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2018 Indy Big Data Conference Visualization Challenge Summary

Our TCG team recently presented at the Fifth Annual Indy Big Data Conference for the Visualization Challenge (read about some of our lessons learned here). This year’s challenge focused on improving Indiana’s talent pipeline and workforce.  Participating teams were provided several datasets to analyze and interpret, and then present to a panel of judges. Following the first round of presentations, the judges then awarded five teams the opportunity to present to 500+ conference attendees. Our TCG was one of those top five teams selected! Read more about the Visualization Challenge and data sets here: https://www.indybigdata.com/visualization-challenge/. Our team used our Tableau expertise to create this  interactive dashboard, and then we presented on  our findings. The interactive dashboard addresses several key questions

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7 Strategies to Maximize #GivingTuesday

As 2018 comes to an end, we’ve talked a lot about how to end the year with a bang when it comes to your fund development goals. (Find our 10 tips for your year-end giving campaign here). This blog is all about Giving Tuesday – the National Day of Giving. Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday right after Thanksgiving. The idea is to have a day for giving thanks (Thanksgiving), followed by two days for deals (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and then there is a day dedicated to giving back (Giving Tuesday!). Giving Tuesday provides a unique opportunity for your organization to engage with donors, partners and volunteers – and hopefully raise some money! To get the most out

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4 Free Ways to Increase Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising

Nonprofit leaders know that fundraising is critical to success. There are some easy and free electronic giving options that you can start using now! Regardless of how small or large your organization is, you can benefit from your supporters’ regular shopping habits. These donations can become a consistent part of your comprehensive fund development plan. We have identified 4 such platforms making these donations possible—either through retail companies or third party businesses. The basic formula for all of them is the same. You register your nonprofit with the platform for free. You let your supporters know that they can register themselves with the platform for free. Your supporters choose your nonprofit as the donation recipient. They make purchases, and you

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Are You Data Literate?

Recently the TCG team participated in a data visualization challenge at the Indy Big Data Conference, and this experience has led me to writing a blog on data literacy.  What is data literacy? Merriam Webster defines being literate as “having knowledge or competence”, and being competent with data is a foundational skill we all need in this age of big data. Now, you don’t have to love math or know how to write code to be data literate.  What you need to be comfortable doing is asking what, how, why, and so what of data. What data is being collected?  (e.g., age, county, number of individuals with a college degree) How is the data being collected?  (e.g., application, agency records,

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10 Tips for Your Year-End Giving Campaign

2018 is quickly coming to an end! Before you know it, we’ll be saying “Happy New Year” and plans for 2019 will be underway. We’re heading into the season of giving. It is that time of year where donor dollars increase significantly. Year-end giving trends suggest that nearly one third of annual giving happens in December. At Transform Consulting Group, we highlighted tips for ending your fiscal year strong in this blog. One way to finish the year on a high note, is to kick off a year-end campaign with these simple tips (view our video recap of these tips here): Start Planning Now: You can’t wait until the last few weeks of December to reach out to donors or

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5 Tips to Implement an Evidence-based Program

When awarding funding, philanthropic funders want to invest in “what works” and is proven effective. Many funders show preference for programs and practices that are evidence-based. Implementing an evidence-based program is a great way for grant seekers to demonstrate that they are also committed to “what works”. For example, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation recently awarded funding to over 20 schools and school districts as part of their Prevention Matters initiative.  Prevention Matters is a three-year grant initiative aiming to help Marion County schools identify, implement and sustain proven substance use prevention programs. To apply for this funding, schools selected an evidence-based substance use prevention program that aligned with their needs. In their proposal, schools had to demonstrate that they

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7 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Promote Your Work

We cover tips for enhancing your overall social media presence in our Marketing 101 blog series here. You’ll want to keep those tips in mind as we take a deeper dive into the perks of promoting your organization on LinkedIn. We know there are many social media platforms you can use to promote your work. It quickly gets overwhelming when you try and keep up with everything. We recommend choosing 1-2 platforms to engage with your targeted audience (whether that’s donors, clients, etc.), and do those really well. We are big fans of LinkedIn at Transform Consulting Group, and we choose to invest time and resources into connecting with our audience through this platform. Why? For TCG, LinkedIN is where our target

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Are You Ready for a Federal Grant?

Receiving a federal grant can be a great way to accelerate your impact. There are many positive attributes in applying for and receiving a federal grant. Federal grants tend to be for larger amounts and are often multi-year funding to name a few. However, federal grant applications are complex and not easy to navigate. We have successfully helped several organizations apply for and receive multi-million dollar federal grants. These grants have really helped to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure, expand their reach, and impact more individuals. There are some times, however, that we recommend a client not pursue a federal grant opportunity. Before you invest the time and energy with a federal grant application, make sure these four elements are in

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Internship Program

As a college student, I believe it is important to gain valuable experience in the workforce. My internship at Transform Consulting Group (TCG) has wrapped up, and I feel better prepared for graduation because  of this summer experience. I am grateful for companies like TCG who provide opportunities to interns (like myself) to build our skills, network with other professionals and strengthen our resumes. I understand that hiring interns can be a gamble for organizations. You invest time and resources into someone who is often a college student, has little experience and is still sharpening their skillset. While interns do make more work, there are some benefits for hosting an intern: Build your talent pipeline: An internship program is a

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5 W’s of a Process Evaluation: Part 2

In a recent blog post, we introduced the first two W’s of a process evaluation: Why conduct a process evaluation Who should conduct a process evaluation This blog post will cover the remaining three W’s: What methods to use to conduct a process evaluation Where to conduct a process evaluation When to conduct a process evaluation WHAT METHODS TO USE WHEN CONDUCTING A PROCESS EVALUATION There are several different data tools and methods you can use during a process evaluation. It may be helpful to use a combination of these methods! Review documentation: It can be helpful to review staff logs, notes, attendance data and other program documents during a process evaluation. This method will help you to assess if

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