Recent Fine Gauge Strategy Projects & Results

The client: A nationwide policy-reform leader, and a highly valued provider of technical support in a complex legal area.

  • The challenge: Staff proposed reducing technical support services to permit them to focus on mission-critical legislation in Congress. Internal disagreement and the objections of influential technical assistance stakeholders caused restructuring efforts to stall.  
  • How we helped: Strategy review and planning. Fine Gauge Strategy gathered input from Congressional offices, national- and state-level policy advocates, think-tanks, service providers, and the organization’s staff and board of directors. We identified options to shift technical support work to other highly qualified organizations so the client could dedicate staff expertise to policy-reform activities.

Results: An advocacy leader re-focused on higher-impact policy work.

The client: A national civil rights group with local-level advocacy organization stakeholders.

  • The challenge: Integrate the client’s national litigation project with local stakeholders’ advocacy-policy change work.
  • How we helped: Needs assessment and strategic options. We interviewed local stakeholders about how the client’s litigation work could best support their advocacy-policy change priorities. We researched methods for litigation to leverage non-courtroom advocacy and interviewed relevant national experts. Our recommendations included the creation of talking points, story frames, and pitch documents for local groups to educate policymakers and the media about key issues, with upcoming court hearings as the communications “hook.”

Results: National and local advocacy policy-change activities that are mutually reinforcing and have increased stakeholder buy-in. 

The client: A national donor collaborative with an increasing focus on racial justice.

  • The challenge: Enhance participation in the collaborative by building awareness of how the client’s work supported grantees to achieve racial justice policy-reform goals.
  • How we helped: Research, evaluation, and strategic options. We interviewed grantees, funders, and racial justice leaders, and did extensive desk research on racial justice organizing and advocacy. Our analysis assessed grantees’ racial justice organizing and advocacy progress. It suggested methods to increase other funders’ understanding of grantees’ unique contributions to racial justice and the client’s pivotal role in supporting grantee work. 

Results: A donor collaborative better-positioned to support its racial justice grantees and increase its visibility and influence within the philanthropic community.

The client: A national donor collaborative pioneering grantmaking in a challenging policy environment.

  • The challenge: Increase understanding by the collaborative’s funders and prospective funders of how investments could promote policy progress.
  • How we helped: Participatory data-gathering with grantees; data analysis. We designed and facilitated in-person data-gathering and data-analysis sessions where grantees jointly identified their contributions to power-building and policy change across the state. We analyzed grantee data to create a report on the statewide social change movement’s strengths and grantees’ capacity needs. 

Results: Field organizations that were more aware of their colleagues’ goals and activities. Foundations from outside the region increased their understanding that policy change within the state was realistically feasible and were informed of strategic investment options. 

The client: A leading social change organization with an executive director departing after decades of leadership.

  • The challenge: Ensure that the exiting leader’s unique and extensive knowledge of the organization’s movement-building role and contributions remained readily accessible to new leadership.
  • How we helped: Facilitated exit interviews organized to support decision-making. We guided the departing executive director through a series of exit interviews focused on the organization’s movement leadership and policy change impact. The interviews analyzed periods of organizational challenge as well as progress, and the key policy, environmental and internal factors that influenced them.

Results: New executive leadership was better-situated to take the reins confidently in a complex, fast-moving, policy arena.