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The 6 Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

  First published six years ago and now recently revised and updated, a “go to” read for nonprofits is Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. The book teaches that becoming a high-impact nonprofit is not just about building a stand-alone organization that delivers great service, rather high-impact nonprofits work with and through organizations and individuals outside themselves to create more impact than they ever could have achieved alone. The authors believe that without more nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies following these six practices to achieve maximum impact, we are doomed to plod along with slow, incremental social change. Similar to our discussion of the Good to Great principles for creating sustained impact, research from Forces for Good

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Transformational Organization: The Patachou Foundation

Today, we’re highlighting the work of a Transformational Organization: The Patachou Foundation. While those in Central Indiana may associate the name, Patachou, with the well-known and delicious Café Patachou restaurants, the company is using its food passion and talent to make an impact in the community. The Foundation uses the PATATRUCK mobile Patachou kitchen to take healthy after-school snacks to children impacted by homelessness and hunger and help them to learn about real food and nutrition. One in four Hoosier children, or about 388,000, struggle with hunger, which also puts those children at continuing risk for homelessness. This summer, Patachou’s founder, Martha Hoover, discussed with the Indianapolis Star her disappointment with the impact and outcomes of her company’s philanthropic giving, and

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Understanding Child Abuse & Neglect

In 1993, the National Research Council (NRC) issued the report, Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect, which provided an overview of the research on child abuse and neglect. Twenty years later, this report has been updated to provide new recommendations to this public health challenge. With 6 million children involved in reports of child abuse and neglect each year, this is a complex societal problem that requires a comprehensive response. This new report concludes that while there has been great progress in child abuse and neglect research, a coordinated, national research infrastructure with high-level federal support needs to be established and implemented immediately. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) have developed this infographic to help people understand

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Inaugural Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation Awards

Last month, Earl Martin Phalen and Tim Solso were honored as the inaugural recipients of the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation awards. The Foundation will biennially make these awards to persons or organizations doing work that moves the state forward. The foundation was created in honor of former Governor Mitch Daniels, now president of Purdue University, to recognize leaders who promote progress in Indiana. The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage leadership that “refuses to accept the status quo as good enough, constantly aims higher, and executes courageously resulting in lifting the arc of progress in Indiana”. Phalen, CEO and founder of the Summer Advantage USA and Reach Out and Read programs, as well as the founder of the Phalen Leadership

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How Lean Are You?

Lean Impact is a community dedicated to raising awareness of the theory of Lean Startup as a way to improve nonprofit effectiveness and change for social good. It’s an online learning community that is bringing resources to bridge the huge gaps that exist between what nonprofits hope to do and their actual impact. Lean Impact also educates nonprofits on the approaches that yield success and the use of technology for social good. In 2011, Eric Ries published The Lean Startup, which challenged startup founders to build and run their companies in a new way, maximizing customer value while minimizing wasted effort. While creating social change is different than running a startup business, Lean Impact is about nonprofits using this method

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The 30 Million Words Gap

What’s the 30 million words gap? A 1995 landmark study found that a child born into poverty hears 30 million fewer words by age 3 than a child born to well-off parents, creating a gap in literacy preparation that creates far reaching socioeconomic and educational disadvantages. We see those disadvantages in statistics such as those that show lack of school-readiness in low-income children and failure to perform at grade level for minority public school students.In order to find ways to bridge this language gap, researchers at the University of Chicago have completed the first research trial of the Thirty Million Words Project, in which home visits were made to low-income mothers to train them in a parent-talk curriculum. The study

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UWCI 2014 Student Success Competitive Grant

  United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) is expanding its investment in education by making available Student Success Grants to help high-need students in Central Indiana. The Student Success Grant was created to help foster dramatic student growth and school turnaround, and this year the field of eligible candidates has been expanded to include charter schools and child care centers. The grant was created with the intention for schools to have the flexibility to depart from traditional district or center policies in order to be successful. The grants reward innovative reforms that are driven by teachers and principals who have been given autonomy and superintendent or school board approval to implement evidence-based improvement strategies. Applications must cite research-based evidence supporting

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How to Get Your Board Involved in Fundraising

  Board members are a crucial part of nonprofit fundraising. They are an extension of the organization in the community and their circle of influence. However, it can sometimes be difficult to engage Board members. Asking for money doesn’t come naturally to most people, and many board members are afraid to ask, don’t know enough about the organization’s mission and impact to articulate it in a compelling way, and haven’t been trained specifically on fund development. Communicating fundraising expectations when you recruit board members is critical. Board members should know that fundraising is an important part, if not the most important part, of their role, so that there are no surprises when they agree to join the Board. In addition,

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What is your Fund Development Budget Goal?

  In this series on fund development, we began by discussing how your organization can have a diversified revenue portfolio. We have discussed having different sources of revenue coming multiple “buckets” and strategies to leverage each of those funding opportunities. Today, we are focusing on your fund development goal and plan. Annually, nonprofit organizations establish a budget based on expected revenue and expenses. Simultaneously, nonprofit Boards should also have an annual fund development goal and a 3-year fund development goal. These fund development goals should be divided amongst your different revenue “buckets” and each should be included in your annual budget, so that your Board, executive team and fund development staff can track your progress against your current budget and

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The Status of Girls in Indiana

  Last month, St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame released a Report on the Status of Girls in Indiana 2013. This Report can provide valuable information to non-profits serving girls to help shape programming efforts to provide additional positive outcomes. The goal of this report is to highlight the status of girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years old. Data specific to girls in the report has been pulled from many sources, including various state and federal government agencies and non-profit organizations, with the intent of centralizing and summarizing available information regarding girls in Indiana. Some key data in the report include: Population: Indiana’s girls are not as diverse as U.S. girls overall (80 percent of Indiana’s girls

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