Introduction to Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Resource Library

This website provides a collection of e-learning lessons and guidebooks developed by the National Resource Center to support Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) grantees between 2002 and 2010. The website remains publicly available as resource for nonprofit capacity builders nationwide on the following topics:

  1. Conducting a Community Assessment
  2. Delivering Training and Technical Assistance
  3. Designing and Managing a Subaward Program
  4. Going Virtual
  5. Identifying and Promoting Effective Practices
  6. Leading a Nonprofit Organization: Tips and Tools for Executive Directors and Team Leaders
  7. Managing Crisis: Risk Management and Crisis Response Planning
  8. Managing Public Grants
  9. Measuring Outcomes
  10. Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together
  11. Sustainability
  12. Working with Consultants

Who is the audience for Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Resource Library?

Anyone who is interested in expanding the capacity of nonprofit services in their community – from front– line service providers to executives in large intermediary organizations – will benefit from the information contained in this resource library. The National Resource Center developed many of these resources for intermediary organizations, organizations that were granted funds by CCF to build the capacity of the faith-based and community-based organizations (FBCOs) they served. As such, the majority of the resources in Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Resource Library support intermediary organizations in their capacity building efforts. However, funders of capacity building programs (Federal program offices and foundations) and the nonprofit community (including FBCOs) at large will also find these resources helpful.

In addition, individuals working to build capacity within a program or an organization will be able to use these resources to support their efforts to implement change and make improvements.

What types of resources are available?

For the each of the twelve capacity-building topics presented in the main menu, there are three types of resources:

  1. Guidebooks – a concise and application-focused guide to addressing frequently-encountered gaps facing community-based nonprofit organizations
  2. E-learning lessons – a multimedia online format designed to engage users with a variety of learning styles. Built on content from the primary guidebook(s), the lessons present key concepts, background, and tools in modular segments for nonprofit staff and volunteers
  3. Training plans- strategies designed by and for nonprofit trainers and consultants interested in combining content and activities from the e-learning lesson with existing training programs

For a list of chapters, supplementary “Interactivities”, and downloadable handouts associated with each e-learning lesson, see the E-learning Lesson Content Map below.

How do I navigate the library?

Tab through and press enter or click on one of the twelve topics and a submenu will become available. The first column in the submenu lists primary and related guidebooks. The second and third columns contain the e-learning lessons and associated training plans. Users of assistive technology may navigate the links in the submenu as a single list separated by headers. When a submenu links is activated, a new window or browser tab will open with the selected resource.

Who developed the Strengthening Nonprofits Capacity Builder’s Library?

Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Library was developed by the National Resource Centers for the Compassion Capital Fund and Strengthening Communities Fund, operated by Dare Mighty Things, Inc., in the performance of Health and Human Services Contract Number HHSP23320082912YC.

The blended training and technical assistance plans accompanying the e-learning lessons in Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Library could not have been completed without the expertise and feedback of capacity building experts in the field who contributed to the product and provided feedback. We’d like to thank and acknowledge the following contributors and reviewers:

Contributor:

Reviewers:

 

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is an approach that combines multiple learning methods to create the best possible learning solution for the target audience. In current usage, blended learning typically involves some type of online learning component, combined with other formal and/or informal learning activities.

Benefits of Blended Learning

When well designed, blended learning can be a powerful strategy to:

Elements in a blended learning strategy could be any combination of live classroom, virtual classroom, e-learning, mentoring, job-shadowing, website material, narrated PowerPoint modules, simulations, job aids, collaboration tools, and books (hard copy and virtual), among other options.

It’s estimated that about 70 percent of workplace and volunteer learning occurs informally through reading, discussions with peers, and trial and error efforts. Blended solutions go beyond formal training by making tools available for “just-in-time” learning. With a truly integrated set of learning methods, people can informally obtain the instruction that meets their individual or unique needs, while also participating in formal learning experiences.

 

Creating Blended Learning Strategies

The training plans on this site suggest ways to combine content and activities from the e-learning lessons with your existing training programs or virtual participant meetings. We encourage you to create your own blended learning strategies that will:

Icon ClickDownload the blended learning lesson plan template and get creative!

Depending on your learners’ needs, you might reverse the elements in one of the training plans. For instance, one of the plans might require that participants complete an e-learning lesson prior to attending in-person training. However, depending on the content of your pre-existing training, trainee familiarity with the topic, or other factors, you might decide, instead, to hold the training first and use the e-learning lesson as a post-training review or assignment.

The blended learning strategies from one lesson might spark ideas for approaches you can take with other lessons. Some of the individual blended strategies suggested for a particular e-learning lesson can be used in combination with another strategy for that lesson or perhaps with strategies from a different, but related, e-learning lesson. There are no hard and fast rules that dictate how to combine diverse learning solutions. However, a few examples are shown in the table below.

When... Consider...
You’re addressing the transfer of foundational knowledge (background information, models, facts, figures) Self-paced e-learning (asynchronous), combined with paper-based reading materials, job aids, or audio tapes
You’re addressing complex skill development Classroom training, labs, in-person simulations
Learners are at different points on the learning curve with highly technical or complex material Self-paced e-learning so that learners can develop a common knowledge base, followed by in-person or online practice sessions and group discussions
The skills required for high-impact, high-consequence jobs must first be practiced in a safe, failure-free environment Skills-based e-learning or online simulations, followed by classroom practice and on-the-job coaching
Learners will benefit from post-training discussion with their peers Online or classroom training with follow-up online collaboration tools/communities of practice to support learners’ exchange of challenges and successes
Learners must develop critical interpersonal competencies Classroom training, followed by on-the-job coaching, online post-work, or instructor-led e-learning (synchronous)

Selected Best Practices

  1. Conduct a front-end analysis to define desired learning outcomes and ensure relevance to learners’ needs.
  2. Develop an initial high-level vision for the blended program, from start to finish (e.g., the rationale and purpose, who the collaborators are, the critical components).
  3. During the initial planning phase, identify strategies to evaluate training outcomes (for all elements in the blend).
  4. Communicate clear expectations around learner’s time investments, support required from managers/staff, standards for completion, evaluation of learning, etc.
  5. Make sure the various learning modalities are truly integrated; they are not merely a set of disjointed options, but instead, are explicitly linked together and function in tandem to achieve the learning objectives.
  6. For online training, determine the appropriate use of synchronous methods (learners participate simultaneously with an instructor) and asynchronous methods (learners participate individually at their own preferred times).
  7. Provide learners with a consistent human connection, even with self-directed learning options. Facilitators are available by phone, email, chat, or in other ways to respond to questions and check-in with learners.
  8. Use ongoing follow-up strategies (check-ins, post-work, coaching, action projects, communities of practice, etc.) to support real-world application and behavior change.
  9. Make sure facilitators and learners know how to successfully interact with all technology-driven learning methods before a blended learning approach is rolled out.

Learner Readiness

Regardless of the selected learning solutions, it’s important to consider learner readiness. High readiness means that learners understand and are prepared to engage in the pre-determined learning activities. While most learners are very familiar with live classroom training, they may be less familiar or comfortable with e-learning and blended solutions. Participants need to both see the value in these methods and feel confident as users. Here are some steps to increase learner readiness for these newer approaches:

  1. Explain the “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) to learners and their managers.
  2. Release a welcoming announcement through your learning management system (LMS).
  3. Provide the big picture (especially important for blended learning). Describe the learning path from beginning to end. Be clear about required vs. optional activities.
  4. Hold a “How to Learn” session (live or virtual) covering topics, such as:

Make sure learners know:

Provide ready-to-use technical job aids (e.g. instruction cards explaining logging on, entering a chat session, etc.)

