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Community Resource Center's Spark Team Solution

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

John Van Cleef, CEO of Community Resource Center, knew his growing, mid-size organization needed help. CRC was doing great things in the community, but the story of its impact remained to be told. The organization that works to end hunger, homelessness, and domestic violence in North County San Diego, was limited by its current grant and contract-driven data collection measures. Ready to move beyond anecdotal testimonies, Van Cleef connected with Nancy Cannon-O’Connell. A Partner with San Diego Social Venture Partners, Cannon – O’Connell knew the solution to CRC’s problem lay in a Spark Team. She suggested the organization work with a small team of SVP Partners who would provide unparalleled expertise in outlining a process by which Community Resource Center could develop and implement Key Performance Indicators across its departmental programs.

What was a Spark Team and how could they help? wondered CRC’s Compliance & Quality Assurance Officer, Rebecca Nussbaum, who was tasked with leading the project. Cannon - O’Connell explained that a Spark Team consisted of a small, personalized team of volunteer professionals affiliated with SVP as Partners. Each Partner brings their business skills and experienced perspective to the table to help nonprofits solve organizational problems through pro-bono consulting engagements. Nussbaum was sold! The two entities promptly got to work on what would become a 7-month collaboration in evaluating CRC’s programs to establish KPI’s as overarching metrics that would reach across all departments of the organization.

Following an introduction to Key Performance Indicators by SVP Partners and several discovery sessions with each of Community Resource Center’s departments to understand critical indicators of success and create Logic Models, the Spark Team developed department specific KPI’s across the organization to better measure and tell the story of CRC’s impact. Mark Page, SVP Partner and Spark Team member thoroughly enjoyed his experience with the engagement. “I was really impressed by both the SVP and CRC teams. It was great to make a deeper connection with this important San Diego nonprofit.” Similarly, CEO, John Van Cleef had high praise for the Spark Team and SVP’s participating Partners. “[The Spark Team] had a two-fold impact: one being the practical goal of the engagement - defining organizational KPI's - the second being a process that helped the organization, and its staff grow as leaders and human service professionals.”

If you are a Partner with SVP who has yet to join one of our Spark Teams, we invite you to get involved with one of our pro-bono consulting engagements this year. We have several upcoming Spark Teams we are looking to fill this fall. Make an impact - help solve a nonprofit’s problem today!

To learn more about the exciting nonprofits SVP is supporting and how you, too, can join a Spark Team, reach out to Erica Halpern at

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