Project Spotlight: Harmony Project
Updated: Jan 10, 2021
Find out how we helped the Harmony Project gain a better understanding of its competitive landscape and grow both financially and strategically.
Harmony Project seeks to remove systemic barriers to higher education by harnessing the power of music. They aim to further their mission of growth, community, and connection through music education, promoting the positive development of their students as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs.
Founded in 2001, Harmony Project has become a well-established entity in the Los Angeles community, providing music lessons and a robust music program for students of underserved and under-represented populations. In addition to their core music programs, Harmony Project also provides family and social support to address issues of homelessness, food insecurity, etc. that act as obstacles to achievement for students in the program. Students normally grow with the program over the course of 7-8 years, with numerous opportunities to network and develop their skills to better prepare them for their academic and professional endeavors.
With community hubs all throughout LA County, Harmony Project currently serves over 3,000 students, with 9 affiliate branches also in operation nationwide.
While affiliate branches have been established in other cities across the country, Harmony Project seeks to internally expand its operations beyond their base in LA to reach a wider demographic and enroll more students. They are currently looking to increase their African-American student demographic in particular, with an overall enrollment goal of 10,000 students through this expansion project. Current candidates for an expansion locale include San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and the Central Valley, with the final decision hinging on the availability of potential local partnerships to support Harmony Project operations.
Through exploring expansion opportunities within these regions, Harmony Project would like to develop a streamlined affiliate handbook to aid in the establishment of affiliate programs that mirror their program offerings in LA County without the need of excessive oversight.
Branding and Marketing
In addition to this physical expansion, Harmony Project also seeks to work on rebranding their image to become more of a household name, with brand legitimacy and recognition similar to the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Lastly, Harmony Project is looking to find sustainable funding sources and seed money to finance their expansion prospects, with the overarching goal of developing a solid external program that is able to match LA operations in terms of quality and resources.
Our first task was to conduct research on similar/comparable programs in California to understand what a potential differentiating factor for the Harmony Project could be.
Then, we identified specific foundations who awarded grants to organizations similar to the Harmony Project and outlined strategies to succeed in the grant application process.
Board of Director Expansion
We also outlined how Harmony Project could use LinkedIn search features to reach potential new member of their board of directors. Using these strategies, we determined specific individuals who we believe would be great additions to their board. For the sake of confidentiality, we cannot disclose this information.
Best Practices for Expansion
Finally, to aid in the creation of a streamlined affiliate handbook, we compiled case studies that showcase how successful nonprofit expansions have been done in the past. We hope that these insights are implemented in future expansion procedures.
Looking back at this project
This engagement was definitely unique in the sense that we were able to work on creating longer-term impact for our client. From helping find a new board member to contributing to an expansion protocol, the impact of our deliverables will only be fully realized once these suggestions are implemented.
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