Stanford University Our Voice Initiative II

Spring-Summer 2020
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Business Plans
Organization Type


Stanford Our Voice is an initiative within Stanford’s School of Medicine which provides technology and resources for communities to improve the health of their local environments. Using the Our Voice Discovery Tool mobile app, community members document features of their environment that impact their ability to lead healthy lives. They then review their findings, prioritize areas for change, and promote improvements that will support community health. Our Voice technologies and resources include:

  • Our Voice Discovery Tool mobile app, Data Portal, and Project Management Dashboard
  • Our Voice Toolkit – a library of materials to support implementation, evaluation and dissemination of Our Voice projects
  • Training and consultation on project design, implementation and evaluation
  • Membership in the Our Voice Global Network – a growing network of researchers and community practitioners

More than 40 Our Voice projects have been completed or are under way in the Bay Area, across the country, and in 19 different countries.


Having started with a $5,000 seed grant, the Our Voice Initiative ran for many years on a shoestring, establishing proof of concept, generating initial publications, and garnering a great deal of interest from community health researchers and practitioners from around the world. With additional funding from local foundations, Our Voice has built out its systems and technologies to support rapid, low-cost scale-up and built a global network of researchers and community-based practitioners who are promoting the impact of citizen science on health equity across a range of populations and health issues. Over the past several years, Our Voice has continued to run its own research programs, including a five-year NIH funded grant to look at the impact of Our Voice with groups of older adults in and around senior affordable housing sites. Given the explosion of interest in its work, Our Voice has an opportunity for much greater impact by scaling up the availability of its resources to additional researchers and organizations.  There are currently more than 50 projects in the “exploration phase” across the US and globally.

Our Voice engaged Stanford ACT in the Fall of 2019 to create a pricing model so that they could begin generating earned income, with a goal of increasing funding for growth, expanding their impact, and eventually becoming self sustaining. This project is to build a robust economic model to help them better manage their operations as well as communicate to stakeholders and potential funders their viability as a business.

Project Objectives

Our Voice asked the Stanford ACT team to build an economic model which they could use to project their revenues and costs.  The model itself would help Our Voice manage their business and pipeline, and output from the model would be incorporated into Our Voice proposals to external funders.  Additionally, Our Voice also asked ACT for guidance on broadening their funding base to include corporate philanthropy.

Project Overview

The project consisted of 2 main phases.  First was the gather and organize existing historical financial data, and build a structure for the economic model.  Second was to populate the model with historical data and build projections.  Concurrently, ACT created an how-to guide and action plan for Our Voice on corporate philanthropy.

Key Recommendations

The ACT team recommended that Our Voice utilize the economic model on an ongoing basis to track their finances, including prospective clients.  ACT team created and recommended use of a series of slides that summarize Our Voice financial projections and key underlying assumptions and investments.  Lastly, ACT recommended foundational work to be done to refine Our Voice mission and messaging for potential corporate funders, to be utilized when economic conditions improve.

Final Report Outline

Economic model output / Slides for potential funders 

Corporate philanthropy including checklist of next steps