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White House to Announce 15 More Promise Zones in the Next 3 Years

  Last month, the White House announced the first five Promise Zones: San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Fifteen more Promise Zones will be designated throughout the country in the next three years.  Based on the idea that your ZIP code should not determine your destiny, the Promise Zones initiative will provide local leaders with access to the federal agencies, tools and resources to help communities create jobs, increase access to quality, affordable housing, reduce crime and expand educational opportunities. Though the Promise Zones initiative does not provide cities with a financial award, designated Zones will work in close partnership with federal representatives and will have preferential access to existing grant programs.  Urban,

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$10,000 Award for Summer Learning Programs

  The National Summer Learning Association, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, is awarding a $10,000 prize to three high quality summer learning programs that are making a difference.  The New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade. To be eligible for the award, applicants must: Become an Association member at www.summerlearning.org. (Joining the Association as a “Friend of Summer Learning” is a free service that will connect you to the latest news and updates.) If you are already an existing member, go straight to the New York Life Excellence Award Application page. Be a public

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$100K Grants for Research on “What Works” for Social Spending

  In response to the White House and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) call to action for evidence-based reforms across the federal government, the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy is launching a competition for low-cost randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that seek to build valid, actionable evidence about “what works” in U.S. social spending. The Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is unaffiliated with any social programs or program models. This initiative is funded through philanthropic grants to the Coalition from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This program is designed as a three-year initiative to demonstrate the feasibility and value of low-cost RCTs to a wide policy and philanthropic audience. In its first

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Nonprofit Storytelling: Creating Infographics to Help Tell Your Story

  This is the last of a three part series on nonprofit storytelling. In the first blog article, we discussed why organizations should visualize their data, and how those visualizations can be used to tell a compelling story about outcomes.  In the second part, we talked about how storytelling should be done in a compelling and engaging way. Now, we’ll talk about creating infographics to help tell your story. In a previous blog, we discussed how a nonprofit organization can use infographics to maximize impact. So, how does Transform Consulting Group create infographics? Recently, Transform Consulting Group began working with the United Way of Grant County. As a first step in our consulting work with Grant County United Way’s leadership,

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Celebrate Nonprofits on World NGO Day

  February 27th is World NGO Day, a day for all Non-Government Organizations (including nonprofits) worldwide to share their initiatives and experiences with others. This is a day to celebrate and recognize the contribution, support and vital work all local, regional and international nonprofit organizations do all day, every day, year round.  How can you celebrate an organization and its board, staff, volunteers and supporters? Send a free NGO Day ecard to colleagues or friends! Host a fun dinner party or “friend-raiser” to raise awareness and funds for your organization! Share your message of appreciation with the community online, via social media or in print! Here are some examples for greetings one can use: “A Happy NGO Day! You are

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Nonprofit Storytelling: Preparing Compelling and Engaging Presentations

  In the first of this blog series on nonprofit storytelling, Transform Consulting Group discussed why organizations should visualize their data and how those visualizations can be used to tell a compelling story.  In this second part in the storytelling series, we’ll talk about how storytelling should be done.  At Transform Consulting Group, we encourage nonprofits to tell their stories in a compelling way. If donors and other stakeholders don’t feel a connection to an organization or don’t understand how the organization is making an impact in the community, they aren’t going to open their wallets to invest in the organization. But how many of us have sat through a boring presentation of information?  Staff’s ability to deliver a compelling

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$600 Million Grant for Support Services for Veteran Families

  The Veterans Administration (VA) is offering $600 million in funding to support services for homeless Veteran families. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program’s purpose is to provide supportive services grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families who: Are residing in permanent housing, Are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period, or After exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran family’s needs and preferences. The overriding goal for this grant is to ensure that appropriate levels of resources are provided to communities with the greatest

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Transformational Organization: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

  Today, we’re highlighting the work of a Transformational Organization: the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Not only is it the world’s best museum for children, but it’s also an organization committed to supporting our community.  The Children’s Museum provides several free and discounted admission programs, including: Free one-year membership for foster parents and their children.  Free one-year membership to families in any of the six neighborhoods surrounding the museum, including Crown Hill, Watson McCord, Mapleton-Fall Creek, Historic Meridian Park, Highland Vicinity and Meridian Highland. $1-a-family-member visits for low-income Hoosier families with the Access Pass. Free admission 16 days a year through Target Free Family Nights. Their Community Matters Report also outlines the significant financial resources and full-time staff members from

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Nonprofit Storytelling: Why Go Visual?

  This is the first in a three part blog series on nonprofit storytelling.  The majority of people are visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network.  Recently, Transform Consulting Group did a series of articles on how nonprofits can use infographics to communicate their brand, make their case, influence donors and highlight their organizations’ positive outcomes.  Data can be an important part of telling a compelling story for organizations.  However, raw data can be difficult to analyze and digest, even if you are familiar with how the data was gathered and is organized.  The visualization of data can be the key to showing an organization’s impact.  Following the trend of data visualization, Google recently released Google Databoard. This

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FREE Text Messages to Keep You & Your Baby Healthy

  Join the hundreds of thousands of moms who receive free text messages throughout their pregnancy and their baby’s first year.  Text4baby is a free service of the nonprofit National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) and was created in collaboration with Founding Sponsor Johnson & Johnson. The Text4baby service has four goals:  1.    Demonstrate the potential of mobile health technology to address a critical national health priority: maternal and child health.  2.    Demonstrate the potential of mobile health technology to reach underserved populations with critical health information.  3.    Develop a base of evidence on the efficacy of mobile health interventions.  4.    Catalyze new models for public-private partnerships in the area of mobile health. In addition to ensuring medical accuracy, HMHB

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