East Palo Alto Academy Foundation

Spring-Summer 2022
Project Location
East Palo Palo Alto, CA
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Operations Review
Organization Type
Children, Youth & Families,


Since 2006 East Palo Alto Academy Foundation (EPAAF) has served first-generation, low-income students from East Palo Alto and Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood, which have among the highest poverty and rental housing rates in San Mateo County. EPAAF advocates for, advances, and raises funds for the students and college-attending graduates of East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA), a public charter high school, part of the Sequoia Unified School District in San Mateo County. EPAAF provides extensive academic and wraparound support services including Early College, restorative justice, mental health, athletics, and mentorship. Together, these programs allow EPAAF to achieve its mission: to disrupt the cycle of poverty and empower EPAA students to access lives of choice through educational opportunity. By providing these extensive programs & services, EPAAF aids EPAA students, graduates, and families to provide them with academic and social-emotional skills while at EPAA and college, in preparation for successful, meaningful careers.


How can East Palo Alto Academy Foundation’s lean team continue to support significant program growth by aligning its financial and human resources with its big-picture objectives of providing first-generation, low-income students more educational and life opportunities?


Over the last five years, EPAAF has grown its scholarship program by 440% and fundraising steadily by 20% yet has only grown its staff from three to four people. To maintain its rapid growth (the organization expects a 26% increase in number of students in its College Success Program), EPAAF plans to hire an additional staff member, thereby requiring additional funding. EPAAF has outlined five priorities for this year with fundraising, new programs/program efficacy, and marketing/branding as the top three. EPAAF strives to optimize the balance of its program and service offering to achieve success in addressing those priorities, which in turn will yield greater financial commitments from existing and prospective funders.

Project Overview

EPAAF is requesting an ACT team to conduct a SWOT analysis to provide guidance on how to focus its financial resources and staff priorities. Delving one layer deeper, EPAAF wants to understand which of their programs and services are most impactful and sustainable for delivering its mission. Assistance with defining success metrics and analyzing its programs and services relative to each other and to external comparable programs would be instrumental in informing staffing, programming, and external communication decisions.


This is a Fast Track project:

  • Scope: Focused, specific organizational issue
  • Team Size: 2-4 consultants
  • Project Duration: 3 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 25-30 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role.