MNA IMPACT: Capstone / Practicum Projects


Nonprofit Sector Data Analyses and Nonprofit Organizations Impact Analyses Reports

The MNA program is proud of its experiential learning and collaborative projects with nonprofit organizations, social enterprises. MNA students work in their practicum courses in collaboration with nonprofit organizations in project analyzing their impact and improving their capacity for designing and reporting their social impact. In their capstone project, students select a topic of their interest relevant to some aspects of the nonprofit / social sector.

These projects represent one element of the integrated experiential learning values of the MNA program evident in every course and emphasized project-based courses such as the Practicum and the Capstone. This gives MNA students the opportunity to positively contribute to nonprofit organizations and social sector initiatives. Here is a partial list of projects assessing social impact or evaluating specific elements of an organization or project to improve its effectiveness.

If you represent a nonprofit organization (NPO) that would like to partner with the MNA Program in a project of this kind you may request the service of our graduate students and assistance of our expert faculty through this application form: MNA-NPO Collaborative Project Application

MNA Capstone Projects Presentations

The presentations of the capstone projects are an annual or bi-annual event provided to the public for the benefit of the nonprofit-social sector. The quality and cutting edge topics of these projects demonstrate the MNA student’s capacity to conduct applied action research. They also show the students’ interests and concerns as nonprofit leaders in their current and future careers. When in person events are allowed we show these projects through a Poster Session where the applied researches are presented through printed posters. In the electronic version of these presentations the posters are visible as the last slide.

Zoom Video Recordings:

Video recording of Capstone Project Presentations ( August 7, 2020).

Zoom Video Presentation

Video Capstone Project Presentation Spring 2020: Tools For Success:An Assessment of Capacity Building in The Nonprofit Sector by David Byrd, MNA ’20

MNA Capstone Projects Library

Presentations, Posters and Reports

Summer 2020

  1. Community Foundation Donor-Advised Funds: Analyzing Efficiency and Effectiveness by Megan Clare Bartell. Megan Bartell Capstone Presentation – V2 | Bartell – Report
  2. Designing Sustainable Economic Models For Impact Investing Organizations by Jieun Lee. Lee JieunCapstone Presentation and Poster | Jieun Capstone Report SU2020
  3. Homeless Veterans in San Francisco / Housing our Heroes by Raymond Gray. Gray Presentation and Poster | Gray – Report
  4. Nonprofit Succession Plan: Essential Practices to Overcome Barriers by Oak Suradet Sansern. Sansern Presentation and Poster
  5. Learning From The Past: Building a Model for Sustainable International Development Poverty Reduction Programs in the Central African Region by Amelia Marie Ashley.  Ashley – Presentation | Ashley – Poster | Ashley – Report

Spring 2020

  1. The Nonprofit Gender Leadership Gap: Data-Driven Systemic and Inclusive Solutions, by Katya Alcaraz-Minnick.  Alkaraz-Minnick – Presentation | Alcaraz-Minnick – Report
  2. Tools For Success:An Assessment of Capacity Building in The Nonprofit Sector by David Byrd. Byrd – Presentation and Poster |  Byrd – Report
  3. Activating the Power of the Latino Community: Engaging the Latino Community Through Volunteerism and Philanthropy by Cristina Chavez. Chavez – Presentation  | Chavez – Poster  |  Chavez – Report
  4. Nonprofits Doing It All: An Examination of Nonprofit Social Responsibility by Kelly Rose Cousins.  Cousins – Presentation | Kelly – Report
  5.  | Equity in Nonprofit Compensation Negotiation: Uncovering Influential Biases and Patterns by Shannon Czarnik. Czarnik – Presentation | Czarnik – Report
  6. How Much is 1%?: ​Two Paths to Shareholder Benefits and Community Investment 
 by Andrea Edelman.  Edelman – Presentation | Edelman – Report
  7. Shared Space Across Sectors: Using Space As A Platform For Shared Value And Social Impact by Shana Murray. Murray – Presentation | Murray – Report
  8. Diversity, Inclusion and Authenticity: How To Make a Lasting Impact on Organizational Culture by Cristina Sanchez-Cruz. Sanchez – Presentation
  9. Navigating Implicit Bias within Corporate Volunteer Programs: Empowering Nonprofits to Raise Awareness and Set Expectations by Lilly Emmaline Smith – Presentation | Smith – Report
  10.  Latina Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector: What can organizations do to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace? by Keishla Yvette Thompson-Echevarría.  Thompson-Echevarria Presentation | Thompson-Echevarria – Poster | Thompson-Echevarria Report

