Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2011 (Revised May 2012)

City Year: The Journey

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter and James Weber


Throughout its first two decades, City Year, a non-profit organization, was dedicated to recruiting young adults to give a year of public service. It had passed through several growth phases but by 2010 a new challenge, and opportunity, had arisen when City Year and its partners in a school turnaround collaboration – Diplomas Now – won a prestigious Department of Education Investing in Innovation grant. This accelerated City Year's role in turning around low performing schools, but added pressure on the organization. New systems and practices had been developed, but more needed to be done to ensure that City Year became efficient in deploying its limited resources, in maintaining its funding sources, and employing the right interventions in schools. In November 2011, Jim Balfanz, City Year President, and Michael Brown, CEO and co-founder, wondered what else the changes would mean for City Year.

Keywords: Education; Service Operations; Nonprofit Organizations; Growth and Development Strategy; Performance Efficiency; Resource Allocation;


Kanter, Rosabeth Moss, and James Weber. "City Year: The Journey." Harvard Business School Case 311-080, April 2011. (Revised May 2012.)