If learners must work as a team over the course of a blended learning program, conduct a live classroom event at the outset so participants can meet and connect.

Use virtual meeting tools to deliver pre-work, update information, and check-in with participants.

References

Baldwin-Evans, Kay. "Key Steps to Implementing a Successful Blended Learning Strategy." Industrial and Commerical Training, 2006: 156-163.

Boonstra, J., D. Cote, and J. Dufault. "The 5 C's of Blended Learning." Presentation at a Professional Meeting, April 2010.

Harris, Paul, John Connolly, and Luke Feeney. "Blended Learning: Overview and Recommendations for Successful Implementation." Industrial and Commercial Training, 2009: 155-163.

Miner, Nanette, and Jennifer Hofmann. "It's not the Technology, Stupid." Training and Development, 2009: 30-32.

Miner, Nanette, and Jennifer Hofmann. "More Than a Merge." Training and Development, 2009: 30-32.

Pickard, Jane. "How Not to Blend Learning." People Management, 2006: 15.

Rodgers, Eric. "Executing Blended Learning." Chief Learning Officer, 2009: 40-43.

Snipes, Jeff. "Blended Learning: Reinforcing Results." Chief Learning Officer. September 2005.

 
Acquiring Public Grants

Training and TA Plan to Complement
ACQUIRING PUBLIC GRANTS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Review and share information from a grant-related website.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Prior to a training event on this topic, ask participants to review this e-learning lesson. Specifically, direct them to follow the link to the Grantsmanship Center located in Chapter 2 under text heading “Make the Decision to Apply.” Ask them to explore the website, including the “Resources” section (publications, magazine archives, etc.) and come to the class/webinar prepared to share one relevant resource or piece of information they found.


Plan 2

Purpose: Discuss the Grant Proposal Checklist.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Prior to a webinar or in-person training, assign participants to review this e-learning lesson. Direct them to the downloadable handout in Chapter 4, Writing a Great Grant Proposal Checklist. Ask them to think about additional items they might add to the checklist, based on prior experience with grant writing or suggestions from others in their organization. Ask them bring the checklist to the in-person session/webinar and facilitate a discussion of the checklist, including participants’ added items.

Building Multiple Revenue Sources

Training and TA Plan to Complement
BUILDING MULTIPLE REVENUE SOURCES

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Plan 1

Purpose: Identify financial goals and revenue sources.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to technical assistance (TA) engagement.

Details: Prior to your in-person training on this topic, assign participants to review this e-learning lesson. Ask them to download and complete the Goals and Financial Resources document in Chapter 2. Encourage them to collaborate with key staff and board members to complete this profile (where their fundraising goals and revenue sources are today and where they need to be). Ask them to use the completed form to create a one to two paragraph summary statement of their organization’s key revenue development goals. Consider providing a two paragraph sample. Have them email this to you prior to your one-to-one TA phone conference. Help your clients clarify their revenue goals and expand their ideas on potential funding sources.


Plan 2

Purpose: Discuss online fundraising tools.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson, download the Web 2.0 Report Card in Chapter 1, and consider which tools might be useful for their revenue strategy. Then, during the in-person training, go online to show participants these fundraising sites. Facilitate a discussion about their features, advantages, and disadvantages. Share your own experiences and solicit experiences participants may have had with online fundraising tools.


Plan 3

Purpose: Create revenue source plans.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training and post-training conference call.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and complete the Revenue Source Plan Template in Chapter 5 for at least two different revenue sources they’d like to develop or expand. Ask them to bring their draft plans to the in-person training. Break participants into small groups to provide peer input on plans. Encourage participants to share their draft plans with organization staff and/or board members for additional input and finalization. Schedule a post-training conference call at an agreed-upon time for participants to share their successes and challenges with plan implementation to date.

Option: If you feel participants will feel uncomfortable sharing revenue source plans with each other (e.g., the community is small, they’re competing for the same funding sources, etc.), replace in-person training and the group conference call with one-to-one TA.

Plan 4

Purpose: Diagnose revenue source performance.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training/webinar, with post-training peer work. Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson prior to your training event. Six or more weeks after your in-person training or webinar, pair off participants for a post-training activity they can do by phone or in-person, depending on feasibility. Direct them to use the Revenue Source Diagnostic Tool in Chapter 6 to discuss which revenue sources are performing well (i.e., in sync with their revenue source plans created earlier) and which are underperforming, along with corrective steps that can be taken. Encourage pairs to use each other as sounding boards to improve their diagnosis and corrective plans. You might consider providing pairs with the following questions:

  1. Which of the revenue sources currently show few, if any, symptoms of underperformance? Provide examples.
  2. Which of the revenue sources show significant underperformance symptoms? Provide examples.
  3. Among the underperforming revenue sources, what are the top two priorities at this time and why?
  4. Would other key staff and board members agree with this assessment?
  5. What next steps make sense? (e.g., discussing the diagnostic tool with others in my organization? Developing a concrete plan that focuses on corrective action? Something else?)
Collaborating and Sharing Resources Online

Training and TA Plan to Complement
COLLABORATING AND SHARING RESOURCES ONLINE

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Plan 1

Purpose: Explore online collaboration/resource sharing tools.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment and follow-up phone meeting.

Details: Direct participants to download two documents from Chapter 1 of the e-learning lesson: the Report Card and the Feature Comparison Spreadsheet. Ask them to explore the websites of at least two of these collaboration tools to learn more about their features. Ask them to create a list of ways their own organization might use an online collaboration tool. If there are participants whose organizations have already begun using one of these tools, have them list the ways it’s being used, along with benefits and limitations. Facilitate a group conference call to discuss their work.

Plan 2

Purpose: Create an action plan.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment, combined with remote peer review.

Details: Assign participants to review this e-learning lesson, complete the Action Plan template in Chapter 4, and download their plans to a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). Pair participants up to review each other’s action plans by phone conversation. The goal is to share ideas, provide feedback, and sharpen the plans. Consider providing a structure for the peer review. Suggested peer review questions include:

  1. How do you know your target users would use this? What effort would you have to put in to ensure adoption of the technology?
  2. How will you know if the desired benefits to the users are being achieved? What measures can you put in place to test this and demonstrate the success of your initiative?
  3. Tell me more about the person who needs to authorize the initiative. What are her key concerns? Why might she not want to authorize this? What risks might concern her?
  4. Now that we’ve had this discussion, are there action steps you would like to add to your plan? What are they?
Conducting a Community Assessment

Training and TA Plan to Complement
CONDUCTING A COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT

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Plan 1

Purpose: Identify the focus of a community assessment project.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to phone meeting.

Details: Direct participants to review the e-learning lesson prior to attending the phone conference. As pre-work for the phone conference, ask them to prepare a half- to one-page write-up that defines the focus and scope of a community assessment their nonprofit would like to undertake. Chapters 1 and 2 of the e-learning lesson are most relevant. Assign participants to email their statements of focus/scope in advance so you can post them to a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). During the phone meeting, ask participants to talk about their work and seek input from each other. Offer suggestions to help them sharpen their focus. Consider using a few questions to structure sharing, such as:

  1. On what central community issue or need will your assessment focus ?
  2. How did you arrive at this focus?
  3. What key questions do you want the assessment to answer?

