• Accion East—We focused on addressing behavioral barriers limiting the number of loan applications Accion receives from family childcare providers in NYC.  We designed sample outreach postcards and suggested other ways to increase applications and referrals. View project brief. 
  • Arab American Family Support Center —We  helped identify barriers to effective data collection at AAFSC,  and prepared an intake training guide and referral template to address these barriers and improve intake and data practices. View project brief.
  • Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation —Based on our analysis  of behavioral barriers that may prevent tenants  in affordable and mixed income housing from participating in an on- time rent payment credit-building initiative and other asset-building programs, we developed outreach materials and other strategies to increase engagement. View project brief.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City—This project focused on identifying and mitigating behavioral barriers that discourage prospective volunteers from applying and following through to become Big Brothers. View project brief.
  • Breakthrough New York—The BDC identified behavioral barriers limiting the number and diversity of students applying for Breakthrough-NY’s free 10-year program.  We redesigned one of their webpages and suggested other ways to increase applications, particularly from boys of color. Breakthrough NY is working to implement the redesign and recommendations.
  • Citizens' Committee for Children—The project sought to identify behavioral barriers limiting responsive actions to CCC’s “Take Action” emails and offered recommendations to motivate advocates to send more letters to state and city leaders. View project brief.
  • Community Food Advocates—We created a flyer and advised CFA on outreach strategies to inform NYC students and their families about the new Pandemic EBT benefits. We also identified barriers to school lunch participation and offered guidance on how to mitigate them. View project brief.
  • CUNY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI)—We revised introductory correspondence with participants in PDI’s training and test preparation program, which provides training and support to early childhood teachers seeking Pre-K certification. We also outlined points and features to include in other communications and promotional material to enhance program recruitment and retention. View project brief. 
  • DOROT— Through its volunteer visiting programs, DOROT promotes intergenerational connections and combats social isolation among older adults. We helped them design an intervention to encourage volunteers to expand their involvement. Before implementing the BDC’s recommendations, volunteers were fulfilling 40% of the Response Team volunteer opportunities. Following initial implementation, in February 2020 volunteers were fulfilling 55%. View project brief.
  • Enterprise Community Partners—We investigated the behavioral barriers limiting older adults’ participation in activities offered remotely, and suggested strategies to mitigate those barriers and increase engagement. View project brief.
  • ExpandED Schools—We’re working with ExpandedED Schools Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program to identify barriers to after-school educators participating in its STEM Educators Academy (SEA), a program designed to support skill development and educators’ sense of belonging in the STEM field.
  • Human Services Council—We examined factors limiting enrollment in HSC’s disaster response alert system, and recommended strategies to clarify the purpose and value of the system and expand participation. View project brief.
  • LIFT-NY—We focused on identifying and addressing the behavioral barriers that keep some potential members from accessing LIFT’s supports and services. LIFT provides personalized coaching to help parents of young children achieve their long-term financial, educational, and/or career goals, ensuring a brighter future for their family as a whole. View project brief. 
  • Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC)—We prepared a series of communications from NMIC to its education and training program participants, and additional program redesign recommendations, to increase client outcome reporting and utilization of NMIC’s follow-up services. View project brief. 
  • NYC Kids RISE—We created a revised design for their savings program’s online interface and process to improve the user experience for families participating in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. View project brief.
  • Participatory Budgeting Project—We worked to identify ways to address behavioral barriers that contribute to drop-off in engagement among volunteer Participatory Budgeting Delegates. This work is expected to inform recommendations regarding citywide implementation of Participatory Budgeting, as well as enhancing delegate involvement in individual council districts. View project brief.
  • Per Scholas—Based on our analysis of behavioral barriers that can discourage 17-24 year-olds from applying to Per Scholas’s free technology training programs, we designed sample outreach messages and recommended other changes to more effectively engage these young people. View project brief.
  • Reading Partners—This project focused on illuminating and addressing behavioral barriers in Reading Partners New York’s volunteer onboarding process in order to increase the number of active volunteers serving New York City students. Based on diagnostic interview and survey findings, we redesigned the organization’s tutor training presentation to highlight the impact of and appreciation for volunteers’ work; share the experiences of current volunteers; and highlight the support available to volunteers who need it. View project brief
  • Queens Community House—We redesigned a weekly progress report email and advisory session worksheet for students at a transfer high school, and offering other suggestions leveraging behaviorally informed strategies to improve graduation rates. Since implementing these changes, more students have stayed after school to finish their work and reached out proactively to teachers for help. As a result, students are doing better in classes and, critically, passing state Regents exams at higher rates.  View project brief. 
  • Room to Grow—We designed a flyer for the opening of their new Bronx location and offered recommendations on how to communicate with referring agencies to increase referrals and applications to the program. They saw increases of 26%-85% in their monthly referral statistics for August— December 2019 compared to the same time period the year before. View project brief.
  • Sheltering Arms —We identified factors impeding Preventive Service referrals to the agency’s Health Home Care Management program, and recommended strategies to encourage referrals and facilitate the referral process. View project brief.
  • uAspire—uaspire‘s text-message student advising services provides personalized support to help college students make financially responsible decisions and secure and maintain the financial assistance needed to support their choices. To maximize the value of this support, we’re identifying barriers limiting student response rates and strategies to overcome them.
  • University Settlement—We investigated the behavioral barriers limiting older adults’ participation in activities offered remotely, and suggested strategies to mitigate those barriers and increase engagement. View project brief.
  • Urban Justice Center—We focused on enhancing staff effectiveness in engaging clients in support groups and activities that have proven valuable to participants. View project brief.

We’re eager to work with organizations to apply a behavioral lens to program and service design. Through the Behavioral Design Center, we hope to spread these behavioral insights farther and help more New Yorkers benefit from beneficial programs.

Interested in learning more about the NYC Behavioral Design Center? Sign up for our NYC listserv to stay informed about upcoming workshops and other initiatives, or reach out to us at laura@ideas42.org or tweet at @ideas42 to join the conversation.