Maitri

San Jose, CA
Round
Spring-Summer 2017
Project Location
San Jose, CA
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Operations Review
Organization Type
Human Services,
Women

Organization

Formed in 1991, Maitri’s mission is to foster self-reliance and self-confidence in South Asians living in the Bay Area who have been impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking, family conflict, and/or cultural alienation. Maitri has ten full time employees serving more than 300 clients annually. Clients are primarily women from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries. Maitri has a very active and committed Board, reinforced by over fifty volunteers, each of whom has committed to two years of work and taken the training to be a certified Domestic Violence Counselor by the state of California. Volunteers have a South Asian background, are fluent in a South Asian language, and bring a helpful, empathetic attitude for each of their clients.

Situation

Initially Maitri was a bridge between existing domestic violence services and the South Asian community, providing linguistically and culturally sensitive counseling. In recent years, Maitri has significantly expanded its capabilities, now offering a helpline, transitional housing, legal advocacy, and a boutique, among other services. The organization wants to take a more holistic approach for its clientele by being a platform for transformative social change among South Asians so that they may lead a life of dignity and fulfillment. Maitri has recently embarked on separate programming for mental health services and economic empowerment (financial counseling).

Maitri’s Board believes that the organization has reached a point where it can make a bigger impact on the community by expanding its services and targeting a broader audience.

Project Objectives

Maitri’s focus is on domestic violence issues faced by South Asian women. However, the community is evolving and growing. The purpose of expanding was threefold:

  • to stay relevant to the needs of the community,
  • to broaden the appeal to increase financial support,
  • and to deepen social impact.

The objectives for the ACT team were to determine how Maitri should expand its services, and which clients it should try to serve. The ACT team made recommendations for redefining Maitri’s mission based on the growing needs of the South Asian community in these areas and Maitri’s ability to serve them best.

Project Overview

The ACT team conducted a SWOT analysis for the new areas of expansion to help Maitri to re-evaluate its mission. To conduct the SWOT analysis, the ACT team interviewed subject matter experts from the Maitri team and independent funders. Other sources of data were also used as needed. The ACT team interviewed Maitri staff to help identify opportunities for greater social impact and suggest measures for assessing impact. Data gathering and analysis was conducted, and final recommendations were based on those. SWOT analysis was conducted for each category based on the data gathered and using a social impact lens.

Key Recommendations

  • Update mission statement
  • Focus on enhancing service effectiveness before expanding services
  • Increase volunteer pool
  • Leverage services to obtain additional funding
  • Develop targeted messaging and outreach to intended audiences