Northeastern University Student-led Consulting Team Helps National Non-profit Take Major Steps for the Future
Little Brothers- Friends of the Elderly is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to serve senior citizens and prevent isolation and loneliness. Since its founding in France centuries ago, the organization has expanded across the globe into the US. Looking at the strong track record of the seven national chapters, it is needless to say that the non-profit has a very strong strategy in place to accomplish its mission. It takes people with real vision to find ways to improve even the best of programs. Executive Director Nikki Therrien of the Boston Chapter understands the merits of proven methods, but she also sees an opportunity to get more out of their programs. Ms. Therrien has a vision of a Little Brothers focusing on community-based programs as opposed to the traditional individual-oriented programs offered by many other national chapters. In order to achieve her goal, she has been forging strong partnerships with centralized locations throughout the Boston area. Through these relationships, Ms. Therrien plans to maximize the quality and overall success of programs created by Little Brothers. During the months leading up to the new year, Ms. Therrien knew that she needed to prepare for the transition by laying out a path for success under the new delivery method. Nikki Therrien is a dedicated, hard working civil servant who works tirelessly to ensure that Little Brothers operates successfully year round. The holiday season leading up to the new year was a very busy period for the staff of Little Brothers and their executive director. Ms. Therrien spent the preceding months working to run the non-profit, while simultaneously planning a major transition in what little time she had leftover. It was just about three months before the new year that she received an email from Marina Jeon, Chi Sigma Executive Director, offering an opportunity for some help. Knowing that she had a long list of tasks to accomplish herself, she decided to contract our student-led group and we were gracious for the chance to assist.
For Ms. Nikki Therrien, that email could not have come at a better time. Taking the opportunity to lay some groundwork for her transition, she brought us onboard to tackle a variety of projects that she simply did not have the time or resources to do by herself. We were eager to help, and over the course of eight weeks we were able to create the type of value for Little Brothers that we had promised in our initial email. The work was centered around the need to create a seamless, centralized, and easily transferrable method for establishing, reviewing, and evaluating different aspects of the organization. Through regular communication and two in-person meetings, we were able to create a variety of deliverables that included a volunteer outreach strategy, a redrafted Memo of Understanding, and written criteria for evaluating the non-profit's partnerships and programs. It was an incredible experience for every one of our student consultants, and is a true testament to the amazing work that can be achieved through transparent communication and a desire to help. By the end of our final presentation, the partnership between Chi Sigma Consulting and the Boston chapter of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly proved to be mutually beneficial. We were afforded a great opportunity to work on some very interesting and challenging projects, and Little Brothers got the help they needed to make 2017 a ground-breaking year.
Kevin Smith, Director of Operations