Summer 2019

  1. Understanding the factors of retention to help create an effective retention plan in social service organizations, by Marisela Aguina. Aguina Report | Aguina Presentation | Aguina Poster
  2. Life After Foster Care: Strategies for a Successful Transition to Adulthood, by Alicia Burt. Burt Report | Burt Presentation | Burt Poster
  3. Giving and Getting Involved: A Guide to New Parent Philanthropy at Independent Schools, by Gyra Chan. Chan Report | Chan Presentation | Chan Poster
  4. Preventing Homelessness in Oakland, California, by Jackie Downing. Downing Report  | Downing Presentation | Downing Poster
  5. Analyzing the Narratives of Support Across the Sector: Comparing Storytelling Practices Between Stakeholders by Valerie Hasbum. Hasbum Report | Hasbum Presentation | Hasbum Poster
  6. Gentrification, Displacement & Creative Placemaking: Evaluation Methods for Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations, by Grace Komarek-Meyer. Komarekmeyer Report  | Komarek Presentation | Komarekmeyer Poster
  7. Destroying Coercion by Expansion: Finding Value in Unconventional Growth of International Faith-based Organizations, by Barbora Krisova. Krisova Report | Krisova Presentation | Krisova Poster
  8. Pooling Power: Engaging Nonprofits in Coalitions for Social Change, by Michaela Nee. Nee Report | Nee Presentation | Nee Poster

Spring 2019

  1. Climate Change and Philanthropy: Implications for Fundraisers, by Karen L Campbell. Campbell ReportCampbell Poster.
  2.  Developing a Nonprofit Board for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: An effective tool for measuring a Boards vulnerability, integrity, and readiness, by Alexa Lee Davidson. Davidson Report | Davidson Presentation | Davidson Poster
  3. Cross Sector Partnerships (CSPs) for Social Change: Unique opportunities and challenges of transformational collaborations, by Wendy Lee. Lee Report | Lee Presentation | Lee Poster
  4. “Next Generation” Givers: Implications for Nonprofit Engagement, by Claire Lewis. Lewis ReportLewis Poster | Lewis Presentation
  5. Breaking Barriers and Building a Pipeline for Women’s Leadership Success in Nonprofit Organizations, by Kathryn L. Luna. Luna Report | Luna Presentation | Luna Poster
  6. 2020 Census Trusted Messengers: Community Based Organizations Challenged to Make the Marginalized Matter, by Stephanie McNally. McNally Report | McnNally Presentation | McNally Poster
  7. Mission Engagement: A Nonprofit Employee Survey, by Kyle Kahlil Pate. Pate Report | Pate Presentation | Pate Poster
  8. Inside Out: Internal Equity Within Community Foundations, by Sascha Rosemond. Rosemond Report | Rosemond Presentation | Rosemond Poster
  9. Transformational Relationships: Reframing Impact in Faith-Based Social Service Organizations, by Sonja E. Schappert. Schappert Report | Schappert Presentation |
  10. Major League Impact: A Comparative Analysis of Youth Programs within Major League Baseball Club Charities, by Hayley Marisa Walker. Walker Report | Walker Presentation | Walker Poster

