We contribute to the betterment of children and families’ lives by helping public-serving organizations grow through strategy design and crafting sustainable business models. Our ten-year goal is to help our clients improve the lives of 1 million children and families. Our clients do the truly noble work, in the trenches, with children and families. We enable a broad base of clients to reach more families and children by refining their strategy and sustaining their impact. Our commitment to community is not only in our client service, but also our pro bono projects, carbon neutral operations, and corporate giving program, which totals over 15% of our annual net profit.
We partner with both for- and nonprofit clients to develop powerful and sustainable strategies and business models focused on value propositions, cost structures, forecasting revenue streams, and identifying key partners and resources. We also serve as thought partners to leaders, via one-on-one advisement services, to navigate emergent strategy, internally and externally.
We collaborate with both funders and organizations to assess programmatic impact, co-design scaling plans, and evaluate levels of operational efficiency and profitability. Our evaluations are not simple “temperature checks” or compliance measurements. The process is actionable and focused, offering organizations a clear path to operational improvement and greater efficiency beyond the evaluation.
We use our own, proven Lean Recruitment© method to help our clients find high-quality talent 40% faster than traditional recruitment firms, at half of the cost. Our book taking you step-by-step through Lean Recruitment is now available (domestic nonprofits- contact us for a free copy). We also offer human resources expertise and support for our clients’ emergent needs including: recruitment and hiring, personnel transitions, and professional development.
We serve any organization wanting to improve communities and the lives of children and families – large or small, nonprofit or for-profit, foundations, and universities. We also specialize in executive counsel.
We are a full-service management consultancy – We bring a one-stop-shop, providing an array of cost-effective services to small-, mid-, and large-sized organizations that are normally out of their reach.
We use our own consistently proven process in every engagement – Our Balanced Growth Approach© assesses external opportunities, internal capacity, and leads to a clear path for sustainable growth. *View Here*
We are action-oriented – Our unrelenting focus is on a clear, measurable path forward for our clients. Their success is our success.
We execute complex projects under tight deadlines – We know our clients are eager to move forward, so we progress swiftly from learning to design to application.
We offer a connection – We guide community-based, state, and national organizations as they identify and establish successful partnerships, helping them to be current, relevant, and collaborative.
With more than 15 years of management and consulting experience, Gary has the expertise and skills to help public serving organizations move from vision to implementation. He treats clients as true partners by establishing realistic strategies that connect to communities’ needs and strengths. Gary has consulted with a wide array of organizations including: the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Take Stock in Children, The University of Florida Lastinger Center for Learning, and SmartStart Georgia. Gary has also been a line manager in science and engineering firms, (the Battelle Memorial Institute and Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure) and WestCare, Inc., a regional substance abuse prevention and treatment agency. Gary has lectured on human services project management at Boston College and the future of early childhood education at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Gary is an active member of The American Evaluation Association, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, BoardSource, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Gary has published two books, Small But Mighty about starting and growing your own consultancy serving nonprofits and Lean Recruitment which provides a step by step guide for finding talent cost-effectively.
Alison LaRocca, Engagement Manager, helps clients to increase their social impact through strategy design and implementation. She manages and offers support for multiple projects that focus on strategic visioning, planning, and program evaluation. Alison is a seasoned educator that draws upon her extensive practical experience with some of Massachusetts’ most vulnerable children. Prior to joining Civitas Strategies, Alison taught at the award-winning Community Day Charter Public School (CDCPS) located in Lawrence, MA. CDCPS is known for its innovative and research-based methods that serve a student population where 74% are low-income and 83% are English Language Learners. Alison holds a Masters of Education from Merrimack College and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Williams College. While at Williams, Alison pursued numerous research endeavors, including a unique, senior project in collaboration with the History and Dance departments. Alison also attended the prestigious Williams in Exeter Programme at Exeter College, Oxford University, during which she participated in several research and writing intensive tutorials. As a senior, Alison was awarded the Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship in support of her continued pursuit of excellence in dance and the creative arts as a student at the Tisch School at New York University and the Martha Graham School, both in New York City.
Bonnie Clapp, Associate, brings her knowledge in the fields of elementary education and most specifically, special education. She served as the Special Education Coordinator for over 600 students at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada for 2 years. As a coordinator she was an advocate for over 100 children and their families in one of their most vulnerable stages in life. Bonnie collaborated with psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, principals, teachers, educational assistants and parents both within and outside of the school to ensure the utmost quality of life for the children she worked with. In this role she was able to draw on her 7 years of previous experience as an innovative and successful educator in both inclusive and special education classrooms in Canada as well as overseas in England. Bonnie holds a Masters of Educational Leadership from the University of Portland. Throughout her Masters studies she benefited from tremendous research opportunities as she completed her capping project on New Teacher Induction. After completion of her Masters she was given the opportunity to successfully implement a New Teacher Induction program at her school with over a dozen new staff. This training program led to the permanent hiring of 3 teachers and 11 support staff. In addition to her Masters, Bonnie also holds a Bachelor of Elementary Education with a concentration in special education from the University of Alberta, Canada. She graduated at the top of her class for both of her degrees. Bonnie now volunteers a great deal of her time as she works with two nonprofits – Melrose Family Room and Parents of Tots – and is the co-president of her son’s elementary school PTO.
Samantha Burgner, Associate, offers administrative and general project support, promoting Civitas Strategies’ commitment to the highest quality of customer service. She also provides support in various data analytics and reporting processes. Her professional background is in Facility Planning and Management and has knowledge of corporate real estate and interior space planning and design. In addition to being an associate at Civitas Strategies, Samantha also serves as a Real Estate Project Coordinator for the Property, Strategy, and Leasing team at Citizens Bank, N.A. In this role she assists with the planning, design, and construction of the branch standards throughout the portfolio. Prior to her employment at Citizens Bank she was as a Project Coordinator for Sun Life Financial in Wellesley, MA where she supported occupancy analytics, project reporting, and execution of high level projects throughout the portfolio. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities Planning and Management with a minor in Business Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology.