Saunji Fyffe (Nonprofit)

I am a researcher at the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy where I work on a number of projects with specific emphasis on strengthening the capacity of nonprofit organizations to deliver effective and high quality programs and services. Much of my work involves projects aimed to help nonprofit organizations measure and manage their performance. For example, I am part of an Urban Institute partnership that is developing PerformWell, a one-stop comprehensive on-line resource that helps nonprofit practitioners to identify performance measures and effective practices. Additionally, I worked on a pilot study designed to help nonprofit out-of-school-time (OST) programs measure outcomes and I am currently a part of the Measure4Change project team, a program to build performance measurement and evaluation capacity among local nonprofits in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Further, my dissertation research examined the attributes of resilient nonprofit organizations to explore elements of organizational capacity exhibited by small and medium sized nonprofits in Virginia.

My research also includes projects that examine nonprofit-government relationships, collaborations, and networks. I have worked on several studies that examine partnerships between nonprofit and government entities. For example, I researched cross sector relationships between Habitat for Humanity Affiliates and local government agencies; collaborations between New York City government and area nonprofits; and government-nonprofit contracting and grants relationships at the federal, state and local levels.

Prior to joining the Urban Institute, I was a seasoned organization development and human resources professional at several nonprofit trade associations. In this capacity my work included tasks such as analyzing organizational resources and processes to help ensure they are strongly aligned to achieve the overall mission and goals of the organization; managing organizational change processes to transition employees through changes in leadership, shifts in culture, and departmental restructurings; providing the framework, guidance, and coaching necessary to facilitate operational plans and objectives; implementing and evaluating organization-wide initiatives; consulting with senior leadership and management on strategic planning and budgeting activities; and advising senior management teams on process improvement activities to produce more efficient, productive, cost-effective and streamlined workflow.

I hold a BA from the University of Virginia, MPA from George Mason University, and a PhD from Virginia Tech.