Summer 2018

  1. Gregory Finkelstein – The State of Animal Advocacy: An Exploration of Various Strategies Beyond the Ethical Argument This project explores the current state of animal advocacy and its strategies for success beyond the ethical/morally based argument.
  2. Kia Harris – Change by Design: An Exploration of Characteristics and Practices of Nonprofit Founders in the Bay Area and Organizational Effectiveness This project is an exploratory study of nonprofit founder characteristics and practices in the San Fransisco Bay Area and its impact on the future of the nonprofit sector.
  3. Brandon Jones – Breaking Through Barriers: Exploring the Link Between Board Diversity and Organization Effectiveness This project explores how board diversity and its inclusion practices relate to a more effective organization.
  4. Alyssa Perez – Bridging the Inclusion Gap: Creating Transformation in the Workplace This project investigates the disconnects between diversity initiatives and actually creating an inclusive work culture in organizations. This report emphasizes the importance of transformational leadership when doing inclusion work and offers an expanded model of inclusion based on expert interviews from nonprofits already engaged in this work.
  5. Carol Pertowski – Public – Nonprofit Partnerships in Public Health Emergency Response: Maximizing Impact Through Collaboration This project provides insights into ways for the public health and nonprofit sectors can collaborate to improve public health response during an emergency.
  6. Amanda Tompkins – Breaking Down Silos: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Maximize Mission Impact Through Interdepartmental CollaborationThis project aspires to offer easy-to-adopt answers to the question of how leaders can break down silos and establish a culture of trust and knowledge sharing through storytelling.
  7. Kimberly Yarnall – Trust & Community: Capacity Building Best Practices and How Bay Area Community Foundations Are Heeding the Call This project analyzes industry best practices for funding capacity building interventions and assesses how Bay Area community foundations are meeting these benchmarks. The project’s main deliverables are a comprehensive capacity building best practices model and a new model that suggests why community foundations are particularly well suited to the work.

Spring 2018

  1. Thomas Casey-Corporate Social Responsibility in Nonprofit Organizations: How Nonprofits Leverage CSR and Sustainable Reporting: This project explores the possible negative effects of not practicing sustainability reporting for nonprofits, and advocates for the benefits of sustainability assessments in the nonprofit sector.
  2. Adriana Guerrero-Pivoting to Meet the Need: A Fundraising Blueprint for Community-Based Organizations: This report explored how the shift in presidential administration affects nonprofit funding strategies for community-based organizations supporting immigrant communities.
  3. Mary McInerney-How Nonprofits Can Use Storytelling and Engagement Metrics to Improve How They Share their Philanthropy Narrative: This project is driven by storytelling and data, which have been rarely considered together for building an engagement strategy in nonprofit organizations.
  4. Vanessa Merino- At-Risk Youth: Substance Use Policy Issues and Modeling Positive Behaviors: The purpose of this project is to provide CASA of San Mateo County with research based information that will help them define their Volunteer Drug and Alcohol policy post Prop 64 and will subsequently allow them to enhance their current Volunteer Training program.
  5. Mercedes Reed- Unpacking the White Savior Complex: How Identity and Socialization Impact Youth Development Work: This report contains a literature review focusing on the white savior complex, white privilege, identity development and cultural relevant practices.
  6. Kyle David Ruth-Islas-Byer Square Business Plan: A New Vision for AgingThis report is a comprehensive business plan for the new entity on the San Francisco Campus for Jewish Living (SFCJL), named Byer Square.
  7. Nathan Schnackenberg-Facilitating a Nonprofit Merger-Identifying the Benchmarks and Success Indicators of a Nonprofit Merger: This report outlines tools and philosophies that address issues of staff engagement, staff motivation, and the Actor Oriented integration process, while chronicling the steps required for strategic and structural post-merger integration.
  8. Carmen Sepetka-Human Trafficking Awareness At The University Level: This report examines the human trafficking awareness at universities in the United States.
  9. Jane Tobin-Cross-Sector Solutions for Disaster Resiliency: The purpose of this research is to examine how cross-sector collaborations foster long-term solutions for catastrophic events. 
  10. Katrielle Risa Martinez Veslenio- To Partner or Not to Partner: Creating Successful Partnerships Between For-profit and Nonprofit Organizations in the Legal FieldThis project aims to explore current partnership building models and create a model specific to the partnership building between for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the legal field.
  11. Samantha Wilkinson-Labor Market Integration: The Key to Welcoming Refugees and Migrants in High Income CountriesThis paper explores the economic impacts of integrating refugees and migrants into the labor market of high-income host countries. 
  12. Brandy WrightThe Way Forward: The Katie A. PromiseThis project examines the 202 Katie A. v. Bonta Lawsuit which sought to achieve systemic changes within our children’s mental health system and reveals that we have a long way to go before realizing the promises of that settlement. 
  13. Karla Diaz-The Push for Family Engagement in Schools and the Challenge to Develop Benchmarks to Track ImpactWith the assistance of nonprofits, family engagement has given families the tools and resources needed to partake in their child’s academic and social emotional development while learning how to become advocates for themselves and their families.

