Think Local: Local Consultants are an Untapped Resource for “Sticky” Capacity Building Investments

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

How Do We Evaluate Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals?

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

Best Practices in Corporate Citizenship Structures

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

Three Ways Foundations Can Navigate Changing Political Tides

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.

Read “Three Ways Foundations Can Navigate Changing Political Tides” on gih.org >

Responding to the Call: How to Pursue Legal Advocacy

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

The Age of the Strategic Follower

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

What Can Associations of Grantmakers Teach You?

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

Three Common Questions about Funding Advocacy

Since the 2016 election, my colleagues and I have noticed one of two things: more funders considering a first-time investment in advocacy, or funders strengthening their existing commitment to fund advocacy work. In response to this surge of activity, we’ve had the opportunity to share our findings regarding effective strategies to support advocacy campaigns  – with different groups of funders. These engaging and deliberate conversations generated additional questions – from which we’ll highlight three: Continue reading

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Given the political landscape and increased media coverage around issues of discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become all the more prevalent in the social sector. This isn’t to say that DEI hasn’t been important in years past—it has. The main difference now is that more organizations in the social sector are holding themselves and being held accountable to exhibiting their practice of DEI principles.

As an evaluator, I have seen varying levels of commitment to using principles of DEI and acknowledge that it is not always an easy or straightforward endeavor. Here are a few clarifying points on how I frame thinking about DEI and some guiding questions to discuss when thinking about incorporating DEI in your work: Continue reading

A Statement of Values to Guide Philanthropic Collaboration

At TCC Group, we work to make sustainable change and make the world a better place. We do this work because we are committed to the value of the social sector and its role in solving complex social problems. We are not in the business of short-term solutions, but seek to help organizations deliver more impact, in a more lasting manner. Our opportunity to have an impact rests in our ability to support, build, and work in partnership with our clients, our colleagues in the field, and with each other.

 

As a member of the Collaboration Champions – a group of leading organizations invested in both value-driven and outcomes-driven collaboration – we’re pleased to share seven core principles that embody our values at TCC, and reflect those of our peers.

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