Californians for Justice

Spring-Summer 2018
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Business Plans,
Cost Analysis,
Market Analysis
Organization Type
Children, Youth & Families


Californians for Justice (CFJ) is a statewide grassroots organization working for racial justice by building the power of youth, communities of color, immigrants, low-income families, and LGBTQ communities. CFJ trains and organizes high school youth around the state to become leaders in advocating for educational justice and to improve social, economic, and political conditions. In its twenty-one-year history, CFJ has engaged and trained 2500 young people to take action on issues that affect them, from leading the opposition of statewide ballot initiatives that limit opportunities for people of color, to campaigns to create stronger pathways towards college and career readiness and a more equitable way of funding schools.


CFJ has experienced an unprecedented period of organizational growth, growing operations by twenty percent each in 2016 and 2017 and expecting to grow thirty percent in 2018. But CFJ’s leaders recognize that there are both booms and busts in funding. CFJ has begun to diversify its revenue stream by launching earned revenue models, essentially teaching school districts to do what CFJ does. CFJ has recently completed a three-year strategic plan, and now must get more concrete in allocating resources to accomplish these goals.

Project Objectives

CFJ asked an ACT team to help assess the earned revenue potential for its Professional Learning Networks (PLN) and its Fee for Service (FFS) programs, including the development of a marketing and business model for evaluating these programs and future earned revenue opportunities.

Project Overview

The ACT team’s work consisted of three main prongs. In order to make recommendations, the team:

  • determined whether there was sufficient market demand for these service products,
  • conducted research—including a review of research articles and in depth interviews with a number of school districts—with people working in these target markets to confirm their level of interest in such programs,
  • and benchmarked other organizations that have brought training programs to these markets to determine how successful they’ve been in marketing and selling their products over time.

Key Recommendations

CFJ needs to review project findings and make decision to proceed or not with PLN and fee-for-service businesses. If CFJ does proceed, it must:

  • Define and develop service products with compelling value propositions for new market segments
  • Acquire necessary sales and marketing capabilities
  • Perform analysis to determine size and purchasing characteristics of non-educational market
  • Secure adequate financing from foundations and donors to support a new strategic direction
  • Assess benefits and possibility of partnering or merging with an established, successful complementary organization

Key Conclusions

CFJ is not prepared to successfully enter fee for services market. In order to be, CFJ must diversify beyond youth development and advocacy. This will require a new focus for CFJ in marketing; its marketing infrastructure, website, and social media will need overhauling. CFJ also needs more defined service products. Facilitation is insufficient for the broader education market and the non-education market.

Final Report Outline

  • Project objective and work plan
  • Project activities
  • Market and benchmark analysis
  • Marketing observations and assessment
  • Readiness
  • Recommendation
  • Discussion