Summer 2017

  1. Erica WilliamsUsing Citizen Media and Open Source Investigations to Promote Human Rights: UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Investigations Lab: This project seeks to analyze the  UC Berkeley Human Rights Investigation Lab’s work within the larger human rights context, and to address a pressing issue raised by the research – Is it possible to create investigative and evidentiary standards for using open source investigations and citizen media to promote human rights?
  2. Priscilla Valencia Comparative Analysis of Workforce Development Programs in the Public Sector:The purpose of this project is to analyze different approaches and assess the impact of workforce development programs from the perspective of two nonprofit organizations and one government agency working to create employment opportunities to foster youth, formerly incarcerated, and individuals that have experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County.
  3. Julie BrownReframing Social Impact: This research builds on the global discussion of how to define and effectively measure the social impact of mission-driven organizations.
  4. Dalal Altuwaijri Nonprofit Organizations In Saudi Arabia – An Analysis Of Impact Assessment Tools: This report examines nonprofit organizations in Saudi Arabia and analyses the impact of the nonprofit sector and its ability to achieve accountability.
  5. Lorena Gomez-Barris – Storytelling for Organizational Impact and Sustainability: The research collected for this project serves as a model to frame storytelling as a catalyst towards organizational sustainability.
  6. Michelle CollierSocial Emotional Learning and Play: The intention of this project is to provide more data-based evidence to build Playworks’ (a national nonprofit that delivers opportunities for social-emotional learning to elementary students) case and provide recommendations to the organization and the field.
  7. Yun Jin Carson Sustainable Labor Practices for Nonprofit Organizations: The sustainable labor project defines, highlights, and offer solutions for problems related to worker burnout, worker dissatisfaction, employment inequities, and high turnover rates in non-profit organizations in the United States.
  8. Shakti Fleisher Continuous Adaptation: Financial Sustainability for Global Nonprofit Startups: This project explores various approaches to financial sustainability and the particular challenges and opportunities for international startups in achieving this goal.
  9. Emily A. Grossman – Innovation in the Social Sector: Measuring Organizational Capacity for Nonprofits to Innovate: This paper builds on a growing body of research focused on innovation in the social sector. Recognized as a process of adaptation and improvement, innovation becomes less of a buzzword and more of an organizational necessity, vital for social ventures in serving their missions, clients, and society.
  10. Tricia Harris – Navigating the Complex Marketplace of Donor-Advised Funds: Strategic Recommendations for Nonprofit Leaders: This project is intended to serve as an overview of donor-advised funds in order to provide nonprofit leaders with practical insights and suggestions for strategically navigating the DAF arena.
  11. Roxanne Moore – Building Our Case: How Can Grassroots Organizations Using Restorative Justice Frameworks Demonstrate Their Impact on Incarcerated and At-Risk PopulationsThis report creates a program evaluation model for small, under-resourced organizations that focuses on leveraging opportunities, checking capacity, and remaining mission-centric.
  12. Christine Preziosi Integrated Workforce Development for People with Disabilities: Exploring the Common Barriers and Offering Sustainable Solutions: This project analyzes the current state of integrated employment for adults with disabilities in the United States.
  13. Ian Benjamin ShoreThe Impact of Mentorship: Why Organizations Should Grow Their Own Talent: This project aims to identify the importance of mentorship within organizations, evaluating its impact on retention, satisfaction, and mentee development. From there, this report will propose a model of mentorship that fulfills the needs of all entities of the mentorship relationship: mentors, mentees, and the organizations.
  14. Bidya SubediMainstreaming Girls’ Voices: Girls’ Empowerment Programs in Nepal: This paper examines existing girls’ empowerment programs in Nepal.  The major question explored was what are the contributing factors that lead to effective women and girls empowerment programs.
  15. Meera E. SwansonNonprofit Evaluation: A Essential Element for Impact: This paper examines the practice of evaluation in nonprofit organizations through a thorough overview of nonprofit evaluation practices, motivations and outcomes.
  16. Anne WeltnerNonprofit Mergers: A User Guide for Organizations Seeking a Merge: This study captures four different perspectives of what goes into the merger process and, ultimately, the decision-making process. The purpose of this paper is to elicit responses from four interviewees; 2 from the perspective of board members; one from the CEO and CDO from acquirer organizations, which are organizations that are in more of a position of control and come to the aid of faltering organizations.
  17. Yulin Cheng – The Development of Social Entrepreneurship in China. This capstone project focused on reviewing China’s social enterprise development, based on history of social development in China and current situation of social enterprises in China to draw a possible blueprint of China’s social enterprise in future with challenges and opportunities.