This process can work well with a fairly small group (four to eight participants) on a sixty to ninety minute conference call. If the group is larger, you’ll need to hold separate phone meetings with sub-groups.


Plan 2

Purpose: Create a data collection plan.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and download the Data Collection Plan Worksheet from Chapter 4. Direct them to fill out the worksheet and bring it to your in-person training on conducting community assessments. Break participants into small groups to discuss and offer input on the data collection plans. Consider using questions to frame the sharing, such as:

  1. How do the secondary sources you’ve listed provide information relevant to your assessment questions?
  2. How do the primary sources you’ve listed provide relevant information?
  3. What specific information are you seeking from primary sources?
  4. Do others in the group have suggestions for additional secondary or primary sources that this person might consider?

By sharing their initial data collection plans and seeking input, participants may discover additional data sources and approaches they’ll be able to incorporate in their own community assessment projects.


Plan 3

Purpose: Summarize and share assessment results.

Strategy: E-learning lesson followed by post-training phone conference.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. Schedule a phone conference, allowing enough time for participants to implement their community assessment. Ask them to complete the Key Findings Worksheet (Chapter 5) prior to the phone conference and send it to you in advance for posting on a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). During the phone meeting, ask people to describe key assessment findings, including any results they found especially significant or surprising (and why).

Creating and Implementing a Data Collection Plan

Training and TA Plan to Complement
CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING A DATA COLLECTION PLAN

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Plan 1

Purpose: Choose a data collection method and develop a data collection tool appropriate for a project.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to a series of technical assistance (TA) engagements.

Details: Once your client has a logic model and performance measures in place (see blended strategies for Developing a Data Collection Plan), he will need to identify the most appropriate system for collecting data. Ask the person to review the e-learning lesson, paying particular attention to Chapter 1, including completing the assessment on which method to use (bottom of Chapter 1). Ask your client to write down the assessment results and initial thoughts about possible methods to use. Then, in a one-on-one TA engagement, talk through the questions in the download from Chapter 3, Checklist for Data Collection Design, to uncover resources and constraints that might inform the development of a data collection method. Through conversation, help your client decide which method to select and, together, create an action plan for getting the system up and running.


Plan 2

Purpose: Solicit feedback and share ideas on how to increase the quality and volume of data; create an action plan for doing so.

Strategy: Facilitated small group discussion (via conference call, ideally with a web-based screen sharing program (e.g., GoToMeeting.com, Wiggio.com (free), etc.), with follow-up technical assistance (TA).

Description: Prior to this session, direct participants to complete logic models and select performance indicators (see blended learning strategies from the e-learning lesson, Developing an Outcome Measurement Plan). Ask them to identify a data collection method (see blended learning strategy above). Prior to the conference call, ask participants to review Chapter 4 and complete a registration survey answering the following questions:

  1. What key measures and outcomes will you track?
  2. What data collection method(s) will you use?
  3. How will you gather sufficient high-quality data?

Compile answers on a handout to send out to participants prior to the call. Make the handout visible to participants on your computer screen during the call via a web-based screen sharing program. At the beginning of the call, explain that each participant will share what she wrote on the handout, detailing her ideas for ensuring adequate data quality and volume. After each speaker, ask the group if they have feedback or additional suggestions. Track these ideas live on the screen, adding to the existing handout. After the phone conference, follow up with participants individually to confirm their approach and identify action steps and a timeline to put the plan into motion.

Creating Your Sustainability Plan

Training and TA Plan to Complement
CREATING YOUR SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

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Plan 1

Purpose: Tackle key questions at the beginning of sustainability planning.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with follow-up assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson, download the Sustainability Planning Questions worksheet in Chapter 1, and work with organizational stakeholders to complete the worksheet prior to attending a webinar or in-person training. Use online chat groups or in-person breakout groups for participants to share their work and discuss what they learned from this initial planning step that might shape how their organization approaches sustainability planning.


Plan 2

Purpose: Build a case with donors.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with follow-up assignments prior to in-person training.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. Ask them to download and complete four worksheets from Chapter 2: Targeting Your Audience, Selling Your Organization, Sharing Your Vision, and Organizational Costs. Request that participants email their worksheets to you prior to the in-person training event. Based on your review of their worksheets, prepare a set of tips to help them strengthen the clarity and appeal of their cases for donor support. Discuss the tips during the training and elicit additional tips from the group.


Plan 3

Purpose: Practice how to ask for donor support.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training and follow-up technical assistance (TA).

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson, with instructions to download the Tips for Presenting handout in Chapter 2. Ask them to identify, prior to the training, at least two target donors their organization plans to approach. Devote one segment of your training to (1) a review of the presentation tips and (2) role-playing rounds done in three-person small groups. For each role-play, one person plays the donor, one person practices making the “ask,” and the third person serves as an observer and offers feedback at the end of the practice. Rotate roles so that everyone in each group has a practice opportunity. Even if some of your participants are not the organizational members who will be making donor presentations, practicing will better prepare them to support or coach those who will be presenting. This activity will be more valuable if participants have already worked through the four worksheets in Chapter 2 that help them build their case with donors (see previous blended strategy, Build a case with donors).

After the training, offer remote TA to help individual participants refine their “ask” for a priority potential donor they have in mind.


Plan 4

Purpose: Identify prospective partners and create a strategy to approach them.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson and complete the document, Who to Partner With, downloaded from Chapter 3. Prior to attending the training or webinar, ask them to write a one-page summary of their potential serious partners, potential minor partners, and potential alliances. In addition, they should tailor a case for partnership for each potential serious partner. Ask them to bring their work to the training to be shared and refined in participant pairs or small groups. During the training you might explain that doing a cost-benefit analysis can help organizations decide whether the benefits of forming a partnership are likely to outweigh the challenges. Provide a simple format for doing a cost-benefit analysis and suggest they do this analysis with others in their organization for each of their potential serious partners.

Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement

Training and TA Plan to Complement
DEVELOPING A PLAN FOR OUTCOME MEASUREMENT

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Plan 1

Purpose: Identify a program that needs evaluation and develop outcome statements.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training.

Details: Prior to training, have learners answer the questions and respond to statements in Chapter 1 Getting Started text. These questions will ensure that learners come to your training having thought through what program they want to measure, why they want to measure it, and what resources they have at their disposal to execute the initiative. Ideally they will have reviewed the entire e-learning lesson, giving them baseline knowledge for the group training. The instructor should review the concept of outcome chains or if-then statements (described in Chapter 2). Ask for a volunteer to share pre-work, describing a program he wants to evaluate and why. Then, collaboratively work through an outcome chain with this person on a white board or flip chart. Elicit questions from the group.

Break participants into small groups and ask them to share which program needs evaluation and why. Reconvene participants and ask them to work individually on an outcome chain for their programs. The training facilitator(s) should float among participants, coaching and offering guidance as they work. Consider inviting a guest to your course who specializes in outcome measurement and has on-the-ground experience with nonprofit evaluation.


Plan 2

Purpose: Select appropriate performance indicators to track and measure.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to technical assistance (TA) engagement.

Description: Have learners complete the e-learning lesson, paying specific attention to outcome chains in Chapter 2 and logic models in Chapter 3. Request that learners complete the logic model prior to your TA engagement and send it to you for review. Prior to your meeting, highlight areas on the logic model where you have questions or suggestions. During your engagement, ask the following questions to help your clients identify performance indicators that are measurable:

  1. How could one see the change? (Through what kind of observation?)
  2. How could one hear the change? (Through interviews? Focus groups?)
  3. How could one read the change? (Through surveys? In records?)

