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
 

  • A Better City
  • Academy of Vocal Arts
  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • AIDS Action Committee
  • The Alliance
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Ballet Theatre
  • American Camp Association – New England
  • American Composers Orchestra
  • American Repertory Theater
  • American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
  • Animal Rescue League of Boston
  • AppleTree Institute
  • Arkansas Repertory Theater
  • Arnold Arboretum
  • ArtsBoston
  • Arts Education Partnership
  • Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
  • Atlanta Ballet
  • Autism Consortium
  • Ballet Arizona
  • Barkai Yeshivah
  • Beacon Capitol Partners
  • Berkshire Carousel
  • Berkshire Museum
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
  • Big Thought
  • Billings Forge Community Works
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts
  • Boch Center
  • Boston After School & Beyond
  • Boston Arts Academy
  • Boston Athenaeum
  • Boston Ballet
  • Boston Baroque
  • Boston Center for the Arts
  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Boston Day and Evening Academy
  • Boston Early Music Festival
  • Boston Harbor Now
  • Boston Jewish Film Festival
  • Boston Landmarks Orchestra
  • Boston Living Center
  • Boston Lyric Opera
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Boston Partners in Education
  • Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute
  • Building Excellent Schools
  • Cambridge Center for Adult Education
  • Canterbury Shaker Village
  • Cape Ann Museum
  • Capitol Center for the Arts
  • Cathedral High School
  • Center City Churches
  • Center for Collaborative Education
  • Center for Community Health Education Research and Service (CCHERS)
  • Center for Teen Empowerment
  • Center on the Common
  • Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
  • Chelsea REACH
  • Child Care Capital Investment Fund
  • Chrysalis Center
  • City of Boston
  • City of Cambridge
  • Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center
  • Coalition of Essential Schools
  • Collaborative Storage Study
  • Colleges of the Fenway
  • Columbia University Press
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies
  • Conner Prairie
  • Conservation Law Foundation
  • Crittenton & Women’s Union
  • Dance Complex
  • Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings
  • Detroit Institute of Art
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Discover Roxbury
  • Dorchester House Neighborhood Health Center
  • Dotwell
  • East Bay Community Action Program
  • East Boston Ecumenical Community Council
  • Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
  • Elizabeth Peabody House
  • Emerald Necklace Conservancy
  • Ethos
  • Fenway Health
  • Fenway High School
  • Franklin Square House Foundation
  • Freedom Trail Foundation
  • Furniture Society
  • Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)
  • Girls, Inc.
  • Girls Outcome Measurement Project
  • Grantmakers in the Arts
  • Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Hampshire Country School
  • Hancock Shaker Village
  • Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative
  • Hartford Economic Development Corporation
  • Hartford Public Library
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History
  • Harvard Student Agencies
  • Harvard University Press
  • Hispanic Health Council
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • hopeFound
  • Horizons for Homeless Children
  • Houston Zen Center
  • Hudson Opera House
  • Hurricane Island Outward Bound
  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • Immanuel House
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • International FOP Association
  • International Institute of Boston
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • International Legal Technology Association
  • Irish International Immigrant Center
  • Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts
  • Jobs for the Future
  • Just Buffalo Literary Center
  • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • League of American Orchestras
  • Leventhal Map Center
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Rhode Island)
  • Lookingglass Theatre
  • Lynn Museum & Historical Society
  • Lyric Stage Company
  • Madison Park Development Corporation
  • Magen David Yeshivah
  • MASCO
  • Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers
  • Massachusetts College of Art
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Coalition (MIRA)
  • Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance
  • Mass Audubon Society
  • MASS MoCA
  • Mass Mentoring Partnership
  • Merrimack Repertory Theatre
  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • MetroWest Legal Services
  • Michigan Opera Theatre
  • Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries
  • Nantucket Dreamland Theater
  • Natick Community Organic Farm
  • National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts
  • National Dance Institute of New Mexico
  • National Institute on Out of School Time
  • Neighborhood House Charter School
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • New England Aquarium, Marine Conservation Action Fund
  • New England Conservatory
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • New-York Historical Society
  • Newport Art Museum
  • N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF)
  • North Bennet Street School
  • Northeast Document Conservation Corporation (NEDCC)
  • Northeastern University
  • Opera Philadelphia
  • Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Pennsylvania Ballet
  • Perkins School for the Blind
  • Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
  • Philadelphia History Museum
  • Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts
  • Philadelphia Orchestra Association
  • Phoenix Art Museum
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Project Bread
  • Project Row Houses
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum
  • Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research
  • Reach Beyond Domestic Violence
  • Reaching Out MBA
  • Redwood Library
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Rhode Island Historical Society
  • Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
  • Rogerson Communities
  • Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
  • Roxbury Tenants of Harvard
  • Sammons Center for the Arts
  • San Francisco Zen Center
  • SeaPlan
  • The Second Step
  • Shakespeare Theatre Co.
  • Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse
  • Society of Arts & Crafts
  • Sociedad Latina
  • Somerville Cambridge Elder Services
  • South Boston Neighborhood House
  • South Carolina Aquarium
  • South Coastal Counties Legal Services
  • South Shore Art Center
  • St. Mary’s School
  • Strand Theater
  • The Theatre Offensive
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
  • Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC)
  • Transportation for Massachusetts
  • The Trustees of Reservations
  • Tucson Museum of Art
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • United Way (of Greater Attleboro-Taunton, Greater New Haven, Massachusetts Bay, Pioneer Valley, and the Dutchess-Orange Region)
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Urban Improv
  • Villa Victoria Center for the Arts at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion
  • Vincent Club
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • West End House Boys & Girls Club
  • Woodmere Art Museum
  • World Monuments Fund
  • World Music/CRASHarts
  • Young Audiences Inc.
  • Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center
  • YWCA Hartford Region
  • YWCA of Greater Boston
  • Zoo New England
  • Zumix

Foundations and
Philanthropic Entities

  • Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation
  • Barr Foundation
  • The Boston Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
  • Consortium of Small Arts Funders (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Davis Foundation
  • Fidelity Foundations
  • Flinn Foundation
  • Foundation for MetroWest (formerly Crossroads Community Foundation)
  • Greater Hartford Community Foundation
  • Greater Lowell Community Foundation
  • Greater Worcester Community Foundation
  • Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Hudson-Webber Foundation
  • Houston Endowment
  • Hyams Foundation
  • Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • Klarman Family Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • McGregor Fund
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
  • The Philadelphia Foundation
  • Rhode Island Foundation
  • San Francisco Foundation
  • San Francisco Art Commission
  • Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
  • Wallace Foundation
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • William Penn Foundation