Spring 2017

  1. Sergio Cuellar N.O.P.A.L Collaborative Structure: Will a Collective Impact Model Structure Work for a Cross Regional, Nonprofit Sector Collaborative, Neighborhoods Owning Power, Action, and Leadership? This project hopes to recommend structure options for Neighborhoods Owning Power, Action and Leadership (N.O.P.A.L.), a collective of community based, nonprofit organizations representing Central California working to build the leadership and civic engagement of young adults through trauma informed, healing centered, civic engagement to support equity and social justice in the partner organization’s local community and together as a collective on a regional and statewide scale.
  2. Tracy HarrisCollaborative Frameworks in Nonprofit Emergency Response: Examining Earthquake Preparedness and Response in the San Francisco Bay Area: This capstone analyzes the nature of collaborative response between nonprofits, governmental and community organizations, with an emphasis on disaster planning and response in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  3. Erica Kalingking – Balancing Nonprofit Efficiency and Effectiveness: Implications of an Integrated Model Approach to Nonprofit Financial Sustainability and Mission Impact: This capstone adds to the discussion on achieving independence and sustainability in the nonprofit sector through a legitimate integrated model framework.
  4. Erin Rene’ Nelson Capstone Research Stakeholder Model for Leadership Succession: Identifying Founder’s Syndrome and Succession Strategies: The purpose of this capstone project is to explore using the stakeholder approach for assessing an organization for founder’s syndrome and providing recommendations for founder succession.
  5. Colette Whitney – Strategic Engagement: Activities for Sustainable Individual Giving : The purpose of this capstone project is to discover the trends and activities that lead sustainable individual giving. The intention is for nonprofits to recognize these trends and activities and use them in their development departments to help generate more revenue and retain their donors.
  6. Rosa Revuelta- Alza la Voz- How Nonprofit Organizations Mobilize Immigrant Communities and Influence Policy: This paper attempts to define the the impact that nonprofit can have on immigrant communities when engaging them in advocacy.
  7. Clorens Andre- Senior Management Team Diversity in Social Ventures and its Impact on Performance: This study examines the correlation between diversity among senior management teams of social ventures and meeting performance goals. Specifically, it examines trends within the composition of senior management teams with respect to satisfying social impact and financial commitments.
Spring 2016
  1. Catholic Charities Santa Rosa: Needs Assessment Evaluation Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program, Carley Gill. Poster-1-Gill | Presentation-1-Gill |
  2. MNA Program: Measuring the Social Impact of a Nonprofit Educational Program, Joan Bayston. Presentation-2-Baystone |
  3. Community Recovery Resources: Internal Communication Strategies, Shirmila Cooray. Poster-3-CoorayPresentation-3-Cooray
  4. Health Connected: Management and Operations—Scaling Social Impact, Rebecca Kirkpatrick.
  5. Foundation for Sustainable Development: Impact Analysis Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Sustainable Communities, Sarah Keller, Francisco Guzman & Lauren Pinsker Poster-5-Guzman,Keller,Pinsker
  6. Aspire CoffeeWorks:The Perfect Blend, Valentina Cardenas and Katrina Cabauatan Presentation-6-Cardenas
  7. Nonprofit Management Education: Nonprofit Capacity Building Through Hybrid Education, Jack Cupples. Poster-7-CouplesPresentation-7-Cupples
  8. Center for Nonprofit Leadership: Cultivating Ethical, Effective Nonprofit Leaders – Developing a Modular Toolkit, Ariel Lovett. Poster-8-LovettPresentation-8-Lovett
  9. Change Scale:Building Sustainability – Membership Strategies for Backbone Organizations, Melissa Tang. Poster-9-TangPresentation-9-Tang
  10. Summer Search: A Vision for Transformative Scale, Kenyon DeVault.
  11. Common River: A Strategy for Capacity Building, Virginia Turner and Thomas Natale. Poster-11-TurnerNatalePresentation-11.Natale&Turner

