Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group


At Lumen Impact Group, we partner with you to develop your path forward and the people to implement it. Because the world needs your greatest impact.


At Lumen Impact Group, we partner with you to develop your path forward and the people to implement it. Because the world needs your greatest impact.

Visioning and Strategy

We bring implementers, decision-makers and stakeholders together to hone and ensure realization of impactful visions, missions and goals through shared ownership, enthusiasm and accountability.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

– How can we start looking ahead instead of just working day-to-day?
– Do we need a strategic plan? How do we create an actionable strategic plan?
– How do we determine a bold, shared vision and stay aligned with our mission?

Client stories of customized support and solutions

The Alabama School Readiness Alliance asked Lumen to support it in a visioning process grounded in a thorough landscape scan that would identify  barriers to Pre-K access among underrepresented populations. Lumen conducted surveys and focus groups and interviewed policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders to understand Alliance members’ work and impact. Lumen’s profiles of three peer organizations in other states added further context, and the combination of robust internal and external data informed an energetic, creative visioning retreat.  Lumen’s thought-provoking questions, clarity-building exercises and engaging style led the Alliance board to cement a vision and align resources to continue to advance access to pre-K programs for all Alabama children.

ATLAS places under-resourced young people in financial institution internships and awards scholarships to support ATLAS fellows in completing their degrees. Leaders of this start-up nonprofit enlisted Lumen’s expert support to help them think through and shape their future, a process that included guiding their efforts to create their first strategic plan. With Lumen’s tailored facilitation, ATLAS leaders evaluated how their partners viewed them, what their opportunities were and what their goals should be. In the end, ATLAS transitioned from being part of a sponsoring organization to being a successful, independent and growing nonprofit.  

As a new organization, the Maryland Initiative for Literacy and Equity (MILE) looked to Lumen Impact Group for support in visioning and a start-up strategy process for its rapidly growing work. Lumen partnered with the MILE team to get clarity on the vision for their strategic priorities, goals, objectives and measure of success for their year one work. This helped unite their very diverse team inclusive of partner faculties from two different universities, graduate assistants, and external literacy expert contributors. Their shared direction brought focus and clarity of expected outcomes to MILE’s work to improve literacy practice and outcomes in the state of Maryland.

Lumen conducted a Focused Lens Strategic Planning Process with Passaic and Bergen Arts and Science Charter Schools to help them understand strengths and needs. Armed with deep insights collected through interviews, focus groups, surveys and observation, Lumen facilitated the schools’ leadership teams and staff through an ah-ha filled, energizing process to solidify a strategic plan. The forward-looking strategy now drives school improvement and is both elevating learning outcomes and steering the use of grant funds to maximize impact. 

Following the Bergen and Passaic work, charter management organization iLearn Schools enlisted Lumen to customize a similar effort at the network level. Lumen added data from three more schools in iLearn’s portfolio and used the combined analysis to engage the iLearn team in the informed development of a strategic plan that would serve as a foundation of their upcoming efforts to expand.

“They don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear. That makes a huge difference. We needed to understand our strengths and our weaknesses in order to make the organization work right, and I was overwhelmed by how they really got it and they helped us to get it too. They were able to do it in a way that really made us want to understand the goals we needed to focus on. I believe Lumen was absolutely the best we could have found.”

Barbara Sellinger
Cresthaven Academy

Operations and Implementation

We partner with you to evaluate the barriers that derail you, your team and your organization. We then arm you with a tailored set of tools and collaborate with you in forging the systems and processes that improve performance, culture and outcomes.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

– How do we operationalize our strategic plan, which currently sits on a shelf?
– How do we figure out the best systems and processes to achieve our goals

– How do we align our team and resources to optimize our impact?

Client stories of customized support and solutions

Lumen partnered with Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School to create a one-year operational plan grounded in best practices. Lumen’s counsel and coaching ensured the plan, customized for the new school’s unique model and mission, included outcome-driven action planning that would guide daily operations. Though it was too soon to develop a full strategic plan, Lumen supported leaders and staff in identifying strategic considerations vital to their early success.

When Chicago Public Schools’ I & I team needed support to plan, execute, and track the progress of a performance framework for their team and work, they asked Lumen to guide them through the process; working with the team to create shared understanding around their targets of success and key milestones to implement work with success. This work has given the entire CPS team clear and practical implementation plans and tracking tools to operationalize the processes needed to assess their success as a team, course correct when needed, and measure overall impact.

Choice Schools operates a diverse set of schools in Michigan. Lumen facilitated a series of site visits to leading schools across the nation and outside of the network, allowing Choice Schools leaders and staff to explore a multitude of school cultures, teaching and learning approaches, organizational structures and financial models.

To help CS team members refine their school management strategies, Lumen guided them in:

– Identifying and analyzing the high-level school and management strategies observed during their visits.
– Channeling their observations into processes, systems and counsel for use in supporting their portfolio of schools.

