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Two-Generational Approach for Greater Impact

There are amazing organizations working hard to support the development and achievements of young children. Similarly, there are outstanding organizations working hard to connect adults with proper resources to attain success. It might seem like supporting each of those populations separately would naturally complement the other. However, a recent reflection on this topic has shown that intentionally supporting the development and personal growth of the children and adults together (a two-generational approach) can have a larger, positive impact for both generations. By working simultaneously together, it ensures that programs and services are not fragmented and therefore do not leave either the child(ren) or adult(s) behind. Research has documented the impact of a parent’s education level, financial stability, and even overall

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Top Ten Do’s and Don’t’s of Hiring

As a small business owner, I have the opportunity to hire new team members.  I did not take any courses in college or graduate school that taught me how to hire staff.  (Sidebar, I did not even know I was going to be a business owner back then!)  However, over the past several years I learned some key strategies on what to do and what not to do when hiring. Do’s and Don’t’s of Hiring New Team Members Do: Before you even start the application process, you have to have a clear understanding of your organization’s needs and how this role will fill the gap.  If you are replacing an exiting employee, do you want your new hire to have the same skill

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Are You Grant Ready?

Do you have big plans for your organization and now just need the funds to get the ball rolling? We covered the different types of grants here – foundation and government grants – but how do you know if your organization is ready to jump into the grant writing process? The competition for grants can be fierce, and most of the time there are more organizations applying for grant money than there is money available to award. Some numbers show that as low as 7% of organizations receive funding after submitting a grant proposal. It can become very frustrating to put so much time and resources into the tedious grant writing process only to be turned down. At Transform Consulting

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Four Tips to Use Your National Student Clearinghouse Data

Is your organization working to get more students to and through college? How are you tracking your results and their progress? For many schools and organizations, this can be difficult because you are not in direct communication with the students anymore. National Student Clearinghouse One solution to track post-secondary attainment rates is the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). NSC has information covering about 96% of all U.S. enrollment in public and private collegiate institutions. The NSC data includes information on college enrollment, degree types, institution type and dropout and graduation rates. NSC data will answer several of your key questions, including: How many students are enrolling in post-secondary education and when (1st year after high school or 3 years later)? What

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Why is a Program Evaluation Impact Team so Important?

How does an organization know it’s meeting its goals and objectives?  An outside team can be hired to put tools and systems in place, which is a good start, but investing money in outside consulting only can leave organizations floundering in a constantly evolving reality.  What if instead of investing solely in an outside group, an organization invests simultaneously in its own people?  It is exceedingly important to invest in the right team of people to help an organization to push forward, to evaluate and sustain systems, while keeping a “pulse” on the organization.  That’s what an impact team does.      In a past blog, we talk about the 4 steps of a program evaluation. The impact team would work

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Grants 101 – Types of Grants

We love seeing our partners accelerate their impact and serve their communities in a variety of ways. However, we understand the challenges you face and know that to do good work, you need money.  Grant writing is one strategy for raising funds to accelerate your organization’s impact. There are two types of grants: Foundations and Government and both come with their benefits and challenges. Foundations Foundation grants can be community and public, private and family, or corporate.  According to Giving USA, foundations gave $59.28 billion in 2016. Benefits: Foundation grants are usually broad in scope. They cover a variety of causes and are offered to organizations of all sizes. These grants are usually more flexible. There is often freedom in

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4 Steps to Form an Early Childhood Coalition

You may have heard the term “coalition” and wondered what does that mean.  A coalition is simply when a group of people gather to address an issue that is bigger than what one person or organization can solve on their own. In Indiana, about thirty communities (cities, counties and regions) have formed a coalition that is focused on early childhood education.  Two years ago, it was probably about 15-20 Indiana communities with an early childhood coalition.  What is happening in Indiana and other states that is causing communities to come together around early childhood education and why should your community consider forming an early childhood coalition if you haven’t yet? Coalition Trend The idea of forming a coalition to address

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Event Spotlight: 2017 Indiana Coalition Summit

In this new blog series on community coalitions, we start by highlighting the recent Indiana Coalition Summit. Be on the lookout for future blog posts related to community coalitions! In 2016, Transform Consulting Group managed the planning for the first annual Indiana Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions (aka the Indiana Coalition Summit), hosted at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie, in partnership with Muncie BY5, Early Learning Indiana, and Indiana Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC). This was the first statewide event dedicated to bringing together early learning, business, education, civic, and other community leaders to understand the business case for investment in early childhood. As well, the Indiana Coalition Summit delivered ways to develop and sustain an

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4 Ways to Share Data Publicly

Congratulations! You successfully gathered data to look deeper into the effectiveness of your programs, decided WHO you’re sharing the information with and now it’s time to figure out HOW to share the data. We talked about the different audiences you should share your data with in this blog, such as internally with staff and volunteers and externally with funders and partners. Once you determine your audience, you may decide on a variety of ways to communicate your latest information. First, it’s important to know your audience and be willing to shape your message in a way that is easy to understand and compelling. Some things to consider about your audience may include their age, educational background, industry or non-industry, and

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Our Go To Sources for Data

Whether you are working on a needs assessment, evaluating a program or starting a new project, reliable data is important to help make smart choices.  Due to the internet, data is available at our fingertips, but the endless options can become overwhelming.  Have you ever spent hours sorting through links and data sources to find one specific indicator such as the number of individuals in your community with post-secondary education or the poverty rate for a certain age group? At Transform Consulting Group, we are data nerds and can help point you in the right direction to find the data you need to move your organization forward. We have a cheat sheet of the key organizations and resources that we utilize to help us

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