Do this for each area of change to help your client identify a complete set of potential performance indicators. After this collaborative process, ask your client to work with other organization members to determine which of these indicators to measure. Suggest that they use this set of questions found in Chapter 3 of the e-learning lesson:

  1. Do your indicators make sense in relation to the outcomes they are intended to measure?
  2. Are your indicators directly related to the outcome? Do they define the outcome?
  3. Are your indicators specific?
  4. Are your indicators measurable or observable? Can they be seen (i.e., observed behavior), heard (i.e., participant interview), or read (i.e., client records)?
  5. Is it reasonable that you can collect data on the indicators?
  6. Who is the appropriate party to collect the data? (You? Others in your organization? A third party?)
  7. Is it within your resources to have data collected?
Establishing Community Partnerships

Training and TA Plan to Complement
ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Plan participation in interagency organizations.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Prior to training, assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. Ask them to complete the Joining Interagency Organizations worksheet from Chapter 1. During the training, create pairs to discuss their work. Questions to guide discussion might include:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of joining each of the interagency organizations on your list?
  2. Of the organizations on your list, to which one would you give top priority and why?
Identifying and Developing Donors

Training and TA Plan to Complement
IDENTIFYING AND DEVELOPING DONORS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Create a prospective donor list and donor record.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training/webinar, followed by phone conference.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. In the webinar or training event, review the “ABC” and three tier approaches for mapping networks and identifying prospects highlighted in Chapter 2. Give participants a post-training task: encourage them to work with their organizations to identify and research new prospects and complete the Master Prospect List and Prospect Record forms from Chapter 3. Schedule a post-training conference call to check on participants’ donor identification and solicitation progress. You might use this blended strategy in combination with a previous blended strategy – (see Creating Your Sustainability Plan, Practice how to ask for donor support).


Plan 2

Purpose: Generate ideas for donor recognition.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to webinar.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and pay special attention to methods for recognizing and appreciating donors, discussed in Chapter 5. Direct them to Chapter 4 of another e-learning lesson – Planning for, Securing, and Documenting In-kind Donations – which also focuses on ways to acknowledge donors. Conduct the webinar and display photos and screenshots of donor recognition methods used by local/national nonprofit organizations (e.g., recognition walls, newsletters, thank you letters, etc.). Ask participants to share the methods they currently use and identify new methods they’d like to try out.

Leading a Nonprofit Organization

Training and TA Plan to Complement
LEADING A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

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Plan 1

Purpose: Assess your leadership strengths and challenges.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment, combined with remote peer sharing and/or in-person training.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and complete the self-assessment form in Chapter 1. Pair off participants and direct them to schedule a phone conversation with their partner to discuss the self-assessment. The self-assessment form provides a structure for the conversation. You might use this activity as pre-work for in-person training. Ask participants to bring their completed assessments to class and form small groups to discuss the “Next Steps” portion of the assessment. Prior to the training, you might ask participants to post their response to Question 3 (What is your single most effective team building practice, tool, or solution?) and related attachments to a file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.).


Plan 2

Purpose: Assess your leadership style.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment, combined with remote peer sharing and/or in-person training.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and complete the Leadership Style Assessment instrument in Chapter 6. Pair off participants and ask them to schedule a phone conversation with their partners to discuss the self-assessment. Alternatively, during an in-person session you might review the three leadership styles explained in the e-learning lesson. Then, have participants complete the instrument and share their results, followed by a discussion on the appropriate uses of each leadership style. Questions to guide the discussion could include:

  1. What are some circumstances in which an authoritarian style might be most appropriate?
  2. What are some circumstances in which a participative style might be most appropriate?
  3. What are some circumstances in which a delegative style might be most appropriate?

Plan 3

Purpose: Evaluate team progress.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson, focusing their attention on the issue of team management, presented in Chapter 7. Download the Team Status Check-In document from the chapter and make copies for your in-person training event. During a segment of your program, give participants time to complete the form individually and discuss their work in small groups. You might add an additional action-planning step in which they identify two to three priority actions stemming from their team evaluation (e.g., follow-up measures, employee recognition, information-sharing with team, etc.)


Plan 4

Purpose: Create a fundraising plan.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training.

Details: Direct participants to review the e-learning lesson. Ask them to begin work on a new fundraising plan, using the six step model outlined in Chapter 5. Instruct participants to bring their work on Steps 1 through 3 to the in-person training event. Lead a discussion on the six step model, including tips from your own experience and suggestions and questions from participants.

Managing Crisis

Training and TA Plan to Complement
MANAGING CRISIS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Develop a crisis response plan.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training/webinar with post-work.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. During the in-person session, review the key activities involved in crisis response planning (e.g., SWOT analysis, creating a communication plan, etc.). Show an abbreviated crisis response plan that you prepared in advance as a sample. Structure a post-work assignment: instruct participants to develop their own crisis response plans during a designated timeframe. After the designated time period, schedule a group phone conference for participants to discuss whatever stage of crisis response planning their organizations are in. You might consider using discussion questions, such as:

  1.  Since our training, what crisis planning steps has your organization taken, if any?
  2. If no steps have been taken, what are the barriers to crisis response planning?
  3. Regardless of the stage you’re in, how can you create or maintain momentum for crisis response planning in your organization?

Plan 2

Purpose: Refine your employment interview questions.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training/webinar.

Details: Prior to the in-person training event, assign participants to review the e-learning lesson, with special attention to the document, Sample Interviewing Guidelines found in Chapter 6. Ask participants to bring in a list of questions for an upcoming interview or a standard set of questions used by their organization. During the in-person session, review the material in Sample Interviewing Guidelines. Provide time for participants (in small groups) to compare their currently used questions against the legal guidelines and sample questions, refining their own questions in the process.

Managing Public Grants

Training and TA Plan to Complement
MANAGING PUBLIC GRANTS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Review the fundamentals of public grant management.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training or webinar series.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson. Instruct them to keep a running list of any questions they have related to the following sub-topics addressed in the e-learning lesson:

Ask them to bring their questions to the training session or to send them to you in advance. Build your in-person training around a deeper discussion or clarification of the topics listed above.

Online Tools for Data Management

Training and TA Plan to Complement
ONLINE TOOLS FOR DATA MANAGEMENT

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Plan 1

Purpose: Assess data management needs.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment, follow-up phone conference, and peer support.

Details: Assign participants to download the Comparison Table spreadsheet document from the Overview section of the e-learning lesson. Ask them to highlight the tool features that are most relevant to the needs of their organization and write a statement about each feature that explains how they envision it making a difference in their data management initiative. Facilitate a group conference call to discuss their work.

At the end of the phone conference, form pairs or small groups that combine people who are interested in similar tools. Ask them to serve as informal technical support groups that offer mutual assistance as members move through tool adoption and the usage learning curve.


Purpose: Advocate for data management tool adoption.

Strategy: E-learning with work assignment and follow-up remote peer review.

Assign participants to download the Report Card and Comparison Table spreadsheet documents from the Overview section of the e-learning lesson. Ask them to use the information to select the data management tool that may be right for their organization. Assign them to draft a memo to an appropriate target audience (executive director, board of directors, funder) explaining how the features and benefits of the tool will help to address an existing need or problem and the value of adopting the tool. Ask them to post their work to a file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). Create pairs for peer review by phone. The goal is for participants to give and receive feedback on each other’s “pitches” for the adoption of a data management tool.

Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together

Training and TA Plan to Complement
PARTNERSHIPS: FRAMEWORKS FOR WORKING TOGETHER

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Plan 1

Purpose: Start the process of partnership development.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training with follow-up remote peer support.

Details: Assemble a group of participants who are either considering forming a partnership or who have recently formed one. Direct them to complete the e-learning lesson and also identify, before coming to the training, one or more organizations they’re considering approaching about a partnership arrangement or have already approached. In your training, discuss the key components of successful partnership (see Chapter 1), including some real world examples of effective partnerships. Review the different types of partnerships highlighted in Chapter 2 and ask participants to define what category their proposed or current partnership falls into. Distribute the Checklist for Starting the Process and the Checklist for Setting Up and Maintaining the Partnership. Allow participants twenty minutes to jot down their thoughts in response to the checklist questions. If they haven’t formed a partnership yet, they should record initial ideas. For those who’ve recently formed a partnership, they should use this checklist to identify what key elements are in place and what remains to be done to get the partnership off to a solid start. Either discuss their responses in the full group (if small) or break participants into small groups, each with a mix of those who haven’t formed partnerships yet and those who have. You might ask them to discuss:

  1. What are the benefits to the target groups of forming this partnership?
  2. What are the shared goals and vision of the partnership? If this isn’t clear, by what process will it be clarified?
  3. What specific parties are/will be involved and what are their responsibilities? If this isn’t clear, by what process will it be clarified?
  4. How will the partnership develop an action plan that sets out specific goals, accountabilities, and timelines?

What are the immediate next steps that need to be addressed to support the development of this partnership? Form pairs who will schedule phone conferences with each other during a designated post-training timeframe. The purpose of the pair conferences is to discuss progress made on partnership development and serve as mutual advisors.


Plan 2

Purpose: Build collaborative work plans.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment and follow-up one-on-one technical assistance (TA).

Details: Ask your client to complete the e-learning lesson and download and fill out the Collaborative Workplan Worksheet from Chapter 5. Ask her to send you the completed worksheet before your scheduled technical assistance meeting. Use the meeting to help your client think through the best strategies and next steps for ensuring their partnership has a feasible collaborative workplan in place. Schedule a follow-up meeting to check in on progress to-date and offer additional suggestions.


Plan 3

Purpose: Explore frameworks for partnership norms and communication.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to webinar.

Details: Instruct participants to review the e-learning lesson prior to the webinar, with special attention to Chapter 4, which focuses on partnership norms and communication processes. Prior to the webinar, familiarize yourself one of the communication frameworks identified in the Chapter 4 text (e.g., “Fierce Conversations,” “Difficult Conversations”, etc.). Include in your webinar a discussion of the Partnership Norms Template (Chapter 4 download) and one of these communication models, using nonprofit examples throughout the session. Build in multiple opportunities for the participants to ask questions and share experiences.

Planning for, Securing, and Documenting In-Kind Donations

Training and TA Plan to Complement
PLANNING FOR, SECURING, AND DOCUMENTING IN-KIND DONATIONS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Explore resource information on in-kind donations.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to webinar/training.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson prior to attending the webinar or training. Familiarize yourself with the resource websites identified in the e-learning lesson Summary (e.g., the Foundation Center website, Idealist.org, etc.). Reference additional websites from your experience that you would recommend. Dedicate part of the training to going online to these websites. Point out some of the most useful aspects of the sites, answer participants’ questions, and ask if they have additional resources to add (websites, articles, books, etc.).


Plan #

Purpose: Review guidelines for documenting in-kind donations.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to webinar.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson prior to attending the webinar, including Substantiating Charitable Contributions, located on the IRS.gov website via the link located in Chapter 3. Prior to the webinar, ask some or all participants to send you a list of specific in-kind donations they’ve received in the last twelve months. Use these lists to prepare examples of how to document a wide variety of in-kind donations. Discuss the referenced information from IRS.gov website (Substantiating Charitable Contributions) and answer participant questions.

Recruiting and Engaging Volunteers Online

Training and TA Plan to Complement
RECRUITING AND ENGAGING VOLUNTEERS ONLINE

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Plan 1

Purpose: Share online volunteer recruitment and engagement action plans – Option 1.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training.

Details: Prior to an in-person training engagement on this topic, assign participants to review this e-learning lesson and submit the action plan template found in Chapter 4 to you via email. Facilitate a group discussion about the key themes from the action plans. For example, the group may benefit from talking through gaining authorization for online outreach or they may pick up additional ideas for online recruitment and engagement they hadn’t considered.


Plan 2

Purpose: Share online volunteer recruitment and engagement action plans – Option 2.

Strategy: E-learning lesson combined with remote peer review.

Details: Assign participants to review this e-learning lesson and complete the action plan found in Chapter 4. Ask them to upload the plans to a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). Pair participants up to review each other’s action plans by phone conversation. The goal is to share ideas, provide feedback, and sharpen the plans. You might consider providing a structure for the peer review. Suggested peer review questions include:

  1. How do you know your target users would use this? What effort would you have to put in to ensure adoption of the technology?
  2. How will you know if the desired benefits to the users are achieved? What measures can you put in place to test this and demonstrate the success of your initiative?
  3. Tell me more about the person who needs to authorize the initiative. What are her key concerns? Why might she not want to authorize this? What risks might concern her?
  4. Now that we’ve had this discussion, what action steps would you like to add to your plan?

Plan 3

Purpose: Select an appropriate online vehicle for volunteer recruitment and engagement.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to one-on-one technical assistance.

Details: Provide the following questions to your client via email or online survey and ask the individual to return his/her answers to you.

  1. What is your budget?
  2. Which of the following are you most interested in accomplishing?
    1. Viral marketing through existing social networks
    2. Both recruiting and activity planning functions (calendar, message boards, etc.)
    3. Targeting people who have gone online specifically to find a volunteer activity in which to participate
    4. Tapping into new markets of people who may not have been seeking a volunteer opportunity
  3. What is your (or the administrator’s) skill level?
    1. Comfortable using Microsoft Word and Email
    2. The above, plus comfortable surfing the Internet
    3. All of the above, plus comfortable posting content to sites such as Facebook, Twitter
    4. All of the above, plus comfortable subscribing to RSS feeds and commenting on blogs
    5. All of the above, plus comfortable using web-based tools or building websites
  4. How much time will you have to set up the system?
  5. How much time per week can you dedicate to maintaining the system? Set up a consultation (by phone or in-person) to review the requirements. Prior to your meeting, request that the client review the e-learning lesson to gain baseline knowledge about some available systems. At your meeting, print out the report card found in the Summary chapter. Using the answers that your client provided, look through the report card together and assess which systems would be a good fit for both the purpose and skill level described. Technology is constantly evolving. Feel free update the report card with new systems that you learn about.
Understanding Fee-for-Service Models

Training and TA Plan to Complement
UNDERSTANDING FEE-FOR-SERVICE MODELS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Explore the viability of a fee-for-service model.

Strategy: E-learning with work assignment, combined with remote technical assistance (TA).

Details: Ask the client to review the e-learning lesson and complete the table, Can Fee for Service Work for your Organization? from Chapter 3 and email a draft of his work to you. Review the table, provide concrete feedback, and write probing questions directly on the document. Send the document back and schedule a meeting to review your comments and questions with the client by phone.


