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Blog

Is Your Non-profit a Cooperator or a Competitor?

With the continued growth of non-profits over the past several years (as we recently discussed in this blog article), some organizations view themselves in competition with other community organizations.  While this might not be the intention of Executive Directors or board members, often non-profits are competing for funding, clients, and even volunteers. However, a new trend is starting to emerge where non-profits are cooperating in partnership and not competing. Our office is doing a book club, and the current book that we are reading is Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant. In their research of exemplary non-profits across the nation, they identified six effective practices identified in all twelve high-performing

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How to Gain Media Attention with a Compelling Press Release

At Transform Consulting Group, we are honored to serve many clients who are working hard to make a difference in the lives of children, families and their communities. While we partner with them on behind the scenes work (see our services here), we also want to help them promote the good work that they do. A press release can be the quickest and easiest way to get FREE publicity and raise awareness about your cause or nonprofit. You should not be the best kept secret in town.  If the community is unaware of your great services and impact, then your efforts will fall short every time. We often encourage our clients to share their mission by writing a press release that can lead to

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4 Steps to Create a Dashboard

In today’s information age, organizations are overwhelmed with the amount of information that they collect, track and monitor.  Non-profit leaders must decipher through all the data to determine what is meaningful and relevant to share with staff, funders, Board of Directors and other community partners.  A dashboard is a great tool to bring all the critical elements together in a user-friendly report. Through our program evaluation and research and analysis services, we help organizations create dashboards.  Here are a four steps to create an effective dashboard: Determine the audience for the dashboard. A dashboard is customized for the audience meant to view and use the dashboard, so first an organization needs to determine the intended audience. Then an organization needs

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Why Your Organization Might Consider a Merger

In the for-profit sector, mergers and acquisitions are common.  However, in the non-profit sector, mergers and acquisitions are hardly discussed, often have a negative connotation and seen as a “last option” when non-profits are in distress.  Relatively few non-profits are using mergers and acquisitions in a strategic way to strengthen their effectiveness, spread best practices, expand reach, and be cost-effective.  Based on the increasing number of non-profits, more public sector organizations should consider a merger or organizational realignment. According to recent data from the National Center on Charitable Statistics (NCCS), nearly 1.6 million non-profit organizations were registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This number continues to grow annually with an estimation of 30,000 new non-profit organizations being created each year

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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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