Clare Nolan helps social sector leaders design strategies for social impact, engage and partner with key stakeholders, and evaluate and learn from their investments. She brings over 20 years of experience working as an evaluator and consultant to foundations, nonprofit, and government agencies. She is motivated by efforts to improve population-level outcomes, and thus much of her consulting work focuses on systems and policy change, networks, scaling, and innovation.
Prior to co-founding Engage R+D in 2017, she was chief strategy officer for Harder+Company Community Research where she guided corporate strategy, supervised business development, and crafted the firm’s approach to thought leadership. Before that, she served as vice president of the firm’s San Francisco location for eight years, leading the office through a period of significant expansion and increased national visibility. Prior to consulting, Clare worked for nonprofits serving immigrants and low-income youth and adults and in university-based research centers. She began her career in the social sector conducting ethnographic research on improving the educational experience of recent immigrants to the US.
Clare helps leaders achieve meaningful social change by generating actionable insights, facilitating strategic learning, and working with groups to help them identify shared goals, articulate collective strategies for impact, and define measures for success. She strives to design her engagements in ways that are culturally responsive and strengthen community voice. Her experience spans multiple fields, including philanthropy, health, education, human services, and community development.
At Engage R+D, Clare works with leading funders, including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, and the DentaQuest Foundation, who are seeking collaborative, cross-sector solutions to address systemic social problems. She is adept at group facilitation, with an intuitive sense of how to support learning, identify common ground, and advance shared goals. In addition, Clare chairs the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Evaluation Advisory Committee, is a founding leader of a national effort to advance the field of philanthropic evaluation, and the author of a recent guide on foundation knowledge-sharing.