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4 Steps for Creating an Op-Ed Campaign

Is there a cause or issue you’re tackling, and you want to raise public awareness? We talked about gaining media attention by writing press releases in this blog as a way to help communicate your organization’s efforts to your community. Another strategy for building awareness around your work is to kick off an op-ed campaign. An op-ed is an opinion piece written by a freelance writer, usually on behalf of an organization or nonprofit. ANYONE can write an op-ed, and it can be a great strategy for educating the public on a cause, an event or sharing opinions about an issue. Too often nonprofits are so focused on providing great services and programs that they forget about educating others in

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How to Find an Evidence-Based Program

Often in writing grants and implementing programs, funders want to invest in “what works” and has been proven effective. Implementing an evidence-based program is a way to demonstrate proven results. If your organization wants to prevent child abuse, you might consider implementing an evidence-based home visiting program like Nurse Family Partnership or Healthy Families of America that has shown to prevent child abuse and promote parent-child engagement. Across the country more funders, including the federal government have been focused on investing in evidence-based programs as well as expanding the number of evidence-based programs across different sectors. The reasons might vary, but funders want are committed to improving the different social issues affecting individuals and communities across the country. How do

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5 Steps for Grant Writing

You have a grant that you want to apply for and submit an application.  First, check out the types of grants available and our checklist to ensure your organization is ready before jumping into the grant writing process. Okay, now it’s time to start writing your grant! At Transform Consulting Group, we have identified 5 simple steps for grant writing: 1. Research: Spend time getting informed and researching grant opportunities. There are millions available through grants, and it can feel like a full-time job just trying to find them all! The purpose of the research step is to identify all of the potential funders who align with your organization’s mission and purpose. Here are some good places to start in

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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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