Community Acceleration Projects—A Successful First Year!

Six San Mateo County nonprofits participated in the first year of Leadership Council SMC’s Community Acceleration Project Program.

Community Acceleration Project (CAPs) are a component of Leadership Council SMC’s Emerging Leaders (EL) Program. CAP Teams, small groups of EL participants, are paired with local nonprofits to complete essential, transformational project work.

Emerging Leaders have an opportunity to make an immediate impact while also empowering our region’s nonprofits to expand service to our communities.

The Emerging Leaders (EL) Program, launched in September 2022, educates and inspires rising leaders who live and/or work in SMC to positively impact our communities. It is Leadership Council SMC’s second Immersion Program.

How Do CAP Projects Work?

As a social impact organization, Leadership Council SMC designed the Community Accelerations Projects as part of the EL Program to ensure participants are hands-on while they are in class, and thus able to immediately apply newly learned leadership skills, build relationships with members of their cohort by working on a team, and have ready access to Leadership Council SMC consultation.

To launch the CAP Program prior to the 2022-2023 program year, leaders from SMC nonprofits submitted applications for a CAP Team. After being selected, nonprofit leaders presented proposals to the Emerging Leaders, class participants chose a project they felt passionately about, and the CAP Teams set to work, designing projects in collaboration with their nonprofit counterparts.

During this pilot year, CAP Project Teams served six San Mateo County organizations:

  • Puente
  • CASA of SMC 
  • San Mateo Public Library
  • Life Science Cares
  • San Mateo County Flood and Sea Level Rise Resiliency District (OneShoreline).
  • Leadership Council SMC

Impacting San Mateo County

Two CAP case studies illustrate how the Emerging Leaders are impacting San Mateo County:

More to Come

The Leadership Council SMC Team is excited to shape the CAP Program’s future, expanding it to the Leadership CORPS Program for the 2023-2024 year.

“Our commitment to connect our aspiring leaders with local nonprofits sparked this idea during the design of the Emerging Leaders Program. When our Emerging Leaders Advisory Council proposed the idea, it immediately felt right—consistent with our vision and our bias toward action,” said Leadership Council SMC’s Co-President Kaarin Hardy. “We are incredibly proud of the work of these EL participants and know the CAP Program will be an essential and growing part of our program going forward.”