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4 Ways to Use Your Data

  Complete and accurate data collection is the backbone of all organizations. Everyone needs reliable data to make effective decisions that will improve access to programs, enhance their quality and increase participation in them. However, data is only effective if it is being utilized. Once you have systems in place to collect your data, how effectively are you using your data? Below are four ways that data can be used to strengthen your organization: Communication – inform your marketing and communication with the public, clients, partners and other stakeholders. Instead of just explaining what you do, also communicate the impact that your organization has in the community it is serving. Evaluation – Assess and analyze progress towards achieving your desired

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$25 Nonprofit Donation from Energizing Indiana

  If your electric provider is Duke Energy, schedule a free home energy assessment and a local nonprofit will receive a $25 donation from Energizing Indiana! Duke Energy is a proud partner in Energizing Indiana, a statewide initiative that promotes energy efficiency. Visit www.energizingindiana.com/duke to choose from over 400 nonprofit organizations that have partnered with Energizing Indiana. When you click on the nonprofit organization of your choice, you will be prompted to schedule your assessment. Upon completion of your home energy assessment, the organization will receive a $25 donation from Energizing Indiana. A specially trained energy advisor will visit your home and guide you step-by-step through the process to produce long-term, cost effective energy savings by analyzing your energy use.

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New Toyota Family Learning Grants

  The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) is accepting grant applications for its new nationwide initiative: Toyota Family Learning. NCFL will award five (5) organizations in different cities a three-year, $175,000 grant, as well as a wide range of NCFL training and communications support, to implement services that engage families in learning together, mentoring other families in learning together, and family service learning projects. Eligible applicants include schools (traditional public and charter), and other nonprofit community based organizations, libraries and other nonprofit organizations providing services to families. NCFL is requesting applications that will adapt existing family engagement in education programs to include the implementation of family mentoring and service learning components consisting of: • Parent and Child Together (PACT)

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New Google Philanthropy App

  One Today is a new mobile Android application being tested by Google, which “brings together people and nonprofits through the simple act of giving $1.” The app highlights a new nonprofit every day and allows people to contribute $1 to any group that captures their interest. They can also share projects with their friends via social media and match the $1 gifts people in their networks make. Over time, One Today personalizes the causes it displays to a user’s tastes. The application does not share donors’ contact information with charities, but the organizations can find out who’s interested in them by looking at the information people include on the public part of their user profile. The charities featured on

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Does Your Organization Have What it Takes to Make a Sustained Impact?

“To make the greatest impact on society requires first and foremost a great organization, not just a great program.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors Is your organization surviving on one grant or funding source to the next? How certain are you of your future in one or two years? From the start, your organization should be thinking strategically about how you will sustain and take to scale your effort over time. Ensuring sustainability requires you to be strategic and creative in using your resources and supports to achieve results. The five elements of sustainability for nonprofits include: A clear and compelling vision A passionate and engaged board of directors A motivated and professional staff Effective communications

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Street Outreach Program Grants Available

The Family and Youth Services Bureau is now accepting applications for the Street Outreach Program. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds organizations that provide street-based services to runaway, homeless and street youth who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, prostitution or sexual exploitation. These services are designed to assist youth in making healthy choices and help them leave the streets. Grantees will receive up to $200,000 for each year for up to a 3 year project period. Projects first address the immediate needs of street youth (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) through direct interventions or appropriate referrals. Then they work on improving the behavioral, psychological, and physical health of street

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New Round of Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) Grants for Scale-up and Validation

Following the launch of the 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) Development competition earlier this spring, on May 3rd the U.S. Department of Education announced the start of the competition for the i3 program’s Scale-up and Validation categories. These grants will continue the Department’s investments in promising strategies that can help to close achievement gaps and improve student learning. The i3 program aims to develop and expand practices that accelerate student achievement and prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers. This year, school districts and nonprofit organizations in partnership with districts or schools are eligible to compete for nearly $135 million. The maximum grant amount available in each category is based on the evidence of effectiveness. This

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Evaluation of Nonprofits in the Era of Accountability

In this new era of accountability, nonprofits and other charitable-based organizations are being evaluated with new scrutiny. Funders want to know how their money is being used and whether they are getting the most “bang for the buck”. These three websites are taking innovative approaches to nonprofit evaluation and rating: 1) Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, assesses the financial health, accountability and transparency of 6,000 of America’s largest charities based on a 4-star scale. It also provides publicly available information for another 1.6 million unrated nonprofits registered with the IRS. 2) Give Well conducts in-depth research aiming to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. They evaluate

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Grant Seeking

Alan Silver’s book, How to Win Grants: 101 Winning Strategies, lists seven deadly sins of grant seeking. Has your organization committed any of these sins? 1. Don’t ask for money from people who will never give it to you;  Do ask potential investors who believe in your mission and are passionate about your cause.  2.  Don’t shotgun cookie-cutter proposals to long lists of funders; Do customize your proposal or case statement to show that your services support the funders’ mission and priority areas. 3.  Don’t contact funders until you have learned about their funding priorities, types of projects and grantees, geographic preferences, and all other things you can find out about them; Do your research before you contact a potential

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Guidance for Creating Promise Neighborhoods

  A new report from The Urban Institute, Measuring Performance: A Guidance Document for Promise Neighborhoods on Collecting Data and Reporting Results, provides recommendations on data collection and strategies to track progress over time and ensure program efficiency and effectiveness.  Other place-based initiatives and organizations working to improve schools and early childhood education programs in their communities may find these recommendations useful for measuring the progress of their efforts. Promise Neighborhoods is a federal place-based initiative intended to turn neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity by providing a continuum of school readiness, academic services, and family and community supports for children from early childhood through college. The initiative seeks to improve kindergarten readiness, proficiency in core subjects, high

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