Lumen and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools have a long-standing relationship based on trust. See what we’ve accomplished together.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers was struggling to align staff and funding with an ambitious strategic plan. Lumen performed an environmental scan using internal focus groups, partner interviews and data collection from NACSA members. The effort provided a comprehensive view of the association’s current state and tested key components of its vision. The results allowed association leaders to align their talent and leverage their financial resources with prioritized needs and goals.

Lumen partners with the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) of Maryland, a new state agency charged with implementing public school reform at the state level. This partnership includes things like supporting the board and staff in developing norms, processes, and procedures. Additionally, helping the team define organizational strategy to move the Comprehensive Plan forward while also serving as additional execution capacity on projects when needed. Lumen provides AIB with the structures and capacity to use their team and board’s expertise effectively, without being hamstrung by the start-up pitfalls many new agencies/organizations face.

Lumen partnered with the Maryland Initiative for Literacy and Equity (MILE) to investigate, support, and grow literacy instruction across all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the state. This looked like supporting MILE in developing a comprehensive, state-wide literacy review process that includes the design and establishment of literacy teams and the execution of robust data collection and analysis (quantitative and qualitative data and site visit observations). The result was actionable and tailored recommendations supporting LEAs in advancing their literacy instruction work. Additionally, it allowed the MILE team to learn more about the implementation of Science of Reading instruction, to gather best practices for dissemination, and to tackle collective challenges that districts currently face, including closing achievement gaps.

Team Culture & Leadership Coaching

We support individuals and teams in using values, personal insights and tools to navigate their most challenging situations and capitalize on their greatest strengths and opportunities.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

– How do we build a stronger team? How do we create a positive culture? How do I prepare and motivate the team to overcome obstacles and find success? 
– I need a leadership coach.
– How do we define our organizational and team values? How do we gain clarity on what it looks like to live our values day-to-day?

Client stories of customized support and solutions

Chicago Public Schools I&I team engaged Lumen to facilitate its team in establishing organizational values. As part of a large, urban district, yet with their own directives and initiatives, team members needed a set of values to provide common ground for their team norms and expectations. Lumen partnered with them and asked the questions that led them to identify shared values and clarity around the expectation of how values are lived out in the day-to-day work. We then facilitated team-building retreats that focused on leveraging individual and collective work styles for values-based achievements and impact.

The Choice Schools team realized that investing more in its organizational culture and leadership would better equip it to empower schools and create positive results for students.

Lumen’s Leadership Coaching supports the journeys of new and seasoned leaders. Our Coaches nurture strengths and effectiveness by guiding clients through tailored sessions of goal-setting, self-reflection and action planning. Their listening skills and the resulting questions lead clients to a deep understanding of their leadership styles, roles and impact. Clients gain personal insights and tools to achieve success in their most challenging situations and greatest opportunities.

The City Fund’s Fellowship program develops leaders from diverse sectors nationwide in an effort to expand their impact on public education. Lumen administered a DiSC leadership assessment to two City Fund cohorts of fellows, then facilitated a workshop on leadership styles, how those styles affect others and how to leverage them for the greatest impact and outcomes.  Lumen then facilitated a training with  leadership coaches who would walk the fellows through a year of growth as they turned their new insights into action, aligning DiSC learnings with continued leadership development.

“Lisa is just an amazing thought partner. Her greatest gift is that she is able to almost immediately see to the heart of every situation. She doesn’t go for band-aids. She really pushes me to be more curious about things in order to get to the root cause of each issue so I can address the true problem rather than spinning my wheels addressing the tiny symptoms.”

Nicole Hanrahan
LAYC Career Academy

Facilitation to Build Alignment

We help leaders and teams deepen their understanding, commitment and accountability to the mission and each other. With Lumen’s support, clients overcome challenges and build lasting cohesion.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

How can I align the team, our board and our leaders?
How can we move from thinking as individuals to acting as one team?
How can I get these different teams/departments/organizations working in sync?

Anonymous stories of customized support and solutions

Leaders of a statewide policy transformation initiative enlisted Lumen to conduct mediation and unify diverse stakeholders on common ground. Stakeholders included state agencies, board leaders and organizational supervisors, and vendors and implementers of a massive, statewide initiative. Lumen strategically guided collaborators in transcending individual agendas to achieve a collective commitment to goals, with clear expectations for engagement and accountability. Ultimately, Lumen helped build momentum around a complex policy initiative and fueled impactful, statewide implementation.

An urban school asked Lumen to intervene with administrators and board members after a contentious relationship led to fractured relationships and decision-making. Lumen supportively led staff and board members through the tough work of sorting through differences while clarifying expectations. At the end of the day, Lumen brought the group to agreement on a common vision and commitment to the path forward.