Spring 2015

  1. Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD): Developing a Participatory Community Goal Identification Process Foundation for Sustainable Development. Molly Brennan, Shelly Helgeson, and Danielle Lam. Poster-Brennan&Helgeson&Lam | Presentation-FSD | Report-FSD Report-CoachArt FacilitationBook-FSD | FacilitationBook-FSD |
  2. Kiva Zip: A Comparative Impact Analysis of American Based Micro-lending Programs. Benson Tran and Fernando Enciso-Márquez. Poster-Enciso-Marquez&TranPresentation-KivaZipReport-KivaZip
  3. Coach Art: USF and CoachArt Collaboration Project Volunteer Survey and Engagement. Kaitlyn Azevedo, Jennifer DiStefano, Ariana Gonzalez. Poster-Azevedo&DiStefano&GonzalezPresentation-CoathArtReport-CoachArt
  4. Good Food for Good Foundation: LearnUp Center Market Analysis. Amy DePree, Kerry Inokuchi, Sandra Lieu, Kevin Mosca. Poster-DePree&Inokuchi&Lieu&MoscaPresentation-LearnUpCenterReport-LearnUpCenter
  5. The Arc San Francisco and Project SEARCH: Bridging the Gap: Expanding Supported Employment for Adults with I/DD from San Francisco to Marin County. Carolyn DeVoto, MNA’15 & Risa Harrison, MNA ’15. Poster-ARC-DeVoto-HarrisonReport-DeVoto&Harrison
  6. BEETS Program at Community Grows: Promoting Sustained Engagement in a Community Ecological Literacy Program. Mike Harris, MNA ’15. Poster-BEETS-HarrisReport-Harris
  7. Common Sense: What Nonprofit Leaders Can Learn: Successes and Challenges of Nonprofit-Government Collaborations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ellen Coplan Holderman, MNA ’15. Poster-CommonSense-CoplanReport-Harris Report-Holderman
  8. Kiva: Unbankable: Microfinance in the U.S. Adele Axness, MNA ’15. Poster-KIVA-AxnessReport-Axness
  9. Marine Ventures Foundation: Future Leadership Growth at Marin Ventures. Rebecca Ennis. MNA ’15. Poster-MarineVentures-Ennis
  10. Women and Armed Conflicts:Why Has the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2015 Not Been Passed? Molly Ehlinger Brennan, MNA ’15. | Poster-WomenSecurity-BrennanReport-Brennan

Spring 2014

  1. KVIE Public Television: Tools to Evaluate KVIE’s Ready To Learn Program. Johnny Avows-Smith. MNA ’14. | Poster-avotssmithjohnnyReport-avotssmithjohnny
  2. LEAPS Initiative – Community Grows: The State of Environmental Education in the San Francisco Bay Area: Implications for Grassroots Environmental Education Nonprofits. Jessa M. Barzelay, MNA ’14.  Poster-barzelayjessaReport-barzelayjessa
  3. California Lawyers for the Arts: Expanding School Mediation Program Using a Train-the-Trainer Model Molly Patterson, MNA ’14. Poster-pattersonmollyReport-pattersonmolly
  4. Universal Giving:Building A Loyal Volunteer Corps: Gleanings From The Internship Program At Universal Giving. Kelly Ann Yeo-Oxenham, MNA ’14. Poster-yeokellyannReport-yeokellyann

– Educating Social Sector Leaders Since 1983 –

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