Public/Private Ventures (P/PV)

Legacy Collection

Innovation. Research. Action.

After almost 35 years Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) has ceased operations. The organization leaves behind an incredible legacy of knowledge, including hundreds of research reports, case studies and evaluations about how best to improve programs and outcomes for children, youth and families. We are fortunate that P/PV has decided to archive its publications collection with the Foundation Center's IssueLab so that practitioners can benefit from this knowledge for years to come.

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Staying On Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice

October 2, 2013

Higher Achievement is an intensive summer and after-school program that began in its current form in 1999 in Washington, DC. Today there are Higher Achievement programs in Washington, DC/Alexandria, VA; Richmond, VA; Pittsburgh, PA; and Baltimore, MD. The study includes the five Higher Education Achievement Centers that were operating in DC and Alexandria when the study began. Each center serves about 85 students, or "scholars", recruited mainly through school referral. Starting the summer before youth enter fifth or sixth grade and extending through eighth grade. Higher Achievement provides scholars with up to 650 hours of academic instructio0n per year, as well as enrichment activities and targeted, academic mentoring.

Supporting Second Chances: Employment Strategies for Reentry Programs

February 8, 2013

The Second Chance Act supports a range of reentry programs around the country, designed to help those returning from jail or prison make a successful transition to life on the outside. In 2008, the Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) to create a resource that would be useful for Second Chance Act grantees as they develop employment strategies, by distilling lessons from research on a range of employment programs. "Supporting Second Chances" offers concrete suggestions for practitioners, based on a review of relevant literature and P/PV's own extensive experience with reentry and workforce development research and programming. The guide explores strategies in three major areas:Services aimed at helping people find immediate employment;Services that provide paid job experiences to participants; andServices that help people gain occupational skills.For each area, we provide: an overview of the approach, including its history and a brief definition; a high-level summary of the most recent and rigorous research available about the approach; an example of the approach in action; key "takeaways" for Second Chance Act grantees and other programs serving formerly incarcerated individuals; and where to go to learn more.Since the ultimate success of an employment strategy may hinge on a range of additional supports, the guide also features a section called "Beyond Getting a Job," which presents three approaches to help formerly incarcerated individuals get the most out of their paychecks and move into better jobs. The final section synthesizes lessons drawn from across the studies reviewed for the guide.

The Least of These: Amachi and the Children of Prisoners

July 31, 2012

There is no rule book for creating, implementing and sustaining a successful social intervention. Hundreds, if not thousands, of now-defunct social programs attest to this reality. These programs may have succeeded in identifying a social need, a cogent and sometimes creative way of meeting that need, and some capacity (both financial and operational) to launch the effort.These are necessary elements -- but not sufficient ones. The social policy field does not consistently recognize or reward good ideas. Success is often as much a product of unusual circumstances -- confluence of the right time, the right idea and the right people -- as it is a result of inherent program quality and effectiveness.The Amachi program is a prime illustration of the unpredictable nature of success in the social policy arena. Its success resulted from a nearly unique blend of factors -- Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), which had been studying the issue of relationships as a way of helping young people for almost two decades; the Pew Charitable Trusts' interest in the potential of faith-based organizations to meet social needs; the well-known academic John DiIulio, who was looking for practical ways to put Pew's interest into action; a source of stabilizing program knowledge (Big Brothers Big Sisters of America); and finally a leader, W. Wilson Goode, Sr., whose combination of personal contacts, managerial knowledge and experience, and dedication to the idea of Amachi was decisive in making the program a success locally, and later nationally.Politics also played a role: the election of a president (in 2000) interested in faith-based initiatives; DiIulio's role in steering the president's attention to Amachi during its early days in Philadelphia; and the way that attention led to a sustained national focus (with federal program funding) on the target group Amachi was designed to serve: children of prisoners. The interplay of these factors -- along with good luck and good timing -- is in many ways the core of the Amachi story, which is detailed in the pages that follow.

An Alternative to Temporary Staffing: Considerations for Workforce Practitioners

July 2, 2012

The temporary staffing industry has become a fixture of the US economy in recent decades, and workforce practitioners are increasingly noting the prevalence of temporary jobs in the low-skilled labor market. To ensure that these jobs are a stepping stone for job seekers -- and to tap into additional sources of revenue -- a growing number of social service organizations have launched their own staffing businesses, known as alternative staffing organizations (ASOs).

Making the Most of Youth Mentoring: A Guide for Funders

July 1, 2012

How should funders decide what mentoring programs to support? The mentoring field has grown and diversified immensely in recent decades. There are now thousands of mentoring programs, as well as many multi-service initiatives that incorporate elements of mentoring, across the country. Some mentoring models have been rigorously evaluated, while others have yet to be tested at scale. There is, in fact, a rich research base to draw from to determine which types of mentoring make sense for which youth, and under which circumstances. But navigating that research is a challenge for even the most determined funder, policymaker or program leader.

Building Stronger Nonprofits Through Better Financial Management

June 6, 2012

The Wallace Foundation's four-year Strengthening Financial Management in Out-of-School Time initiative(SFM) was designed to improve the financial management systems of 26 well-respected Chicago nonprofits that provide out-of-school-time (OST) services. SFM grew out of the Foundation's longstanding commitment to improving the quality of services for youth during nonschool hours and the realization that even successful nonprofits face financial management challenges that have an impact on their ability to achieve their missions. To address these challenges, the initiative is working to reform public and private funding practices that strain OST organizations' financial management capacity and providing participating organizations with financial management training and peer networking opportunities (using one of two models that vary in intensity and in the balance of individual vs. group-based training and support).

Building Stronger Nonprofits Through Better Financial Management, Executive Summary

June 6, 2012

This executive summary presents a summary of early lessons from The Wallace Foundation's four-year Strengthening Financial Management in Out-of-School Time initiative (SFM). SFM was designed to improve the financial management systems of 26 well-respected Chicago nonprofits that provide out-of-school-time services.

Building Stronger Nonprofits Through Better Financial Management: Early Efforts in 26 Youth-Serving Organizations

June 1, 2012

Outlines the Financial Management in Out-of-School Time initiative to improve nonprofits' long-term financial management capacity and reform funding practices that weaken it, challenges participating nonprofits faced, progress to date, and early lessons.

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