By Shannon Joyce
This year, one of my most rewarding experiences has been working with FCG Consulting. As a non-profit consulting club, FCG gives student analysts the opportunity to take what we learn in the classroom and use those skills to benefit socially minded organizations in Charlottesville. Our projects are designed to help our clients increase their overall capacity, so it’s been a great opportunity for me to give back to the community in a meaningful way. It’s also been an excellent opportunity for us student analysts to build our resumes with client-facing skills and specific deliverables that we can point to as our consulting accomplishments!
Now that FCG has finished its first project cycle of the year, I wanted to share with everyone what we’ve been able to do for our clients.
A team of student analysts worked with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville to tailor a financial education program to better serve the needs of the Southwood community. Habitat for Humanity has been working in the Southwood Mobile Home Park since 2007, and it offers a number of educational and community enrichment classes as a part of their comprehensive approach to confronting poverty. FCG took the “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by World” curriculum and adapted it to fit the specific environment of the Southwood community, allowing Habitat to better leverage this resource in accomplishing its mission.
FCG analysts also worked with Madison House, the UVA institution that coordinates and encourages student volunteerism. Madison House performed its very first survey measuring the impact of its programs throughout Charlottesville, and FCG took this raw data and turned it into meaningful information that Madison House can use to evaluate priorities and establish best practices. Going forward, Madison House will be able to continually evaluate its year to year progress and decide what’s working and what needs to change in order for the organization to stay relevant to Charlottesville’s needs.
A team of analysts also worked with The Future Fund, a giving circle based out of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. Future Fund members pool their resources to give grants to worthy organizations, but the organization has faced declining membership in recent years. Batten students worked to help the Future Fund develop a membership engagement survey, which they will be using as they move into a strategic planning process this year.
FCG team members also worked to refine client development processes as well as update the constitution to ensure better institutional memory and stronger transitions from cohort to cohort. Together these changes will ensure a stronger, more effective FCG that will continue to serve Batten and the Charlottesville community.