Case Study: The Social Practice Lab

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Case Study: The Social Practice Lab

The Executive Director of The Social Practice Lab brought on Open Eye experts to refine its mission, and align it to an organizational roadmap to maximize impact and financial sustainability.

The Story

Since January 2021, The Social Practice Lab has designed and managed collaborative projects that operate at the intersection of public health and public art. Executive Director, Michael Kopp, envisioned a nonprofit organization that would apply these principles of art, public health, and critical service to create measurable impact in the health outcomes of underserved communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

A highly motivated individual with a mission servicing a critical community need, Michael sought out the support of Open Eye to maximize impact and take his vision to the next level.

The Opportunity

Since inception in 2021, Michael successfully led the organization alongside the support of three board members, a job he did very well. Michael was able to secure grant funding, a key partnership with Norton Healthcare, and service hundreds of community members through SPL’s harm reduction hub via a syringe exchange program, PrEP initiative, and consultation services. In meeting with Open Eye leadership mid-year, Michael quickly understood the opportunity to accelerate growth and set up the organization for operational success.

Michael and The Social Practice Lab’s incredible track record of impact over such a short period of time provided the confidence for the organization to dream bigger and bring Open Eye experts on board to support those dreams. Atop his list of needs was how to turn an individual-led initiative into a sustainable nonprofit organization; Open Eye came in at this pivotal moment of inflection to support Michael with a plan to secure more early wins and build towards long-term success.

The Solution

Over a three-month custom engagement that began in September of 2021, Open Eye assessed Michael’s needs, and found the in-house partners in strategy, fundraising, board governance, communications, operations and finance, to join forces and surround Michael with the precise expertise that he needed.

Open Eye expert partners prioritized working with Michael to clarify the organization’s vision, mission, and goals. From there, it would become clear that for Michael to operate such an organization, it would require a clear understanding of finances, cash flow, market potential, and documented impact results that could drive multi-year partnerships and funders. Just as well, a communications plan, Board of Directors strategy, and operational support would be key components in making this major organizational shift a reality.

Upon assessment, Open Eye laid out six key areas of engagement to support Michael and his goals:

Discovery and Goal-Setting:

  • Two hour strategy session focused on defining success
  • Internal and competitive research
  • Business model assessment, financial position, and future outlook

Board Development and Governance:

  • Board of Directors strategy
  • Build profiles for members
  • Recruitment strategy
  • By-law expansion, other governance and operational documents

Base Financial Model and Operating Budget:

  • Projection of revenues and expenses over a 36-month timeline
  • Assessment of startup costs, month-over-month cash needs and revenue, and break even points on initial investments


  • Full year development planning
  • Execution of campaigns
  • Executive Director coaching on relationship building and fundraising
  • Board development planning
  • Grant writing


  • Editorial calendar, overseeing and posting to social media channels
  • Assistance with events, and light program support
  • Grant research and accountability
  • Board communications and coordination
  • Annual grant calendar build

Operational Roadmap:

  • Roadmap build, tracking activities to goals directly tied to financial models

The Results

Michael has doubled his operating budget and continues to secure his future program growth through new global healthcare partners, along with a growing state / local network of collaborative partners. The work of The Social Practice Lab’s harm reduction hub via a syringe exchange program, PrEP initiative and consultation services, anticipates serving thousands in the regional community over the next twelve months, creating a platform to raise awareness, increase resources, and most importantly, impact the underserved community.

Michael Kopp, Executive Director at The Social Practice Lab

“Working with Open Eye has been an absolute thrill. The Social Practice Lab would not be where it is today without the professionalism, knowledge, integrity, and humor of the folks at Open Eye.”

It was an honor to collaborate with a true mission-driven leader like Michael Kopp. New collaborations with The Social Practice Lab are ongoing as The Social Practice Lab continues to grow. We look forward to being by Michael’s side for more impact and success.

The Social Practice Lab
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