Advance Consulting LLC is a public policy consulting firm serving clients in the government, non-profit and private sectors. Our mission is to work with clients to improve the lives of children and families.

We seek clients who share our passion for excellence and our belief that committed, hard-working people can make a difference. We seek projects that allow us to work on issues about which we are passionate. We deliver the highest quality customer service and work products, while balancing work, family and community service.

We move our clients' ideas and organizations forward through strategic thinking and our ability to communicate with diverse audiences, research, analyze and evaluate, advocate, develop programs and policies, plan and manage projects and build capacity.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

CEASE FIRE
HEALTHY BABIES
MALCOLM X
GRANTS
CO-PARENT COURT
VOTER'S GUIDE
MINNESOTA EARLY LEARNING FOUNDATION
CONNECTORS

OUR FOCUS

We love our work because it is diverse and interesting while always connecting back to improving our community. Whether it is enhancing the lives of children and their families or helping adults become more stable and self-sufficient, we are proud of our work and honored to help create solutions.

CEASE FIRE

Advance Consulting worked with the African American Men Project, community organizations and the Minneapolis Police Department to "buy-back" guns from anyone who wanted to turn one in - no questions asked. We provided project management - which included everything from facilitating Steering Committee meetings, to writing press releases, to designing policies and procedures (Example: People will come in and be greeted. They will be instructed to put their UNLOADED weapons in a clear plastic bag. The plain clothes police officers will confirm whether it is a revolver or a semiautomatic weapon and give them the corresponding sticker - red for revolver and green for semi-automatic weapon. They will then move into the central area and get their folders and their gift cards), to organizing volunteers to staff the event, writing the evaluation surveys, and buying red and green stickers. We do high-level strategy and we do the nitty-gritty - whatever it takes to get the job done.

HEALTHY BABIES

The State of Minnesota wanted to develop a social marketing campaign to increase awareness about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We were subcontractors to a national firm that hired us to do research at the local level. We met with domestic violence advocates, community health workers, beauticians, barbers and others to see if they would be comfortable talking with their clients about the dangers of drinking when pregnant. To take our research right into the community, we scheduled multiple appointments with urban beauty shops, quizzing the manicurists while having our nails polished. Once we had gathered the data, strategized with our clients, and finalized the materials, we were in charge of getting them all translated into three different languages.

MALCOLM X

Our client, a private philanthropist, asked the University of Nebraska at Omaha (the birthplace of Malcolm X) to develop a curriculum based on the life and work of Malcolm X, to be delivered to men in prison. We serve as the liaison between the University and our client and combine our experience in program development and policy implementation with our knowledge of the opportunities and challenges of academia. We went through a crash course of books and films to better understand the many facets of Malcolm's evolution and philosophy before starting the project. We are quick studies who love to learn and can efficiently come up to speed on many topics.

GRANTS

We've written many successful grant proposals, securing millions of dollars for our clients. We recently managed and helped write Minnesota’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant, resulting in an award of nearly $45 million to the State of Minnesota. We also wrote a grant on behalf of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe to expand their Doula program to improve birth outcomes for women and their newborn babies. We worked with the Public Health nurse from the Band, the University of Minnesota's Powell Center for Women's Health, a local birthing instructor and a Navajo midwife from Arizona to put together one of only three funded proposals in the country. This grant, like most of our grants, involved lots of research, relationship building, creative budgeting, strategic innovation and compelling writing. (Not to mention a few late nights and a lot of chocolate.)

CO-PARENT COURT

We’ve been working on paternity issues for 20 years, beginning when Christa drafted Minnesota’s first voluntary paternity acknowledgment document in her basement while in graduate school. 40% of all U.S. births are to parents who aren’t married. Finding ways to work together to raise a child is particularly challenging for these parents. Advance Consulting led efforts to plan, fund and implement a cutting edge, civil problem-solving court model. Unmarried parents create a parenting plan, and are connected with education and social services to help them effectively co-parent. See http://www.co-parentcourt.org.

VOTER'S GUIDE

Our client wanted to make sure that Minneapolis voters were informed about the issues at stake in an upcoming school board race without endorsing any particular candidates. We did the research, distilled the issues in consultation with our client, wrote the copy, subcontracted with a graphic design firm, had the guide translated into three languages and then had over 350,000 brochures distributed via neighborhood and ethnic newspapers, community and civic organizations.

MINNESOTA EARLY LEARNING FOUNDATION

Half of Minnesota children get to kindergarten without a solid foundation of skills needed for school success. The Minnesota Early Learning Foundation spent five years to find cost-effective ways to prepare children for school. Working with a board of corporate and civic leaders, MELF raised $20M, created and evaluated programs, developed policy recommendations and advocated with the Minnesota legislature to reform the early childhood system. Advance Consulting was involved in various capacities since 2006, and acted as Policy Director since 2008. See http://www.melf.us.

CONNECTORS

Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) defines a connector as the rare individual who know[s] people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make[s] a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles. Our many years of practice allow us to see connections between projects and people that often are not obvious, and bring them together. We are both extroverts, gathering energy from our interactions with other people. We thrive on diversity of opinions, race, economics, geography, and backgrounds. Our most satisfying projects are those that allow us to become trusted colleagues of our clients, learning from them and sharing our own skills, network and experience for their benefit.