access to college courses and exposure to workforce preparedness opportunities.
As a multi-service agency that moves families up and out of poverty in Boston, Project Hope first engaged Pear Associates in Summer 2018 to create a Marketing and Community Outreach Plan.
Through this initiative, Project Hope was better able to communicate the value of the organization to a variety of audiences, including donors, program participants, and referral partners. Pear Associates helped develop clear and consistent messages about all programs, positioning Project Hope’s Executive Director as a thought leader, and amplifying the participant voice through the Ambassador’s Bureau.
Impressed with Pear Associates’ ability to facilitate meetings and develop content, Project Hope engaged the firm on two large-scale grant writing projects that involved a significant level of strategy to inform the proposed approach. These grant writing efforts resulted in Project Hope winning a six-figure grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to expand its adult basic education and English as a Second Language program. Another proposal to support Project Hope’s shelter and housing services is pending.
NICRA, the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, is a trade organization that represents entrepreneurs who specialize in the frozen dessert and ice cream industries. Under new leadership, the Association has experienced substantial growth and success. NICRA reached out to Pear Associates to help create a blueprint for the organization as it moves forward. Pear Associates’ President Alison Glastein Gray facilitated a strategic planning session with the Board of Directors in Orlando, Florida – the site of their 2020 annual meeting. As a result of the day-long retreat, the Board identified key strategic opportunities that will help shape and define the future of this growing organization.