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Blog

Why Break Down Data?

When you’re using data to make decisions, are you also taking time to break down data to learn more? Perhaps you are struggling to understand the needs of different parts of the population you serve. Maybe you’re noticing different outcomes in different groups but don’t know why. When you break down data, you can see what’s hidden within your overall results.  One important reason to break down data is to help your clients who are experiencing multiple adverse events. Our team at Transform Consulting Group worked with Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) to understand the challenges of people experiencing both homelessness and domestic violence. We took a close look at their data. Then we came up with recommendations

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Tools Your Board of Directors Need to be Effective

Every nonprofit organization and school has a Board of Directors that is meant to help govern the organization. There are many companies, books, and webinars that solely focus on supporting Boards of Directors. Over the years, we have found and developed some key tools that are easy to apply to help organizations and their Boards govern more effectively. While some of these Board tools might seem standard, we still find that these are missing and/or have not been well developed. We could write a blog post about each of these tools (and maybe we will!). This is a quick overview of the value and purpose of each tool to help your organization think about how you might integrate them into

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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 of dollars 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

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How A Needs Assessment Can Support Your Head Start Program

Most organizations that receive federal or state funding and even private funding are required to complete some type of needs assessment. This might be part of their grant application or annual program update. The purpose of the needs assessment (which we talk more about here and here) is to help organizations align their services to meet the needs of their targeted population and geographic service area. Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are one type of grant program that must complete a comprehensive needs assessment every five years as part of their grant application. They are also required to complete an annual needs assessment update. In addition to the local grantees, each state has a Head Start Collaboration Office. They

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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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How to Engage Diverse Stakeholders in your Planning

When creating a strategic plan or going through any organizational planning process, who do you engage in that process for feedback? In May, we discussed the 4 Steps of Strategic Planning. Step one is collaboration – Collaborate with key stakeholders to inform the strategic planning process and create buy-in and ownership in the plan. Who to Engage There are several different types of stakeholders to consider gathering feedback from during the strategic planning process. While it will vary depending on your organization and industry, there are some common stakeholders that we recommend including. They include the following key stakeholders: Funders – current and past funders who know your organization as well as the industry to provide insight on what’s working

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4 Steps to Complete a Feasibility Study

Too often non-profits and government agencies immediately begin implementing a new program or service area. They see a need with their clients or a gap in the existing services, so they elect to help meet that need. This all sounds good, right? The challenge is that there has not been enough time to complete a comprehensive planning and assessment process to develop the program or service. One service we offer our clients to meet this need is completing a feasibility study. We follow the Plan-Do-Study-Act or “PDSA” continuous quality improvement cycle (learn more in this blog).  We help clients assess, design, launch and evaluate programs and services in order to meet community needs and apply the latest research. When following

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Does Your Organization Have a Continuous Quality Improvement Process?

During a time where communities and policies are changing, it is important to ensure the programs and services within those communities are constantly evolving to meet the needs of families. The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) model is an ongoing process for organizations to be able to determine whether or not a change made led to an improvement in quality. In order to move toward making the necessary improvements, a review of what occurred is conducted through a CQI process like the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. Steps to Complete a PDSA Cycle At Transform Consulting Group, we utilize this consistent approach when working with organizations to help them find solutions. Plan: Before beginning your PDSA cycle, identify the problem or issue you

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Putting Equitable Evaluation into Practice

Does your evaluation process accurately represent the population you serve? The marginalized and less privileged? We shared in this blog that evaluation is a process that helps organizations determine if the change that they set to accomplish actually occurred. We follow a 4-step evaluation process: (1) establish clear outcomes, (2) create or modify data tools and systems, (3) analyze the data, and (4) use data to make informed decisions.  In all our work with clients, we want to ensure we’re best representing all populations when doing evaluation. That’s why we’re learning more about an emerging initiative that is transforming the way evaluators think about their work – equitable evaluation.  At TCG, we’re always learning! We recently attended a lunch and

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Learn About Indiana’s Youngest Children with the 2019 ELAC Annual Report!

Indiana’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) released its 2019 Annual Report. Each year, ELAC completes a needs assessment on the state’s early childhood education system and then recommends solutions. We want to share some quick highlights and key takeaways from this year’s needs assessment.  ELAC focuses on ensuring early childhood education is accessible, high-quality, and affordable to all families.  Are Children Ages 0-5 Receiving High-Quality Care? Of the 506,257 children in Indiana ages 0-5, 64% need care because all parents are working. This includes both working parents who are single and households where both parents work outside the home.  Of those children who need care, only 40% are enrolled in known programs. The other three fifths of children receive informal

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