Category Archives: Project Management

Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) 2014 Report to the Governor and Legislative Council

 

On June 30, 2014, Indiana’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) released its initial report to the Governor and Legislative Council.  ELAC was created as part of legislation passed during the 2013 session.  ELAC’s vision is to ensure that children ages birth to 8 years and their families have access to high quality early childhood education programs that keep children healthy, safe and learning.

The eight members of ELAC are accompanied by over 120 volunteers serving in 7 ELAC workgroups, addressing specific aspects of this work.  The volunteers represent higher education, the business community, legislative and executive branch participants, not for profit organizations, and state employees – all of whom see enormous potential from wise investments in accessible, affordable, high quality early childhood education.

The report includes the following:

  1. Profiles Indiana’s current situation in early childhood education;
  2. Outlines active steps underway to build on strengths and address gaps; and
  3. Provides recommendations informed by the work to date.

The report highlights the need for child care by two-thirds of Indiana parents, and that 4 out of 10 parents still use “informal care” by neighbors or friends instead of “formal” providers.  The report includes Next Steps and Recommendations, including: addressing additional data needs for ages 0-8; linking that data with longitudinal tracking of academic performance and career readiness; and taking full advantage of appropriate federal grant opportunities to accelerate Indiana’s efforts.

Transform Consulting Group is proud to support the work of ELAC to optimize the prospects of our youngest learners!

Similar to the support work that we have done for ELAC, Transform Consulting Group can help organizations support coalitions, analyze data and develop meaningful reports.  Contact Transform Consulting Group today and we’ll help you “move the needle forward.”

 

 

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3 Ways for Nonprofits to Refresh Their Annual Report

 

Annual reports are a good thing and an opportunity for organizations to communicate important information to stakeholders.  The challenge is making annual reports compelling enough for your donors and stakeholders to read, so that they see the value of their investment in your organization!

At Transform Consulting Group, we have helped several organizations with their annual report and are in the process of working on one right now.  Over the years, we have seen some pretty exciting changes and trends in how nonprofits are choosing to highlight their annual success and communicate their story to stakeholders.  Here are three ways to refresh your annual report:

1. Be Brief

The label “annual report” is misleading as this does not need to be a formal report.  Some of the most creative annual reports are less than five pages.  As a result, organizations are challenged to limit the content to only the most critical and compelling highlights.  A key question to consider in developing your annual report is, “what can I tell my donors about the positive results of their investment?”

Organization Spotlight: Girl Start  This STEM program for girls created a one-page highlights report of their outcomes and outputs.  For individuals that want more information, they can read their longer “catalog”.

2. Go Visual

Not only are annual reports being shortened but the format is becoming less formal and more visual.  The use of charts, tables, and pictures is a great way to unpack all of the data that organizations want to share with donors.  Infographics are a great tool to use in your annual report, and Transform Consulting Group has done a whole series of articles on this topic of infographics.  Some organizations are letting go of a “report” format altogether and releasing a 2-3 minute video to highlight their results from the previous year. 

Organization Spotlight:The Trevor Project  This youth-serving organization created a micro-site (mini website within their website) solely dedicated to their annual report.  When you click on their Program tab, they identified a key piece of information to share for each service area and created a visual display to represent the data.

3. Tell a Story (or two!)

Nonprofit organizations might have an advantage over for-profit organizations in this category.  Nonprofits are addressing an issue, moving forward a cause and changing lives.  The annual report provides an opportunity to put a “face” to the work that you doing and change that you are making in the community.  Sprinkled throughout your annual report should be at least 1-2 personal stories of success that tie directly back to the services that your donors made possible.

Organization Spotlight: Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Transform Consulting Group highlighted Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana a few months ago for their impact in the community.  Their annual report to the community is a great example of implementing all three of these tips – it’s short (only 9 pages), includes visual charts and tables and has personal stories throughout.  After reading, even scanning, their annual report you immediately see how broad their scope and reach is beyond what we often think of when we hear Goodwill – donations.  This is what an annual report should do – raise our awareness and understanding of an organization.

Last month, the Chronicle of Philanthropy hosted a webinar on Reinventing Nonprofit Annual Reports to discuss this topic further and present new and emerging ideas for nonprofits to consider in developing their annual reports.  One of their guest speakers, Kivi Leroux Miller with Nonprofit Marketing Guide and EcoScribe Communications shared that their organization has compiled a list of “new and improved” annual reports if you want to see some more examples and ideas.

If you want to rethink your annual report or other communication tools, contact Transform Consulting Group today for a free consultation.  Transform Consulting Group will work with you to refresh your annual report.

 

 

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Client Spotlight: Paws & Think Receives $50,000 Grant

We’re excited to say that on November 13, our client, Paws & Think received a $50,000 grant from Giving Sum. The Mission of Paws & Think is to enhance the quality of life in the community by using the power of the human-animal bond.  The nonprofit provides therapy animals for both animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapies to youth, seniors and special needs individuals of all ages. Also, Paws & Think has canine programs that facilitate classes for at-risk youth and teens, helping them to train shelter dogs with positive reinforcement behaviors.

A nonprofit itself, Giving Sum is focused on creating the next generation of philanthropic leaders working together to improve Indianapolis and central Indiana. By combining members’ resources — time, talent, and finances — Giving Sum is able to multiply the impact that members have on the community and on each other. Giving Sum grants 100% of each year’s membership contributions to a not-for-profit organization in Indianapolis working towards change, innovation, and community good. Members commit to combining personal resources with other members’ resources in order to create greater social impact. The three components of the Giving Sum equation that members offer to the community are:

•Time: Members can serve as high-impact volunteers.

•Voice: Members can use their collective voice to advocate for a cause or mission.

•Money: Each member contributes $500 toward a pooled grant fund that is distributed annually.

