Case Study:

Foundation Service Clustering Study



Nonprofits, Foundations

Our Role

  • Applied Research
  • Data Analysis
  • Strategy Formulation


The Forbes Funds, a Pittsburgh-based foundation focused on increasing capacity within and among the region’s nonprofits, commissioned The Hill Group to conduct a study of the human service delivery system in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to determine if there were opportunities to enhance the system’s capacity.


The findings of this study outline significant potential cost savings for both public and nonprofit organizations. Researchers recommended that human service providers consider adopting the Service Integration Model that provides a mechanism for nonprofit agencies to take steps to collaborate and share non-mission critical services and functions. It suggests that collaboration between nonprofits might be facilitated by their proximity and similarity in customer base or mission.


Behind the Scenes

Researchers utilized primary and secondary data sources to complete this study. The supply-demand continuum of human services delivery in Allegheny County was studied using geographic information systems (GIS) overlaid with client and provider databases. The National Nonprofit Research Database and Guidestar National Nonprofit Database were used to examine the financial characteristics of nonprofit human services organizations in Allegheny County. The Hill Group’s research team also conducted structured interviews with representatives of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and numerous nonprofit direct service providers.