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Federal Grant Opportunity: YouthBuild

Nationally, there are more than 2.3 million low-income 16-24 year-olds who are not pursuing education, employment or training. In communities across the country, there are less young people who are educated, high skilled, and actively employed contributing citizens. This means communities are limiting their growth potential, and young people are limiting their possibility. This is where the national program, YouthBuild, can be a solution. Through YouthBuild programs, young people earn their education, learn construction skills and gain skills needed for future, long-term employment. The youth work with partners to build affordable housing in their neighborhoods as well as other community assets like schools, playgrounds, and community centers. As a result, the YouthBuild program has a ripple effect in communities by

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Three Tips for Creating Needs Assessment and Technical Reports

Transform Consulting Group is fortunate to work with clients who desire to better understand their targeted population, assess their needs, and develop recommendations for improvement.  Our research and analysis service includes completing a needs assessment, conducting literature review, and developing technical reports. In doing this work, there are some common themes and steps with our approach that are applicable for anyone completing a needs assessment or writing technical reports: Define the audience. Who is the intended audience for this report?  How will they use this information?  How do we want them to use this information? Determine the key indicators. What information do we want to collect and gather during this process?  What questions do we want to answer? Decide on the

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4 Steps to Complete a Program Evaluation

Program evaluation helps organizations determine if the change that they set to accomplish actually occurred. Change can be knowledge gained, attitude change, or behavior change.  For example, did a literacy tutoring program help the students who were not reading on grade level actually catch up to reading on grade level by the end of the program period?  Or, are the low-income children who participated in a high-quality pre-k program ready for kindergarten?   At Transform Consulting Group, we are data nerds and love helping organizations develop and implement evaluation plans to assess their change by using a four-step process. Program Evaluation in Four Steps: Establish clear outcomes Create or modify data tools and systems Analyze the data Use data to

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Using A Needs Assessment Process to Plan a New Program

When a business plans to open a new store or restaurant, the business first conducts market research to ensure a good fit and a successful venture. In the public sector, we call this a “needs assessment”. Whether your organization is a non-profit, hospital, school or government agency, more than likely you have been asked or initiated a needs assessment.  Why?  The needs assessment is a great opportunity to step back and build understanding about the target population (aka, intended client), their strengths, needs, concerns and goals, as well as taking a look internally at your own organization to ensure a good fit. In Indianapolis, we have a Center for Working Families (CWF) program model that was developed by the Annie

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4 Tips for Getting Started with Tableau

Have you ever seen beautiful charts or dashboards that make the data “pop” in the report or presentation and wondered how could you do that?  At Transform Consulting Group, we have made a lot of charts and graphs to help our clients evaluate their programs and understand important information in a way that is easy to digest. We work to find the most efficient ways to assist our clients with the data that they need to make informed, timely decisions. One way to do this is staying current with data analysis and visualization software. The data visualization software that we are crushing on these days is Tableau. It is essentially an accelerated version of “pivot tables”.  If any of you are

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New Resource for College and Career Readiness Programs

Are you a school or a program serving youth that has a goal to get more students to and through post-secondary education?  At Transform Consulting Group, we are passionate about college and career readiness programs and are always on the lookout for resources to make life easier. The Better Make Room initiative offers free support to students, parents, and school counselors on anything college related, and they launched a free texting service called UP NEXT. The catch? Once enrolled, the individual will receive important information and timely reminders about applying for college, financial aid, and even setting up student loans all via text message.   With 63% of students texting on a daily basis, mobile communicating is a great way

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Grant Opportunity: American Honda Foundation

The American Honda Foundation was established in 1984 by the American Honda Motor Company to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary of operation. Since it’s inception, the American Honda Foundation has given over $32 million to organizations across the United States. Eligible organizations must help to meet the needs of Americans in the areas of scientific and youth education. The American Honda Foundation places a strong emphasis on youth education, and organizations wishing to apply should have a focus in at least one of the following seven fields of youth education: Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Environment Job Training Literacy 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public school districts and elementary schools are eligible to apply for American Honda Foundation grants. However, any organization must have at

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Transformational Organization Spotlight: TechSoup

This blog is part of our series highlighting organizations that are making a significant difference in their respective industry.  TechSoup is transforming organizations and having a ripple effect in the non-profit world. TechSoup is dedicated to connecting nonprofits, charities, foundations, and public libraries with technology products, services, and free learning resources needed to make informed technology decisions and investments. TechSoup partners with key technology players such as Adobe, Cisco, and Microsoft to provide donated and discounted software and refurbished hardware for eligible non-profit organizations. Through its website, TechSoup provides two types of memberships: 1) for the eligible entities identified above, and 2) for non-eligible entities. Eligible organizations are able to access free and discounted resources. Non-eligible organizations are able to

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Federal Program Spotlight: AmeriCorps

This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities. AmeriCorps is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that leverages community service to tackle critical community issues such as poverty, education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps programs are located in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, community centers, and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps was created under President Bill Clinton through the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, incorporating Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). AmeriCorps just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, with over 900,000 Americans contributing to over 1 billion service hours. AmeriCorps VISTA also

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New Federal Grant: American Apprenticeship Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Labor has recently announced the winners of a new grant program that awarded $175 million to 46 public-private business partnerships in September of 2015. The American Apprenticeship Grant Program was created with the intent of increasing the development of apprenticeship programs across the United States. Grant-winners have pledged to hire over 34,000 apprentices in leading-edge industries such as healthcare, IT, and advanced manufacturing. The 34,000 apprentices must be hired and trained within five years. To make this happen, the American Apprenticeship Grant Program aims to achieve the following goals: Launch apprenticeship models in new, high-growth fields to equip workers with advanced skills like data analysis, mechatronics, and behavioral health assessment. Align apprenticeships to pathways for further

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