Congratulations to Paws & Think! Transform Consulting Group has been working with Paws & Think through IYI Consulting Services to improve its impact in the community by researching best practices on animal assisted therapy programs, as well as tracking their results through an evaluation plan.

Looking for similar resources to help improve your organization’s impact? Contact Transform Consulting Group today!

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Client Spotlight: United Way of Grant County Receives Strategic Planning Grant

 

United Way Grant County Logo

The United Way of Grant County in Marion, Indiana has been chosen to receive an Organizational Effectiveness Grant from the Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) and the Ball Brothers Foundation. The grant includes free strategic planning guidance, consulting, training and professional development services. The IYI Logo Consulting Partner 2011United Way impacts and improves lives through partnerships with 14 funded agencies that serve children, family and community in Grant County. The partnerships support 33 programs and initiatives to provide services across the county focused on health, education and financial stability. “I am honored that the United Way of Grant County has been chosen for this grant,” said Alicia Hazelwood, executive director of the agency. “It will help our local board move forward on implementation of our recent strategic plan. We hope that not only will this work make the United Way of Grant County stronger, but it will also help the efficiency and effectiveness of all our partners.”

The Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) promotes the healthy development of Indiana children and youth by serving the people, institutions and communities that impact their well-being. As part of the award, Transform Consulting Group was chosen by IYI to provide professional consulting on leadership, program and fund development to increase the effectiveness of the Grant County United Way’s programming. Transform Consulting Group will help United Way of Grant County develop metrics to evaluate its impact in the community, build the capacity of its board and create a resource development plan that focuses on diversification and increased revenue.

Transform Consulting Group can provide similar “one stop shop” services to other organizations looking to improve their effectiveness. Contact us today for a free consultation!

 

 

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Client Spotlight: Developing a New Program

 

Paths to Quality Logo

Transform Consulting Group is working with the Bureau of Child Care (BCC) division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to help roll out the Early Education Matching Grant (EEMG) program. This new $2 million grant program will fund child care slots for low-income children, and eligible applicants are Paths to Quality™ Level 3 and 4 programs.

The Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) was established in July 2013 by the Indiana General Assembly. Among other duties, the Committee’s responsibilities include recommending to the Bureau of Child Care the procedures, policies, and eligibility criteria for the Early Education Matching Grant (EEMG) program. The ELAC held their first meeting at the end of October, and the new EEMG program was a topic of that discussion. The new ELAC website includes links to the meeting minutes, the EEMG program recommendations and anticipated timeline. It is anticipated that this grant program will allow hundreds of additional Hoosier children access to high quality child care annually. Grant applications are expected to be available in December, and grant awards should be announced by spring 2014.

Similar to this work we’ve done for BCC, Transform Consulting Group can help organizations develop a new program, analyze and present data in a visual format, and manage a grant review process. Contact Transform Consulting Group today and we’ll help you “move the needle forward.”

 

 

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Client Project Spotlight: United Way of Central Indiana ReadUP

 

Transform Consulting Group is helping more students read at grade level by third grade. Through a $260,000 grant provided by the Indiana Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) will be able to expand and enhance its landmark literacy tutoring program, ReadUP.

Transform Consulting Group was hired by UWCI to help them plan for the addition of AmeriCorps members. In doing so, Transform Consulting Group provided the following key services:

  1. Completed research on the need for literacy tutoring in Indianapolis.
  2. Identified research-based literacy tutoring programs and interventions to model ReadUP after.
  3. Assessed the current ReadUP program model and developed recommendations to change the ReadUP program based on the research and analysis.
  4. Wrote the AmeriCorps’ Indiana Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives grant application.
  5. Facilitated the planning and preparation for the implementation of the new grant.

The addition of the grant will provide 20 AmeriCorps members who will work with approximately 400 first and second grade students attending 10 Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). The AmeriCorps members will tutor new elementary students 20 minutes a day so that they can build phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and other reading skills to bring them up to grade level. In IPS, only 42% of third graders are reading at grade level.

Need help with assessing your program or updating a program design? Transform Consulting Group stays current with the latest research. We can use this experience to align your program and organization to “what’s working” and provide effective project management services. Contact us today, no matter whether the project is large or small!

 

 

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Client Spotlight: Indiana Heart Gallery Helps Children Find a Forever Family

Transform Consulting Group is helping Hoosier children find an adoptive family to call their own. We manage the Indiana Heart Gallery for the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS). The Heart Gallery is a compelling traveling exhibit featuring remarkable portraits of children in need of adoptive families. The Indiana Heart Gallery was created by DCS in 2007 as one way to help these incredible children share their stories and encourage families to adopt. Many of the foster children featured in the gallery are older or special needs children, minorities, or members of a sibling group. All are considered hard-to-place children. Our goal is to keep the Heart Gallery moving until all of the children are adopted!

Heart Gallery Photo 2We work with partners across the state to host the exhibit of beautiful photos of foster children waiting to be adopted to raise awareness of this issue and to recruit potential adoptive families. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, one look at the gallery reveals hope in spite of difficult circumstances. Although many of the children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, their photos show they love to laugh, are eager to learn, and enjoy being with friends. Most of all, these children dream of finding a family to call their own.

Share the message with others about the Indiana Heart Gallery and the many children waiting to find families. There may be a family in your community who is willing and interested in opening their home and heart to a child in need. Please encourage others to attend a mini-gallery or view the online gallery here. Upcoming gallery events and locations are also available online. To learn more about the youth featured in the exhibits, please visit www.adoptachild.in.gov.

Need help with managing a project or planning an event? Transform Consulting Group has experience working with clients all over Indiana. We can use this experience to promote your organization and provide effective project management services. Contact us today, no matter whether the project is large or small!

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