Case Study

Child Poverty Action Lab

A Collaboration to End Intergenerational Child Poverty

By the numbers:

Publicly available, real time eviction filings

52,000 young
people impacted

Increased participation in women and infant children nutrition program

$7.5B public dollars
unlocked in 2022

Over $100 million of redirected public funds

$100M+ public funds

The fastest child poverty reduction rate in America

Fastest child poverty reduction
rate in America

How Matterlab Helped

The eight steps to The Matterlab Method ensures that our subject-matter experts (strategy, marketing, design, and website) are taking an integrated approach to helping CPAL create their brand identity, articulate their strategy, and use data to communicate how the results and progress speak to the value of their organization.

Our experts strategized on the following core offerings:


Designed distinct visual identity, messaging, and websites for CPAL and partner initiatives


Sourced first-person narratives to create a messaging platform that speaks to the vision and mission

Executive communications

Developed written communications from the leadership team

Strategic plan rollout

Partnered with the Executive Director to integrate its vision of reducing child poverty rates through a variety of initiatives

Reliable revenue

Provided strategic advising to create streamlined processes and effective donor communications strategies

A Collaborative Effort to Break the Cycle

The Strategy:

A Collaborative Effort to Break the Cycle

With a goal as big as CPAL’s, it takes more than convictions and ideas to achieve results. Instead of relying on state and government funding, the mission would require us to dig deep and engage a coalition of local government leaders, community organizations, individuals, and the business community to collectively pursue this moral and economic imperative.

With a strategy informed by data, and a shared commitment to change, our mission was to help CPAL become the catalyzing force in bringing together a community of organizations dedicated to improving the lives and futures of thousands of children and families.

Once the idea was born and the mission defined, CPAL needed to generate trust, support, and funding throughout the Dallas community — a task that required a professional organizational identity and a well-informed and articulated strategy. Matterlab Studio infused all of these needs through the development of key messaging, branding, and strategic visioning.

“The case that we’ve had to make in Dallas is that if you’re on a broken boat, only the fool finds comfort in the fact that the hole’s on the other person’s side.”

— Alan Cohen, CPAL Founding Executive Director

The Situation:

The Multidimensional Impact of Inequality

Historically, the city of Dallas, Texas has been lauded as a place of immense opportunity, growth, and prosperity. The fact that one in three children in Dallas are living in poverty casts light on the inequality hidden in the shadow of its affluence. The Child Poverty Action Lab (CPAL) was created in 2018 with the ambitious goal of reducing child poverty rates in Dallas by 50% within one generation.

This goal excited us. Because we are committed to creating a country where all young people have a path to economic empowerment, we knew CPAL would be an ideal partner. Economic models tell us the United States spends over a trillion dollars on poverty alleviation every year. That means for the 100,000 children growing up in poverty in Dallas, $1.6 million will be spent over the course of each child’s lifetime. Whichever way you measure it, this is unsustainable for any society and it’s something we want to continue partnering with CPAL to change.

We feel tremendous loyalty to Matterlab, both as a series of individuals and as an organization. Matterlab is a part of CPAL, as far as I’m concerned.

— Alan Cohen
CPAL Founding Executive Director

Contact us to start your journey toward greater impact.