When division along political, ideological and practical lines led to multiple, overlapping charter advocacy/support organizations, leaders of a statewide charter support organization turned to Lumen. The discussions we led helped leaders seize the potential to unite around the advancement of high-quality schools. We gathered stakeholder insights, facilitated exploration of the feedback and helped hone a shared vision for regaining cohesion and moving the sector forward. 

Data Collection, Synthesis and Sensemaking

We dive into your data to identify trends that shine light on what works well and what needs attention in your team, organization, school or business. Our custom consultations position you to have valuable conversations, make informed decisions and strategize for the future.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

Why aren’t these initiatives working? How do we achieve greater impact?
We’re stuck, and I’m not sure why or how to get “unstuck.”
– How do we better engage our target audiences?

Client stories of customized support and solutions

Las Vegas-based Opportunity 180 received a large U.S. Department of Education grant to advance high-quality public education options. Looking for partner feedback to drive continuous improvement, Opportunity 180 leaders asked Lumen to develop a survey about the main aspects of their grant work. Afterward, Lumen gathered organization leaders to explore and make sense of the findings, leading participants through a series of reflective questions such as: What are stakeholders saying? Not, what you think about their responses. How might you adjust your approach to grant making and technical assistance based on the feedback? How might you improve your organization with that feedback? What do you need to do to implement the adjustments and improvements?  These questions led to an action planning process by the team to take the feedback and move it forward for continuous improvement.

A Lumen-designed stakeholder engagement process and listening tour incorporated diverse voices from across the country. The National Alliance for Charter Public Schools used the outcomes in considering the relevance, purpose and content of model charter school law. Reports from Lumen’s stakeholder focus groups and interviews contributed to guided “sensemaking” conversations that helped the Alliance rethink the model law and its value to revise the national charter policy to meet the needs of the field in the future. 

Lumen partnered with the Washington, D.C., Public Charter School Board to collect and interpret community and family perception data across their 69 local education agencies and 130+ charter schools. Lumen conducted constituent focus groups, interviews and surveys to understand needs, challenges and the dreams community stakeholders have for the future of D.C. public education. Lumen then guided decision makers in considering the: 

– Criteria families use to evaluate school quality and choose a school
– Options families and communities wish they had and why 
– Factors that motivate charter operators to expand and replicate

DCPCSB used the insights to update the charter operator application process, hone their authorizing approach, and enhance their planning.

“The Lumen team was really good to work with. They provide a good balance. They knew when to let us run with an idea and they pushed us when we needed to be pushed. They brought strong recommendations, but ultimately empowered us to make decisions and were committed to supporting us in whatever path we chose. It’s good to have that type of trust. We had a really strong working relationship and felt like we were heard.”

Drew Jacobs
National Alliance of Public Charter Schools

Grant Strategy and Implementation Support

We support clients in accelerating from grant award to execution to outcomes and impact. This starts with strategy development during the grant writing process and continues with practices and processes leveraged during implementation — including performance monitoring and closeout procedures.

You’re not alone if you’ve been thinking: 

What potential impact can we have with this grant? And how does that effect the overall grant strategy?
We received a grant with a lot of moving pieces –Now what?
How can we build systems and processes to get beyond the nitty gritty details of grant implementation?
How do we help subgrantees get the most out of their grant without overburdening them?

Client stories of customized support and solutions

Lumen supported BLUUM’s implementation plans to effectively manage Idaho’s Community of Excellence CSP grant. We partnered with the BLUUM team to develop a playbook that defines and documents key processes and guidelines, including allowable costs. The playbook ensures integrity and effectiveness in BLUUM’s implementation, oversight and performance measures and is a strategic roadmap to accomplishing the outcomes defined in grant awards.

CSOs that apply for and receive Charter Schools Program grants have great opportunity for innovation and support of schools, children and families once they learn to implement, monitor and use their grants effectively. In partnership with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Lumen facilitates a  Community of Practice for CSOs to accelerate their understanding of the details involved in grant execution. Lumen also leads the Community of Practice in exploring innovative technical assistance approaches to advance sub-grantee performance and benefit the larger charter sector in their state.   

Lumen Impact Group supports the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association’s Charter Schools Program grant. That work includes systems set up for grant activities as well as supporting implementation of those processes. More than just supporting the implementation of a compliant grant program, Lumen has worked with the association to continue to increase their grant’s impact on the state-wide charter sector.

“I would say our organization has catalyzed truly radical change in Alabama’s public education landscape in the last 5 years. We couldn’t have done it without Lumen’s help. We started with only 250 students enrolled in charter schools in Alabama. Now, 5 years later, we have 5,632 students enrolled. We’re the fastest growing state in the nation in the charter school movement in terms of percentage growth. We also achieved, with Lumen’s help, all of the core goals of our federal grant, and we’ve been able to come out of every single year with a clean audit.”

Tyler Barnett
New Schools for Alabama


"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers