Public/Private Ventures

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Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social research and policy organization whose mission is to improve the effectiveness of policies, programs and community initiatives, especially as they affect vulnerable communities. In partnership with public and private funders, P/PV develops new models and performs evaluations on programs and initiatives that seek to address some of society’s most pressing problems. It also works with programs that seek to replicate and expand and disseminates lessons learned from its projects to practitioners and policymakers.


P/PV was created by the Ford Foundation and the US Department of Labor to serve an intermediary role to join together the complementary capacities of government, businesses, and nonprofits in the hopes of creating a truly effective response to social welfare ills. P/PV began its operations in 1978 and was initially focused on evaluating and creating strategies to connect disadvantaged youth to education and jobs[1][2][3]. P/PV now addresses a wide range of critical social issues including community health [4], youth development[5], faith-based initiatives[6][7], sectoral employment [8], mentoring[9], after-school programs, youth violence[10] and prisoner reentry.

Early findings from P/PV’s summer youth employment and education programs influenced [11] the 1986 Congress to mandate that federally supported summer jobs programs have a remediation component. In 1995, P/PV’s widely publicized[12][13] study, Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters, showed that BBBS' community-based mentoring program had positive impacts on a range of important outcomes for youth, including curtailing drug use, improving school attendance and reducing schoolyard fighting[14]. With the support of the US Department of Labor, US Department of Justice, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Ford Foundation, P/PV engaged in the process of implementing and evaluating Ready4Work—a three-year demonstration project designed to more comprehensively address the needs of former prisoners[15]. Both community- and faith-based organizations provided participants with employment services, case management and mentoring. More recently, P/PV published the findings from its Sectoral Employment Impact Study, which showed that participants in sector-focused training programs earned significantly more, were more likely to work, and were significantly more likely to have jobs that offered benefits than control group members[16]. The White House Council of Economic Advisers cited P/PV’s work on this issue, noting that "sector-focused training programs...are one promising approach to fostering collaboration between training providers and employers.[17]"

Current Organization

Headquartered in Philadelphia, P/PV also has offices located in New York City and Oakland, with staff numbering around 50. Nadya K. Shmavonian began her tenure as P/PV's president in January 2010. Past presidents include Frederick A. Davie, Gary Walker, Mike Bailin, Rick deLone and Graham Finney. In 2008, P/PV reported an operating budget of over $20 million[18].

The organization's staff is composed of policy experts in various fields; evaluators and researchers in disciplines ranging from economics to ethnography; and experienced practitioners from the nonprofit, public, business and philanthropic sectors. Senior staff members include Jean Baldwin Grossman, Geri Summerville, Wilson Goode, Renata Cobbs Fletcher, Wendy McClanahan, Sheila Maguire and Chelsea Farley.

P/PV is funded by a wide range of public and private sources. Past and current funders include:

Public Funders:

Private Funders:

Board of Directors

In 2009, the Board of Directors are: Matthew McGuire, Yvonne Chan, Christine L. James-Brown, Robert J. LaLonde, John A. Mayer Jr., Anne Hodges Morgan, Siobhan Nicolau, Marion Pines, Clayton S. Rose, Cay Stratton, Sudhir Venkatesh and William Julius Wilson.

Notes and references

  1. AP. "Study Hails a Youth Program Periled by US Budget Cuts", New York Times, 1982-01-03. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  2. Hechinger, Fred M. "About Education; Warning Over Ignoring Pupils Living in Poverty.", New York Times, 1985-10-29. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  3. Op-Ed. "Putting Summer to Work",New York Times, 1987-06-09. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  4. Mcclain, Dani. "Confronting Teen Pregnancy: Campaign Uses In-Your-Face Ways to 'Make it Real'", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2007-04-07. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  5. Marriott, Michel. "Youth Service Is New Route to Diplomas and Jobs", New York Times, 1990-07-18. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  6. Billups, Andrea.“Keeping the Faith, Philadelphia’s Mayor Helps Make a Difference,” Washington Times, 2001-04-15. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  7. US Department of Labor."New Faith-Based Cooperative Agreement Announced:Five Job Corps Sites And Five Faith-Based Organizations Partner to Help Youths", Press Release, 2002-02-12. Retrieved on 2008-09-16
  8. Public/Private Ventures."Sectoral Employment"
  9. Stoiber, Julie. "At School, a 'Big' Visit Makes a Big Difference: Big Brothers Big Sisters Matches College Students with Counterparts at a West Philadelphia Middle School",Philadelphia Inquirer, 2005-01-31
  10. Gregory, Kia."Staying Alive: A Local Program Aims to Keep the City's Young from Becoming Targets of Crime", Philadelphia Weekly, 2004-08-11. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  11. The New York Times. "Putting Summer to Work", The New York Times, 1987-06-09. Retrieved on 2009-11-22
  12. Boyle, Patrick. "The Study that Ignited (or Diluted) Mentoring: How the 'Big Brothers' Report Became the Most Influential, Most Useful and Most Misused Evaluation in Youth Work", Youth Today, 2007-01-01. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  13. Boyle, Patrick and Jen Russell. "School-Based Mentoring: Does it Make the Grade?: Evidence Shows Some Benefits, but Big Impacts Require More Commitment", Youth Today, 2007-09-01. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  14. See Chapter V, "The Impact on Youth of Having a Big Brother or Big Sister" in Joseph P. Tierney, Jean Baldwin Grossman, and Nancy Resch. Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Public/Private Ventures, 1995. Retrieved on 2009-11-12.
  15. Richardson, Lynda. "Seizing Opportunity, but Also Passing It On", New York Times, 2004-02-03. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  16. Sheila Maguire, Joshua Freely, Carol Clymer and Maureen Conway. "Job Training That Works", Public/Private Ventures, 2009-05-01
  17. Council of Economic Advisers. "Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow", Executive Office of the President, 2009-07-01. Retrieved on 2009-11-09.
  18. Public/Private Ventures "2008 Annual Report", Public/Private Ventures, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-11-12.

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