Plan 2

Purpose: Develop language to use when requesting fees from clients.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to in-person training.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and submit case study information prior to the training event. The information they need to submit includes the following:

  1. Participant’s name
  2. One paragraph description of the organization
  3. One paragraph description of the clients served by the organization (demographic information, strengths, challenges, goals)
  4. Services offered and associated costs
    Services Offered Cost of Offering
    Each Service
    Breakeven Point
    (see Chapter 2)
    1.    
    2.    
    3.    
  5. List any anticipated obstacles or barriers to implementing fee-for-service
  6. List any successful experiences the organization has had in implementing fee-for-service

At the training event, break the participants into small groups to share and discuss their case studies. Instruct the groups to provide peer brainstorming on strategies to implement a fee-for-service model. Reconvene the large group and ask for volunteers to share ideas from their small group discussions that they plan to incorporate.

Value-Driven Donor Development

Training and TA Plan to Complement
VALUE-DRIVEN DONOR DEVELOPMENT

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Plan 1

Purpose: Research potential funders.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to webinar.

Details: Ask participants to review the e-learning lesson and download the Funder Priority Research Template from Chapter 3. Ask them to research and identify at least two potential funders prior to attending the webinar and email the completed Research Template to you before the session. Focus the webinar presentation on how organizations can effectively pitch their organization and its services in ways that will appeal to different types of funders. Use information from selected templates to develop a variety of sample “pitches” or value statements that demonstrate the overlap between what an organization has to offer and the funder’s priorities.


Plan 2

Purpose: Create value statements.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to remote peer review.

Details: Ask participants to complete the e-learning lesson on this topic. Have them download the Aligning Needs with Strengths Template in Chapter 4 and create a value statement for at least one potential funder they’ve identified through their research. Consider having them complete the Funder Priority Research Template beforehand and selecting one funder from that worksheet to focus on. Ask them to download their work to a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). Pair participants up to peer review each other’s action plans by phone conversation. It may be helpful for pairs to visit the websites of their partner’s organization prior to the call to get an overview of its mission and services. The goal of the peer meeting is to share ideas, provide feedback, and sharpen the value statements. You might consider offering a structure for the peer review. Suggested peer review questions include:

  1.  How well does this value statement capture the overlap between the funder’s priorities and the organization’s offering?
  2. What else might be added to strengthen the value statement? What elements, if any, could be removed or reframed?
  3. What makes the value statement compelling? What, if anything, could make it more so?

Plan 3

Purpose: Create concept papers.

Strategy: E-learning lesson followed by post-work and phone conference.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson on this topic. You might consider implementing the previous blended strategies suggested for this lesson (Research potential funders and/or Create value statements) to lay a foundation for this focus on creating concept papers. At the in-person training, provide tips for writing effective concept papers, using the sample in Chapter 5 of the e-learning lesson, along with other examples you’ve collected. Encourage participants to come to the course with drafts of concept papers they’re working on. Give them a post-training assignment to develop or modify their concept papers, based on what they learned in the training. Schedule a post-training phone conference to discuss progress and share some samples of their work (which they’ve sent to you in advance of the call).

Virtual Meetings and Training

Training and TA Plan to Complement
VIRTUAL MEETINGS AND TRAININGS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Explore online tools for virtual meetings and trainings.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment and follow-up phone conference.

Details: Direct participants to the e-learning on this topic. Ask them to download the Report Card and Comparison Table in the lesson Overview. Ask them to explore the websites of at least two of these collaboration tools to learn more about their features. Also, ask them to create a list of ways their own organization might use an online collaboration tool. If there are participants whose organizations have already begun using one of these tools, have them list the ways it’s being used, along with benefits and limitations. Facilitate a group conference call to discuss their work.


Plan 2

Purpose: Create action plans.

Strategy: E-learning lesson combined with remote peer discussion.

Details: Assign participants to review this e-learning lesson, complete the Action Plan template in Chapter 5, and upload plans to a community file sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio (free), Dropbox (free), etc.). Pair participants up to review each other’s action plans by phone conversation. The goal is to share ideas, provide feedback, and sharpen the plans. You might provide a structure for the peer review. Sample peer review questions include:

  1. Who are your target users?
  2. How do you know your target users would use this? What effort would you have to put in to ensure adoption of the technology?
  3. How will you know if the desired benefits to the users are achieved? What measures can you put in place to test this and demonstrate the success of your initiative?
  4. Tell me more about the person who needs to authorize the initiative. What are his key concerns? Why might he not want to authorize this? What risks might concern him?
  5. Now that we’ve had this discussion, what action steps would you like to add to your plan?
Volunteer Recruitment and Management

Training and TA Plan to Complement
VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT AND MANAGEMENT

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Plan 1

Purpose: Explore creative ways to use volunteers during resource-constrained times.

Strategy: Web-based group consultation, using resources from the e-learning lesson, followed by e-learning lesson.

Details: Enroll participants who are not yet using volunteers or who you suspect could benefit from more creative use of volunteers. In your online meeting registration, ask if and how participants currently use volunteers and why they’re interested in this topic. Show the Robert Egger clip featured in Chapter 1 at the beginning of the meeting. Facilitate a discussion using the following questions:

  1. What was Robert Egger’s main point?
  2. What needs does your organization have right now that are unmet?
  3. How could volunteers help meet these needs?
  4. What kind of volunteers would best meet these needs?

Plan 2

Purpose: Develop a recruiting message, ideas about sources for volunteers to meet organizational needs, a volunteer position description, and a recruiting action plan.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to in-person training, followed by technical assistance (TA).

Prior to the training, assign participants to complete Chapter 1 of the e-learning lesson and draft a three part recruitment message as described in that chapter for at least one volunteer position. At the training, pair participants together to share and give feedback on their three part recruitment messages. Based on this input, participants should re-work their recruitment messages. Then, ask a few participants to share their revised messages. Ask each participant to write his/her recruitment message at the top of a flip-chart paper. Ask participants to post their flipcharts on a wall.

Instruct participants to circulate around the room and read the messages. Participants should suggest at least one idea for a source of volunteers to meet the need on each flipchart and indicate if they could help make an introduction to the organization. Ideally, the trainer would then schedule follow up TA with each participant to flesh out the volunteer position description found in Chapter 1 and to make an action plan for recruiting.


Plan 3

Purpose: Explore reasons for using volunteers and developing recruitment strategies and volunteer structures.*

Strategy: Pre-work and in-person training, followed by e-learning lesson and follow-up conference calls.

_____
* This blended learning strategy was contributed by Maria-Elena Augustin, Program Coordinator, University of Central Florida Center for Public and Nonprofit Management, an SCF grantee.

Working with Consultants

Training and TA Plan to Complement
WORKING WITH CONSULTANTS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Incorporate essential elements in a draft RFP.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment prior to remote peer review.

Details: Direct participants to the e-learning lesson on this topic. Ask them to download and read two documents located in Chapter 3: Elements of a Request for Proposal and A Sample Request for Proposal. Ask them to draft their own RFPs for upcoming work that will require external expertise and post their RFP drafts on a file-sharing site (Sharepoint, Wiggio, Dropbox, etc.). Set up three-person conference calls for peer discussion and review of the RFP drafts.

You might provide a framework for discussion with questions such as:

  1. Does this RFP contain the essential elements listed in the handout (Elements of Request for Proposal)? If not, what’s missing?
  2. How clear is the project definition? The expected outcomes? The performance standards?
  3. What other suggestions do you have, if any, to further refine this RFP?

Plan 2

Purpose: Learn best practices for contracting with and managing consultants.

Strategy: E-learning lesson prior to webinar.

Details: Assign participants to review the e-learning lesson, with special attention to Chapters 4 and 5, which focus on creating consultant contracts and managing consultant work. During the webinar, review the e-learning lesson material contained in Key Contract Elements and Sample Contract in Chapter 4, along with content from Chapter 5. Add your own tips about writing effective contracts and managing consultants’ work. Solicit “lessons learned” from participants.

Analyzing Data and Communicating Results

Training and TA Plan to Complement
ANALYZING DATA AND COMMUNICATING RESULTS

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Plan 1

Purpose: Share visual displays of data.

Strategy: E-learning lesson with work assignment followed by remote or in-person peer review.

Details: After they’ve reviewed this e-learning lesson, direct participants to select a data set that would be valuable to communicate to an important target audience. Ask them to display the data visually, with a brief caption. Pair participants up to review each other’s charts, graphs, etc., by phone conversation. The goal is to share ideas, provide feedback, and improve the visual displays to ensure they are accurate, clear, and communicating the desired message. You might consider providing a structure for the peer review. Suggested peer review questions include:

  1. Do you think this data is important to my target audience?
  2. What message does my visual depiction of data communicate to you?
  3. Is this the right visual display for my data?
  4. What can I do to improve this visual display to make it clearer or more compelling?
 

