Our Approach & Values

We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them.
— Albert Einstein

We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them.


How We Work


Through a consensus-driven approach, 3SAS delivers its clients integrated strategies and customized Roadmaps that are practical and realistic to achieve. Through research and analysis, we design a process that best suits our clients’ needs with the end goal of improving their performance for long-term sustainability. We work side-by-side with our clients, bringing our outsiders’ objectivity and insiders’ knowledge of the field to our client’s vision. We help our clients answer questions critical to their success, and specialize in giving them accurate and timely information through research, development strategies, program evaluation, and technical assistance.



Yona Backer has built a reputation for her integrity and forward thinking approach to business development and philanthropy in the fields of art and culture. She engages her clients as thought partners and inspires change by gaining consensus and alignment amongst staff, board and other key participants. In conjunction, Backer and her team develop strategy aligned with their clients’ values resulting in high impact, pattern-breaking work. Through a process of inquiry and analyses regarding all aspects of the organization including staff, board, financial, programmatic, Backer distills core issues and values in alignment with her client’s vision and mission. Using that as a framework that moves from aspirations to goal setting; from ideas and options to create a practical, attainable Roadmap for implementation that ensures long-term effectiveness, organizational change/growth and financial health.


3SAS provides comprehensive evaluation services and critical assessments of its client’s achievements and successes along with recommendations for improvements, enhanced organizational effectiveness and increased field impact. Through a collaborative approach, 3SAS aims to ensure that its client’s goals are met and organizational health is achieved. We accomplish this by identifying the strategies that work best and resources to be leveraged to determine what adjustments are needed in order to be more impactful and adaptive to our rapidly changing world. Our research and findings help us determine the best use of our client’s resources, both human and financial. Final recommendations are made based on our assessments and ongoing discussions with key staff and stakeholders, as well as the consultants’ own knowledge of the sector and experience in effective management and program development of nonprofit cultural organizations.


How We Think


Today’s economic reality is embedded in a global eco-system of environmental, social, political and cultural contexts that are highly intertwined and that evolve in uncertain, complex and volatile ways. These conditions require a mindset on the part of decision-makers that is more open, attentive, adaptive and tuned in to emerging changes. To meet the complex challenges and demands of our time, we seek to disrupt a framework of social, economic and cultural thought that is stuck in the past. We, along with our clients, co-create a new framework from an awareness-based view, and link it to practical methods and tools for addressing challenges in our current reality. We coordinate collaboration processes that result in a different solution to the principal challenges facing our clients. We connect with and learn from emerging future possibilities while appropriating proven methodologies from the past. We provide a framework for learning, leading, innovating and profound systemic renewal. We have learned that the structure of awareness and attention determines the pathway that leads to the most impactful, high-quality results.


We begin by articulating a set of objectives and clarify core values to provide the framework for a customized process tailored to meet your goals and needs. We ground our process in how your foundation or organization actually works, working from the ground up to assess your program’s effectiveness and impact.

Whether designing, refining or evaluating your core programs, we review the evolution of existing ones, the progress of participating organizations, and the impact on the activities that resulted in lasting change. We then distill our key findings, and inquiries into questions of learning, resilience and impact.

Our approach is designed to further the sustainable and successful administration of your programs, the stakeholders it supports, and advancement of mission and vision. Depending on the project, our work usually takes place in three distinct yet interrelated parts: research and discovery, assessment and evaluation, and collaborative development of key findings and recommendations.