TDC is one of the nation’s oldest nonprofit management consulting and research firms.

Our History

For nearly fifty years, TDC has been committed to supporting nonprofit organizations’ and funders’ visions for change through the practical application of strategy and operations. Our approach to this work is grounded in our history.

Our development has mirrored the development of the independent sector itself, at times leading change and at times responding to the evolving needs of organizations and funders. Through our work, we have developed a strong understanding of the unique operating environments facing nonprofit organizations and public entities, allowing us to advise our clients and position them most effectively.

1968

Founded in Boston as an incubator for nonprofits.

Throughout the late 1960s, Massachusetts was in the process of de-institutionalizing various populations that had been served by the state, such as prisoners and the mentally ill. Nonprofit organizations were responding by building new programs to serve these populations in community-based settings. TDC was founded as an incubator to design, develop and test such programs. If a program was successful, it was spun off into a self-sustaining organization with an independent board and funding sources. For its first ten years, TDC expanded and contracted with the development of these programs.

Late 1970's

Widened services to support organizations through planning and administering loan funds.

By this time, the nonprofit sector had grown exponentially. Local funders began to recognize a need to help organizations think more strategically about their missions and service delivery, and asked TDC to help. Capitalizing on the organizational development and management skills acquired during the firm’s incubator phase, TDC turned its energies to developing organizational assessments and strategic plans for nonprofits.

At the same time, reflecting on some of the challenges facing clients, TDC began to think about how nonprofits fund their work and their access to capital. TDC worked with public and private funders in Massachusetts to study the benefits of loan funds for community development needs. TDC then raised funds for and ran five loan funds through the mid-1980s.

1990's

Expanded scope to meet the growing sophistication and professionalization of the sector.

Over the next twenty years, TDC’s experience both broadened and deepened. The firm expanded into other parts of the sector, such as the environment and arts and culture, while maintaining its work with human service providers and education organizations. By this time, strategic plans were becoming more commonplace in the nonprofit sector, and TDC was inspired to add implementation planning to its suite of services in order to flesh out plans that had previously just focused on vision and goals. Over time these processes were combined into more rigorous and holistic strategic business planning processes, more reminiscent of the work TDC does today with a strong emphasis on analyzing data and understanding the local market.

2000's

Channeled experiences and learnings from clients into sector-wide research that augments our consulting practice.

In the last fifteen years, TDC has deepened its work with public and private funders, as sector-wide research and writing has taken on a more prominent role in the practice. We began to look closely at some of the critical issues facing the nonprofit sector, such as capitalization, the use of debt, and scope and scale – all challenges that we had seen our clients grapple with over the years. Our research is always informed by our work with organizations, and in turn, we believe organizations benefit from the advancement of our thinking.

Today, our work with both organizations and funders continues apace, rooted firmly in the principles of our past. We look for opportunities to expand our learning and share our intellectual capital while continuing to help organizations identify the most effective ways to achieve mission success and make an impact.

Our Clients

TDC’s client list is as diverse as the nonprofit sector itself. We pride ourselves on serving organizations and foundations of many sizes, interest areas, and regions.

Organizations
 

  • Academy of Vocal Arts
  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • Action Inc.
  • Alliance for Young Families
  • America SCORES New England
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • American Red Cross – Boston
  • American Repertory Theatre
  • American Society of Law Ethics and Medicine
  • Animal Rescue League of Boston
  • AppleTree Institute
  • Arnold Arboretum
  • ArtsBoston
  • Arts Education Partnership
  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
  • Berkshire Carousel
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
  • Big Thought
  • Billings Forge Community Works
  • Boston After School and Beyond
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
  • Boston Arts Academy
  • Boston Baroque
  • Boston Day and Evening Academy
  • Boston Harbor Island Alliance
  • Boston Jewish Film Festival
  • Boston Living Center
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Boston Partners in Education
  • Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
  • Boston Urban Youth
  • Boston Workforce Development Coalition
  • Boston YMCA
  • Boston Youth Sports Initiative
  • Bostonian Society
  • Building Excellent Schools
  • C.O.R.E.S.
  • Canterbury Shaker Village
  • CASPAR
  • Center City Churches
  • Center for Collaborative Education
  • Center for Teen Empowerment
  • Center on the Common
  • Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
  • Chelsea Early Childhood Project
  • Chelsea REACH
  • Chrysalis Center
  • Citi Performing Arts Center
  • Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center
  • Coalition of Essential Schools
  • Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color
  • Colleges of the Fenway
  • Columbia University Press
  • Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation
  • Community Family
  • Community Music Center
  • Connecticut 4-H Development Fund
  • Connecticut Community Cares
  • Conner Prairie
  • Conservation Law Foundation
  • Cooperative Metro Ministries
  • D.E.A.F. Inc.
  • Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings
  • Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Discover Roxbury
  • East Bay Community Action Program
  • East Boston Ecumenical Community Council
  • Ethos
  • Families USA
  • Family Nurturing Center
  • Fenway Health
  • Fresh Arts
  • Furniture Society
  • Girls, Inc. of Lynn
  • Girls LEAP
  • GLAD
  • Greater Boston Food Bank
  • G-ROW (Girls Row Boston)
  • Hartford Child Care Collaborative
  • Hartford Economic Development Corporation
  • Hartford Public Library
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History
  • Harvard Student Agencies
  • Harvard University Press
  • Health Resources in Action
  • Hispanic Health Council
  • Horizons Initiative
  • Hudson Opera House
  • Hurricane Island Outward Bound
  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • Immanuel House
  • Impact Employment Services
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • InfoLink
  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  • International Legal Technology Association
  • Irish International Immigrant Center
  • Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts
  • Jewish Federation of Columbus
  • Jobs For the Future
  • JESNA
  • Jubilee House
  • Just Buffalo Literary Center
  • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
  • League of American Orchestras
  • League of Women Voters
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Boston, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, St. Paul)
  • Lynn Community Health Center
  • Lyric Stage Company of Boston
  • Magen David Yeshivah
  • Malden YWCA
  • MASCO
  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society
  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Massachusetts Community and Banking Council
  • Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative
  • Massachusetts Historical Society
  • MASS MoCA
  • Mass Mentoring Partnership
  • MassVOTE
  • Nantucket Dreamland Theater
  • Natick Community Organic Farm
  • National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts
  • National Center on Family Homelessness
  • National Dance Institute of New Mexico
  • Neighborhood Development Support Collaborative
  • Neighborhood House Charter School
  • Neustra Comunidad
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • New England Wildlife Center
  • New Hampshire Historical Society
  • New-York Historical Society and DiMenna Children’s History Museum
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • North Bennet Street School
  • Northeastern University
  • Oficina Hispana
  • Old South Meeting House
  • Opera Philadelphia
  • Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Pennsylvania Ballet
  • Perkins School for the Blind
  • Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
  • Philadelphia Orchestra Association
  • Playworks Metro Boston
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Providence Ministries
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum
  • Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research
  • REACH Beyond Domestic Violence
  • Reaching Out MBA
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Rhode Island Historical Society
  • Rhode Island Law Enforcement Advocates
  • Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School
  • Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
  • Rosenbach Museum and Library
  • Roxbury Tenants of Harvard
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • San Francisco Zen Center
  • The Second Step
  • Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse
  • Sociedad Latina
  • South Boston Neighborhood House
  • South Carolina Aquarium
  • South Shore Coastal Legal Services
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
  • The Trustees of Reservations
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Urbano Project
  • World Monuments Fund
  • Yeshivah University’s Institute for University-School Partnerships
  • Young Audiences Inc.
  • Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center
  • YWCA Hartford Region
  • Zamir Chorale of Boston
  • Zoo New England
  • Zumix

Foundations and
Philanthropic Entities

  • Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation
  • Autism Consortium
  • Barr Foundation
  • Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
  • Boston Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
  • Consortium for Small Arts Funders (Heinz Endowments; The Pittsburgh Foundation; McCune Foundation)
  • Crossroads Community Foundation
  • Davis Foundation
  • Edward C. Johnson Fund
  • Fannie Mae Foundation
  • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Fidelity Foundation
  • Franklin Square House Foundation
  • Grantmakers in the Arts
  • Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Hudson-Webber Foundation
  • Hyams Foundation
  • Jewish Community Foundation
  • JRS Biodiversity Foundation
  • Klarman Family Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • Marine Conservation Action Fund, New England Aquarium
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • McGregor Fund
  • Metrowest Community Health Foundation
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Pittsburgh Foundation
  • The Rhode Island Foundation
  • United Way of Dutchess County
  • United Way of Greater New Haven
  • United Way of Orange County
  • United Way of Pioneer Valley
  • William Penn Foundation