Content Map for E-learning Lessons in the Strengthening Nonprofits Library

E-Learning Lesson Chapters Interactivities Downloadable Handouts
Acquiring Public Grants
  1. Overview
  2. Assessing Your Readiness
  3. Acquisition Process
  4. Planning Your Proposal
  5. Writing the Proposal
  6. Submittal Process
  7. Getting Funded
  8. Summary
More Information: Research funding agencies to stay current on opportunities that could contribute to your organization.
Tip: Before seeking additional funding, ask a few important questions.
More Information: Check the Code of Federal Regulations.
Tip: Be considerate in how and when you hire a consultant.
More Information: Make a plan to write the proposal.
Tip: Follow these tips for writing a great grant proposal.
Don’t Forget: Take the time to complete this proposal checklist.
Don’t Forget: Learn from those who were successful applying for the award.
Required Attachments Checklist
Writing a Great Grant Proposal Checklist
Analyzing Data and Communicating Results
  1. Overview
  2. Statistics
  3. Analysis and Data
  4. Communicating Results
  5. Summary
Self Check: Test your knowledge of descriptive statistics.
More Information: A simple pie chart can help display information.
More Information: An example of capacity index scores displayed in a two-variable plot.
Tip: Use the web-based marketing tool, Constant Contact, to communicate your results to your target audience. www.constantcontact.com
None
Building Multiple Revenue Sources
  1. Overview
  2. Revenue Sources
  3. Goals and Resources
  4. Income Strategy
  5. Select a Source
  6. Revenue Source Plans
  7. Evaluate Results
  8. Summary
More Information: Consider your options for fundraising outline.
Explore: Explore the elements of a SWOT analysis.
More Information: Pick an income strategy that works for your organization.
Explore: Explore potential revenue-generating sources.
More Information: Complete a revenue source plan.
More Information: Consider both internal and external factors.
Goals and Financial Resources Worksheet
Managing Public Grants Glossary
Revenue Source Plan Template
Part 1 of the Revenue Source Primer
Part 2 of the Revenue Source Primer
Revenue Strategy Comparison Table
Revenue Source Diagnostic Tool
SWOT Worksheet
Systems Area Summary
Web 2.0 Report Card
Collaborating and Sharing Resources Online
  1. Overview
  2. Getting Started
  3. Google Apps
  4. Zoho Wiki
  5. Next Steps
  6. Summary
Tip: The report card and feature comparison table will help you identify the right tool.
More Information: Google Docs lets users edit one document, rather than working on multiple versions.
Tip: Send a monthly newsletter through your Google Groups membership list.
More Information: This video provides an overview of Google Sites.
More Information: Explore Zoho Wiki.
Self Check: Test your knowledge of online collaboration tools.
Action Plan Template
Feature Comparison Spreadsheet
Report Card
Conducting a Community Assessment
  1. Overview
  2. Needs and Assets
  3. Define the Scope
  4. Determine Collaboration
  5. Collect Data
  6. Findings, Priorities, Action
  7. Share Findings
  8. Summary
More Information: The Community Toolbox
Explore: Watch and consider the ways these community issues are interconnected.
More Information: MOU
More Information: Secondary Sources
More Information: Data Collection Plan
More Information: Key Findings
More Information: Action Plan
Tip: Review these tips for conducting a community assessment.
Action Plan Template
Data Collection Plan
Key Findings Worksheet
Sample MOU
Sources of Secondary Information
Creating and Implementing a Data Collection Plan
  1. Overview
  2. Data Collection Methods
  3. Validity and Reliability
  4. When and How
  5. Quality and Volume
  6. Summary
Tip: Pretest data collection instruments.
Explore: Which data collection method should you use?
Self Check: Test your knowledge of validity and reliability.
More Information: Use a checklist to craft your data collection design.
Tip: Organize data using Microsoft Excel.
Data Collection Design Checklist
Data Collection Plan Worksheet
TA Survey Template
Creating Your Sustainability Plan
  1. Overview
  2. Getting Started
  3. Build Your Case
  4. Partnership Strategies
  5. Maintaining Partnerships
  6. Resource Development
  7. Summary
Tip: Facilitate a community asset mapping project to determine community needs.
Tip: The Targeting Your Audience template will help you communicate to donors why they should care.
Tip: The Selling Your Organization template will help you communicate to donors why you make a difference.
Tip: The Sharing Your Vision template will help you communicate to donors your plans for the future.
Tip: The Organization Costs template will help you group expenses by gift amount.
Tip: Develop a partnership agreement to ensure both sides share a vision of how the partnership will work.
Explore: Identify characteristics of partnerships in order to develop strategies for maintenance.
More Information: The Raise-Funds.com website provides helpful information about starting an endowment campaign.
Organizational Costs
Partnership Maintenance
Sample Partnership Agreement
Sustainability Planning Questions
Selling Your Organization
Sharing Your Vision
Targeting Your Audience
Tips for Presenting
Who to Partner With
Developing a Plan for Outcome Measurement
  1. Overview
  2. Getting Started
  3. Understanding Outcomes
  4. Logic Models
  5. Performance Indicators
  6. Summary
More Information: Analyze your staffing needs.
More Information: Use if/then statements to identify outcomes.
Self Check: Test your understanding of logic models.
More Information: Indicators support larger outcomes.
More Information: Targets and comparative standards turn indicators into measurable goals.
Outcome Development Checklist
Sample Logic Model
Establishing Community Partnerships
  1. Overview
  2. Community Involvement
  3. Promote Networking
  4. Summary
Explore: Implementing the practice of promoting community involvement.
Tip: Share the responsibility for hosting training and meetings.
Creating a Shared Workplan
Joining Interagency Organizations
Sharing Responsibility for Training Requirements
Identifying and Developing Donors
  1. Overview
  2. Where Is the Money?
  3. Identifying Donors
  4. Developing Donors
  5. How to Make the Ask
  6. Keeping the Momentum
  7. Summary
Reminder: Who gives the money; who gets the money?
Explore: Explore the prospect tiers surrounding your organization.
More Information: These forms can help you organize your prospects with prospective donors.
More Information: Position your cause so your prospect can relate to it.
More Information: The Heifer Project creates a narrative for each donation.
More Information: There are a variety of ways to recognize your donors.
Master Prospect List
Prospect Record
Leading a Nonprofit Organization
  1. Overview
  2. Executive Director
  3. Strategic Plans
  4. Human Resources
  5. Board of Directors
  6. Finance and Fundraising
  7. Leadership
  8. Management Tools
  9. Summary
Tip: Self-assessment is a great way to prepare yourself to lead an organization.
Tip: Maintaining a checklist of essential documents can help you track your onboarding progress.
More Information: Idealist.org is a great way to locate an external consultant.
More Information: Try these staff alignment and trust-building activities to strengthen the relationships within your team.
More Information: An organized meeting agenda can maximize board meeting productivity.
Self Check: Try gauging your understanding of the differing responsibilities of the board and the executive director.
More Information: Develop a funding matrix to determine your anticipated revenue from each source.
More Information: Determine your leadership style with the Leadership Assessment Tool.
Tip: Periodically evaluating your team’s project can help keep a project on track.
Board Meeting Agenda Template
Funding Matrix
Leadership Assessment Tool
New Executive Director Checklist
Self-Assessment tool
Staff-Alignment Tool
Team Status Check-in
Managing Public Grants
  1. Overview
  2. Roles and Objectives
  3. Award Process
  4. Finances and Audits
  5. Property Management
  6. Revisions
  7. Funding and Closeout
  8. Summary
Self Check: Test your knowledge of the roles of the individuals who manage a grant.
More Information: Depending on the circumstances, Federal agencies may accept other forms of payment.
More Information: Expenses associated with your project can be shared with your awarding agency.
More Information: Property acquired with Federal funds must be insured.
Tip: Good communication will help you reach an agreement about project changes.
More Information: Any superfluous funds paid to your organization are considered a debt the government.
Federal Cost Sharing Requirements
Managing Public Grants Glossary
Online Tools for Data Management
  1. Overview
  2. SalesForce
  3. QuickBase
  4. eTapestry
  5. Next Steps
  6. Summary
More Information: The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.
Tip: SalesForce Custom Forms
More Information: Quickbase has many reporting options.
More Information: eTapestry has a robust email module for an additional fee.
More Information: Roadmap of an Action Plan
Feature Comparison Spreadsheet
Report Card
Partnerships: Frameworks for Working Together
  1. Overview
  2. Meaning of Partnership
  3. Partnership Types
  4. Forming Partnerships
  5. Norms and Communication
  6. Managing the Partnership
  7. Challenges and Evaluation
  8. Transitions and Endings
  9. Summary
Self Check: Check your understanding of partnership components.
Self Check: Check your understanding of different types of partnerships.
Tip: These checklists will help you launch and set up a partnership.
Tip: This template can help you develop partnership norms.
More Information: Read this case study about one organization’s communication efforts.
Tip: This worksheet can help you develop a collaborative work plan.
Self Check: Check your understanding of methods for managing partnerships.
Tip: This checklist can help you monitor and evaluate your partnership.
Self Check: Check your understanding of partnership transitions and endings.
Communication Structures Case Study
Evaluation Monitoring Checklist
Potential Partner Checklist
Setup and Maintenance Checklist
Starting a Process Checklist
Collaborative Workplan Worksheet
Partnership Norms Template
Technology Choices for Managing Your Partnership Project
Planning for, Securing, and Documenting In-Kind Donations
  1. Overview
  2. Identifying In-Kind Donations Desired and Needed
  3. Relationship Building
  4. Documentation
  5. Acknowledging Your Donors
  6. Summary
More Information: Creating a Wish List
More Information: Tips for the Ask
More Information: Calculating In-kind Donation Value
More Information: Recognizing Donors
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Recruiting and Engaging Volunteers Online
  1. Overview
  2. Getting Started
  3. Facebook Groups
  4. Meetup
  5. Next Steps
  6. Summary
Tip: The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.
More Information: Learn about the features of a Facebook group page.
More Information: Explore features of Meetup.com.
Self Check: Test your knowledge of online recruiting tools.
Feature Comparison Spreadsheet
Report Card
Understanding Fee for Service Models
  1. Overview
  2. Types of Models
  3. Identifying the Best Model for Your Organization
  4. Implementation
  5. Summary
Tip: Signs and flyers are subtle way to ask for voluntary donations.
Explore: Create awareness of the costs of services.
Explore: Finding your break-even point helps you know what fees to charge.
More Information: Can fee-for-service work for your organization?
Can Fee-for-Service Work-Analysis
Value Driven Donor Development
  1. Overview
  2. Reframing Your Approach
  3. Value-Driven Approach
  4. Listen, Identify
  5. Understand Your Value
  6. Capture the Concept
  7. Summary
Don’t Forget: Learn how your expertise aligns with the needs of the potential funder.
More Information: The hourglass concept describes how your efforts may vary.
More Information: The three steps of value-driven donor development can transform your strategy.
Tip: use the funding propriety template to chart aspects related to each potential funder.
More Information: Use this template to align funders’ needs with your strengths and create a value statement.
Tip: Call out boxes communicate short and long term outcomes.
Aligning Needs with Strengths Template
Funder Priority Research Template
Sample Concept Paper
Virtual Meetings and Trainings
  1. Overview
  2. Zoho
  3. Yugma
  4. GoToWebinar
  5. Dimdim
  6. Next Steps
  7. Summary
More Information: The virtual meeting report card and comparison table will help you find the right tool.
More Information: Zoho Signup and Meeting Setup
More Information: Running a Meeting in Zoho
More Information: Yugma Signup, Meeting Setup and Running a Meeting
More Information: Yugma Whiteboard
More Information: GotoWebinar Setup
More Information: GoToWebinar Controls
More Information: Features of Dimdim vary by account type.
More Information: Roadmap of an Action Plan
Action Plan
Feature Comparison Spreadsheet
Report Card
Volunteer Recruitment and Management
  1. Overview
  2. Defining Your Needs and Spreading the Word
  3. Interviewing to Find a Match
  4. Managing Volunteers
  5. Volunteer Engagement
  6. Summary
More Information: Robert Egger discusses the benefits of having the right people in the right roles.
Tip: These forms can help you recruit volunteers.
More Information: Role playing scenarios can illustrate an applicant’s interpersonal skills and style.
More Information: Calculate the value of your volunteers.
Explore: Consider where, when, and how to recognize volunteers.
Sample Volunteer Application Form
Volunteer Inquiry Form
Volunteer Position Description Worksheet and Sample
Working with Consultants
  1. Overview
  2. Deciding
  3. Preparing
  4. Selecting
  5. Hiring
  6. Managing
  7. Summary
Self Check: Check your understanding of hiring a consultant.
Self Check: Check your understanding of preparing to work with a consultant.
More Information: Avoid these pitfalls when selecting a consultant
More Information: Use the RFP Elements document and the Sample RFP to learn more about RFPs.
Self Check: Check your understanding of the contract elements.
More Information: This sample contract can help you create your own consultant contract.
Self Check: Check your understanding of managing consultants.
Interview Questions and Observations
Key Contract Elements
Reference Check Tips
Elements of an RFP
Sample Contract
Sample RFP