About Our Clients
Cambridge Concord Associates works with organizations, institutions, foundations, associations, and collaborations in the areas of health & public health, higher education, science and research, and community capacity building.
health and public health
Cambridge Concord Associates has been working with health- and public health-related organizations since the founding of our practice. Our 25 years of planning and consulting in health systems, research institutions, medical and dental schools, health related foundations, community health organizations, collaborations and alliances, state organizations and programs, as well as a variety of national health and healthcare efforts, have given us a deep understanding of the current challenges these organizations face. As the country struggles with rising health care costs and the development of new funding models, significant changes in demographics, and access-to-care challenges, health systems, hospitals, medical, dental, public health and nursing schools and other health related organizations are going through dramatic shifts. Long and short-term plans, along with business plans that include well-developed metrics, are essential to enabling forward movement in a time of diminishing resources.
Leaders of health and public health organizations understand that they cannot accomplish their goals alone. Partnerships, collaborations, coalitions, and other cooperative approaches have become the norm. Fully embracing this direction, Cambridge Concord Associates supports these efforts and continuously seeks new ways to enable multi-organization and multi-stakeholder planning efforts to realize their aspirations. Effective communication that considers the range of stakeholder perspectives helps strengthen these efforts throughout and beyond the planning process.
Moreover, in today’s rapidly changing environment, organizations must have the capacity to respond to and even anticipate opportunities and risks both near-term and beyond. Effective governance systems support organization leaders in continuing to making effective decisions that ensure ongoing progress without slowing down the organization.
For over 25 years, Cambridge Concord Associates has been helping institutions of higher education achieve their aspirations and build sustainable futures. Our experience spans the diversity of higher education: public and private institutions, undergraduate and graduate schools, liberal arts colleges and large research universities.
These are particularly challenging times for higher education in this country. The uncertain economy, shrinking funds for both public and private schools, and calls to simultaneously increase access, quality, and flexibility have placed great demands on faculties, boards, and administrations. Sustainability continues to be a major challenge for most college and university leaders. Meanwhile, technological opportunities have sparked an essential discussion about investments in virtual learning, innovative teaching and learning environments, as well as the physical and virtual spaces that will be needed in the future.
In order to shape effective short and long-term strategies for institutional strength and sustainability, leaders find they need to work closely with a wide range of constituencies. CCA helps to engage appropriate stakeholders, and develop strategic plans that leverage each institution’s distinctive nature, build on its strengths, and position it to realize its mission in the future.
CCA appreciates the unique role that community-based organizations play in creating solutions for health, education, and a range of societal concerns. Our long history of successful engagement with community-based organizations continues to inform our values of diversity and inclusion and our dedication to making every voice heard. Our planning approach is conducted with an understanding that people who are seeking much-needed solutions for their own issues, those of their families, their neighbors, and their communities of shared concern, can drive some of the most effective organizational strategies and results.
Community-based organizations have been at the forefront of organizing and bringing people together to address local concerns, implement mission-aligned strategies, and show outcomes that result from specifically designed planning processes.
Our representative client list includes community-based organizations that address substance abuse, HIV, behavioral health, oral health, hunger, homelessness, education, mental health and a range of human services.
science & research
Cambridge Concord Associates has a long history of working with academic and nonprofit science and research organizations, and facilitating cross-disciplinary, national, and international discussions about the future of certain aspects of scientific inquiry in one or more fields. Our clients have included research organizations based at large universities, national professional associations, academic journals, medical schools, and other scientific institutions. In addition, we support research consortia and coalitions looking to affect large-scale policy and funding changes.
Inquiry in the social and natural sciences is changing rapidly. Technological advances, an uncertain financial and economic environment, the rise of big data, demands for both open access and privacy, and so on, have reshaped the research landscape. Research-related organizations are faced with a range of evolving issues — training and workforce development, the need for national and international standards, changes in their fields and their relationships with other fields, etc. Many of these issues can only be effectively addressed through collaboration across organizations, disciplines, domains, and countries.
CCA helps researchers and their organizations to thrive in this complex environment. Whether the goal is to increase financial sustainability, develop a new generation of scholars, or find new ways to link research to policy and practice, CCA offers rigorous planning and facilitation services. We support our clients as they take advantage of emerging technologies, link their work with the broader international context, increase collaboration and communication, and ensure sustainable support for research projects and the infrastructures that are necessary to support them.
The arts have always been an integral part of our practice. Most liberal arts colleges and universities with whom we work have strong multi-disciplinary arts programs and departments, and are in the process of strengthening and further developing their overall programming. They are also interested in enhancing their campus life by celebrating the arts in new ways and involving more students and community members in the process. Partnerships with art galleries, studios, art museums, theaters, concert halls, and other community and regionally based organizations present enormous opportunities to enhance and share the talents of their students and faculties.
CCA has also worked with several symphony orchestras at important and exciting times in their own evolution. These long standing institutions are committed to becoming increasingly more integral and essential to their communities and regions. Those same institutions are also working to become more diverse and inclusive in terms of their music, their musicians and staff, and their audiences. Increasingly, they are reaching out to their extended communities with a wide variety of targeted education programs and events. They are dedicated to being essential and highly relevant in their rapidly changing urban environments.
Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in understanding the effectiveness and long-term impacts of publicly funded foreign aid and privately supported international endeavors. This shift has necessitated the development of robust monitoring and evaluation modalities and has changed the ways that organizations conceptualize high-level strategies and the design of specific interventions. At the same time, funders and those who deliver programming are seeking to improve effectiveness by examining how and why interventions work in real time. Increasingly, they are relying on systematic learning processes to inform decision-making.
Our work with international development agencies has included both planning and evaluation-related services. Responding to funder and implementer commitments to effectiveness, we have worked with clients to articulate strategy and design programming. We have also supported organizations in developing their own measurement systems and evaluating their own work.