You may be hearing terms like systems change, collective impact, and multi-sectoral initiatives a lot these days to describe situations where multiple actors are working together to tackle complex social problems. If you’re working or considering working within one of these types of initiatives, it’s critical to first recognize the complexity of the system (or set of interconnected parts) you’re working with and to think about what success would look like within that system. Although systems are complex, systems thinking – and the corresponding evaluation design – can be broken down into three essential elements : Continue reading
The speculation for most of us began on Wednesday morning, November 9, 2016.
Regardless of political affiliation, the election win by a presidential candidate who promised dramatic changes in governing style and policies from the prior administration meant that grantmakers might have to rethink their current strategies and, quite possibly, fundamental priorities. As the new administration’s policy agenda rolled out over its first year in office, the interest areas of more and more funders were touched by the shifting political landscape. Continue reading
At TCC Group, we work closely with our clients and partners to emphasize the essential nature of collaboration in capacity building and nonprofit effectiveness. Capacity building investments can only “stick” when the ability to collaborate is elevated in any organizational change effort. A collaborative approach to capacity building provides support well beyond funding, while establishing vital relationships that will serve those involved long past the life of a capacity building grant.
For years, many in the nonprofit realm have advocated for increases in unrestricted funding, general operating support, and/or dedicated capacity building funds. But when it comes to reaping the full benefits of capacity building dollars, funding is not always enough. Continue reading
What can we do to effectively evaluate progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This was one of the principal questions asked at the recent conference hosted in Guanajuato, Mexico by three international evaluation associations: the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring, Evaluation, and Systematization Network (ReLAC), and the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring and Evaluation Network (REDLACME).
Throughout the three-day conference, which brought together approximately 500 evaluators and evaluation commissioners from 47 different countries, I gathered seven recurring themes posed as answers to this one question. Continue reading
Companies with strong reputations as corporate citizens are respected for providing value to society in a comprehensive way – through their products and services, their operational excellence, and their support of the community.
As companies face increasing pressure from stakeholders to address complex societal issues, many are developing programs and initiatives with ambitious social impact goals, but often, without the requisite structure to ensure the programs are effective. Continue reading
Media campaigns are intended to affect their audiences – such as convincing people not to text and drive, or persuading people to purchase a product or vote for a particular candidate. There are various touchpoints where media can help lead an audience from awareness to action on an issue. Being able to track these touchpoints – and the audiences engaged – enables organizations and media distributors to more efficiently and effectively test their content as well as intelligently move audiences from awareness to action at a faster, more effective rate. Continue reading
Is it on? Is it off? Is it on? Is it off? Our heads are spinning with the series of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the numerous ways in which both the federal government and state level actors are strategizing to alter and/or erode health policy. In today’s turbulent climate, when shifting political winds and policy changes go hand-in-hand with ever-expanding health care needs across the country, how can health funders be strategically effective?
TCC’s Melinda Fine Ed.D. and Jessica Mowles share three strategic learning processes that will engage foundations and funders during complex times.
Without legal advocacy, many norms and rights that people rely on, may have never been established. School desegregation (argued through Brown v. Board of Education), gay marriage (argued through many cases, but before the Supreme Court as Obergefell v. Hodges), clean water and air (argued at both state and federal levels as a myriad of lawsuits) – all were established as part of a legal advocacy strategy. Continue reading
A few years ago I was introduced to my now favorite TED Talk: Derek Sivers on “How to start a movement.” In two minutes he explains how a movement starts using some amusing footage of a spontaneous dance group. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the break. What captivated me was his conclusion—and it wasn’t about the leader.
Rightly, much has been made of the importance of leadership—be it in business, government, nonprofits, or online. In the nonprofit sector, starting with the dooms-day scenario of mass baby-boom retirements that was the rage in the early 2000’s, through today’s steady drumbeat of leadership training and development, leadership is on the minds of philanthropic sector professionals. Continue reading
In mid-July of this year, I had the opportunity to attend the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers conference (#ForumCon17) in San Francisco. This conference brings together a large swath of the organizations that provide networking and support functions to foundations across the United States.
I wanted to share some of my takeaways from time at the conference—some of which relate specifically to the conference and some to the valuable side conversations that happen when you bring smart, passionate people together. Continue reading