Strategic Planning & Impact Assessment

Grow your organization, build your vision, establish your values

We provide strategic guidance, technical assistance and program design to support organizational management and growth.

What kind of community do we want to live and work in? What are the results we wish to see? Who will be our partners? What processes will we adopt to collaborate? How will we evaluate, discuss, know when we have achieved success?



We believe that evaluation is what David Grant calls “planning backwards.” We design innovative and participatory evaluation tools with communities to identify the measures that are valuable to them, generate and tell stories, adapt their programs, and grow their organizations.

We develop effective and appropriate methodsfor tracking and sharing results with diverse stakeholders, including community members, youth, peer organizations, funders, policy makers, and academia.

We coach people to effectively tell stories through narrative or photographs.

We facilitate Photovoice projects to engage communities in generating their own stories, capture data and analysis, and advocate for change. Photovoice combines community generated photos and dialogue to tell the stories of issues lived by residents, particularly to policy makers. See our blog:



Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation: Healthy Food Fund

The Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation aims to improve the quality and value of healthcare in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire by increasing access to fresh, affordable, local food.

Together Fertile Ground and DAISA Enterprises have provided critical design and evaluation services and expertise to the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund, which afforded three year grants to over 24 organizations in MA, CT, NH, ME for greater access to fresh food. Fertile Ground designed a learning community approach for grantees to share strategy and build capacity for tracking and evaluation. Click here to view the final report.

With the support of Fertile Ground, DAISA  developed GoodFoodTracker as a way to curate smart metrics, build compelling story formats, make reporting easy, and for grantees to access “info-sheet summaries.” Click here to learn more or request a demonstration.

“Catherine Sands was instrumental in helping our grant partners see the impact of their work not just in numbers, but in ways to be more inclusive and equitable.” – Mike Devlin, Director, Grants and Initiatives, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation

Gardening the Community

Gardening the Community is a food justice organization engaged in youth development, urban agriculture, and sustainable living to build healthy and

equitable communities. Fertile Ground supports Gardening the Community staff in co-creating a culture of evaluation, aligning their organizational values of justice and fairness, healthy people, and sustainable ecosystems to their program outcomes. Together with their intergenerational staff we developed a dynamic tool to map program outcomes, measures, and values.