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A Brighter Future for The San Marcos Promise and North County Students

The San Marcos Promise (TSMP) was founded in 2014 to oversee the PACE Scholarship Program, which was funded by the Leichtag Foundation as an agreement between San Marcos School District and Cal State University San Marcos.

TSMP’s board made a strategic decision to evolve beyond the scholarship program to sharpen its focus on providing 21st Century life skills and workforce development to students in the district. The nonprofit reached out to SVP for a Spark Team at a moment of immense organizational change, having phased out their PACE Scholarship Program, opened three new Future Centers, and begun to reevaluate the efficacy of its existing programs.

TSMP was looking to fully step into its role as a for-impact educational foundation providing meaningful college and career support to students in the local school district. In addition, the nonprofit needed to diversify and grow its revenue sources as significant long-term funding is set to expire in the coming years.

A team of SVP Partners including Robert Hill (Lead), Diane Cox, Pat Kaufman and Laureen Ong came alongside TSMP to assess current programs and funding sources, develop a roadmap for the organization to create a new fundraising model and help refine their strategy and programmatic focus. The Spark Team supported the nonprofit over the course of eight months to evaluate its impact, communicate the value of its programs to potential stakeholders, and develop an outreach plan to help diversify and grow revenue streams.

“I enjoyed every meeting with the SVP team. Perhaps the most eye opening was [when] we evaluated our programs, which helped us to prioritize with laser focus moving forward,” shared Executive Director Lisa Stout.


Following several strategic conversations, the project culminated in a 12-month plan for organizational operations, programs and fundraising. TSMP is has since honed its strategy and communications to secure increased grant funding and expanded its outreach to potential funders, ensuring future sustainability.


The nonprofit recently honored their SVP Spark Team with the North County Philanthropy Council Volunteer of the Year Award for helping to catapult TSMP to the next level and provide greater impact to students in the community.


The pleasure was all ours!

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