Effective Communities, LLC offers consultation and training on any of the following topics, each designed to help improve your organization’s success. We are happy to tailor these to a variety of circumstances.
Effective Communities, LLC works with the gamut of civic and philanthropic organizations – grassroots groups, donors, foundations, agencies, associations and networks, and systems – to help them achieve greater effectiveness consistent with their mission. We favor organizations that seek to level the playing field, reduce barriers, and otherwise improve conditions that support fair and equitable progress.
Framing lessons to be learned from recent experience • Clarifying the important themes coming up from The Work that you and allied practitioners can benefit from • Understanding the contributions that various partners are making towards a healthier community • What’s good and bad, strong and weak, effective and ineffective about the ways you’re working to achieve success? • Implications for doing the work better.
Designing evaluation for your organization’s unique circumstances • clarifying who the evaluation is for, and what you hope to communicate to them • defining “impact” and “progress” in your terms, and the evidence needed to make your case • clarifying what helps your stakeholders appreciate your accomplishments as well as the challenges you face • clarifying what would give evidence of your project’s relative success
Discovering impact: finding the evidence that makes the case • identifying useful criteria for evaluating projects • identifying a project’s intended beneficiaries and the ways they’re to benefit • collecting evidence needed to show results • learning what stakeholders are really looking for as results
Providing second opinions and recommendations. When you’ve received a consultant’s report that leaves you wondering what to do next, we can offer recommendations. Similarly, if the report is disappointing or questionable in some way, we can offer a second opinion.
Assessing your foundation’s effectiveness • evaluating how well your foundation is achieving its mission, by exploring its performance in four key areas: administration and management; resource development; community linkages; and programs and services. (See our article (pdf): “Organizational Capacity Building: Areas for Evaluation”)
Assessing your nonprofit’s effectiveness • evaluating how well your nonprofit is achieving its mission, by exploring its performance in four key areas: administration and management; resource development; community linkages; and programs and services. (See our article (pdf): “Organizational Capacity Building: Areas for Evaluation”)
Strengthening your organization’s planning cycle • moving from information to planning for change • using community data and trends to formulate program improvements or new directions • clarifying vision and mission • planning strategies and actions to achieve the vision • shaping structure and budget to carry out those plans • facilitating movement and change • finding common ground • achieving a rough consensus • finding forward • mediating disagreements • formulating next steps • creating a learning organization and a learning community.
Developing leadership skills • developing/refining skills in communication, decision-making, meeting facilitation, and conflict resolution • applying skills through planning projects to address particular issues of importance and • increasing self-awareness about personal talents and interests.
SPECIAL WORKSHOPS AND PRESENTATIONS JUST FOR FOUNDATIONS
Evaluation 101 for foundations • deciding on purposes and designs • quantitative and qualitative approaches • uses of evaluative data • keeping evaluation affordable, sensible, and valuable
Getting the best from your charitable dollar • translating donors’ intent into action and – ideally – meaningful progress.
Creating grantmaking programs with outcomes in mind • clarifying the kind of difference your foundation wants to make • using information about community trends to formulate program direction • designing a program that achieves the outcomes you want • defining “success” for this program, and the kinds of evidence needed to support such a claim.
Moving the needle: Strategic grantmaking that gets results • finding your niche and playing a constructive role in your community • having an impact – how it really happens • tweaking your grantmaking efforts to make more of a difference • being allies with those you support without getting too close or sacrificing your integrity (or theirs)
Getting the partners (and proposals) you want • writing guidelines that communicate your intentions • recognizing worthy and worthwhile applications • relating to grantees and other partners: monitoring, encouraging, or leaving them alone • offering or providing assistance • learning, and helping others learn, from experience • discovering your grantees’ suggestions for improvement
Assessing grant portfolios • finding if your portfolio of grants is consistent with your philanthropic intentions • improving grant holdings • searching out good nonprofit organizations to support
Improving grantor/grantee relations • discovering the flaws and strengths of your foundation’s grantmaking process
The Effective Communities Project is a project of Effective Communities, LLC.