Many foundations lack strategic advisement at the time when it matters most – the grant-making stage. As a result, philanthropic investment is often not as impactful as it otherwise could be.
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Our Areas of Expertise

General Giving

Grant/Program Portfolio



Examples of Our Work

Facilitating Meaningful Community/Government Partnership to Build Capacity
Nexus Research Group was hired by a national community development intermediary to oversee a multi-sector initiative designed to build neighborhood and organizational capacity through training, skill development and small grants. As part of this, NRG was responsible for facilitating ongoing engagement between the local government and community-based groups to support trust building, mutual agenda setting and co-creation of specific community-focused efforts.

With our support and in just two years, the partners were able launch a citywide neighborhood summit, mini-grants program, professional development workshop series and a neighborhood capacity building training program.
Employing Data and Evaluation to Support Continuous Improvement
Nexus Research Group was hired by a national social justice organization to evaluate a major health-focused initiative. Early on, our team determined that the innovative nature of the project required a developmental evaluation approach that would allow our team to provide iterative feedback into the early stages of the work, which supported ongoing learning and continuous improvement throughout the pilot phase of the project.

The staff and consulting team’s commitment to this approach contributed to the project being selected for a Commitment to Action by the Clinton Global Initiative, a rare distinction for such an early stage program.
Maximizing Long-term Evaluation to Shape Strategic Direction
Nexus Research Group was hired by a national think tank to provide long-term evaluation support for a national learning community designed to build the capacity of local leaders around the country to identify and improve social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health.
Upon deciding that the lead division would spinoff to merge with another organization, the client secured NRG to provide strategic planning support.

By applying our extensive knowledge of the project, we were able to guide our client through a strategic planning process that resulted in the realignment of the project’s mission and vision to the body of work, as well as provide a clear blueprint for the re-launch of the effort at its new home.
Leveraging Multi-sector Collaboration to Achieve Regional Equity
Nexus Research Group was hired by a national community development organization to provide project management support for a regional social equity collaborative seeking to develop a comprehensive mapping project that used GIS, data and narrative to tell the story of spatial justice within that region.The primary goal of the project, which covered eight topic areas across 28 metro counties, was to provide regional stakeholders with an up-to-date, easily accessible, data-rich resource capable of informing the larger debate on how to create a more fair and equitable region.

Over three-year life of the project, NRG facilitated the engagement of dozens of partners, hired and supervised staff, managed numerous vendors, enlisted national experts and generally oversaw the completion of the first equity mapping project in the Southeast and one of the most comprehensive such projects in the country.

Our Recommendations

  • Nexus Research Group has accelerated our work in many significant ways. NRG's evaluation services offered timely, targeted feedback that we used to identify areas where our resources and investments were paying off, areas where impact could be improved, and areas where we needed to shift course. NRG's strategic planning services helped us to effectively shape the course of our work in ways that will yield benefits for years to come. And their organizational develop consultation has equipped us with the tools to promote lasting and systemic change. NRG understands the needs of leaders working for transformative change, and it shows. Our work is powerfully transformed by NRG's assistance - we could not have a more effective partner!
    Brian Smedley
    Executive Director National Collaborative for Health Equity
  • Over the years, we’ve hired Nexus Research Group on several different occasions to support short- and long-term coalition work in the Gulf Coast. We know we can count on Kelly and NRG to get focused planning, steady execution and timely deliverables, always with a intense focus on meeting our needs as a customer. They understand the importance of process and have used that knowledge to help our groups navigate through thorny challenges often associated with collaborative work. Most importantly, they’ve done it with a level of sensitivity and care that is so critical when working with communities that have experienced trauma. Kelly in particular has a diverse range of skills, which is the one of the reasons her firm is a go-to for a number of us at NeighborWorks America. Additionally, she’s a joy to work with: patient, always on top of her game, focused, and bringing a sense of integrity and humor. Kelly and NRG are highly recommended!
    Bernadette Orr
    Community Building and Engagement Program at NeighborWorks America
  • In working with Nexus Research Group, we found them to be highly competent and capable. As the evaluator for one of our national health initiatives, NRG brought a unique range of skills that contributed to us being able to retool our programming early-on in order to achieve maximum impact. In addition to being exceptional at what they do, the team was a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking a strategic partner to help them carry-out more meaningful and impactful social programming.
    Shavon Arline-Bradley
    Director of External Engagement at Office of the United States Surgeon General, OASH, DHHS

Our Story

Nexus Research Group (NRG) is a strategic advisement firm that provides consulting services to corporations, foundations and government agencies designed to help them achieve impactful grantmaking that results in measurable social change. Our extensive evaluation background provides us unique insight into the lifecycle of social investment across a range of issues, which we leverage to help our clients make giving decisions that truly reflect their priorities and goals. Our approach blends academic research, field experience and informed opinion to move our clients along a systematic process that ensures they are achieving the greatest possible social return on investment. The result is greater accountability, stronger philanthropic integrity and more sustainable social change over time.

Our Clients

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation

  • Atlanta Beltline Partnership

  • Atlanta Public Schools

  • City of New Orleans

  • Emory University

  • Future Foundation

  • Institute for Local Innovation

  • Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

  • Kellogg Foundation (via Institute for Local Innovation)


  • NeighborWorks America

  • New World Foundation

  • Partnership for Southern Equity

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (via BCT Partners)

  • Southeastern Council of Foundations

  • Surdna Foundation (via Institute for Local Innovation)

  • United Way

  • U.S. Department of Justice

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