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  • 5 - Evaluation - Delivering Technical Assistance
    out this article for a more detailed comparison of these online survey tools You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Data should be documented and analyzed and used to make adjustments to the overall technical assistance plan if necessary There are unique challenges to measuring a long term TA engagement The goal of TA is to improve efficiency or management practices which in turn allows for expanded or enhanced direct services But there is not always a clear relationship between TA provided and for example additional children served in an after school program Below is list of sample indicators of TA success and when you might be able to see or document those indicators Short Term Results 1 year or less Short term results can be realized at or near the point of execution of technical assistance Short term results are often simply the outputs of a planned TA activity such as a strategic plan or an installed financial system Take care to consider only the indicators that describe a result of the TA activity rather than the completion of the capacity building activity Examples Beneficiary organization has begun keeping minutes and attendance of board meetings as a result of board development Beneficiary organization has developed systems to help manage the organization s finances more effectively as result of technical assistance in accounting Beneficiary organization implements a new outreach strategy as a result of technical assistance in outreach Intermediate Term Results 1 to 2 years Intermediate term results indicate success in the goal of improving sustainability of the beneficiary organization The beneficiary organization could begin to show long term results such as expanded social services but those results will be established with additional time Examples Beneficiary organization increases the number of volunteer hours contributed by

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=5 (2016-02-12)
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  • 6 - Organizational Readiness for Change - Delivering Technical Assistance
    your chances for success improve when you work with organizations that are ready and able to commit to change As a TA provider you have a greater return on your investment and you re less likely to invest time energy and resources in an unproductive TA engagement There are many ways to measure an organization s ability to change An individual s and organization s ability to productively transition through change can be formally and informally measured in many ways The tools included in this chapter and throughout the interactivities can be used at the beginning of a TA engagement as a stand alone assessment of readiness for change they can be woven into an existing organizational assessment process or they can be used throughout a TA engagement to identify barriers and roadblocks of technical assistance To embed a readiness for change assessment into the larger process you will intersperse questions and observations related to indicators that prove an organization is ready for change There are several indicators of change readiness Below are several indicators of change readiness Indicators of change readiness are organizational traits you can look for when reviewing an application conducting a site visit or interviewing a board or staff member Not all of the indicators must be present in order for an organization to be ready for change but several of them should be Mission Vision Values The organization has clear values that define the way they interact with the community and within the organization The organization has a vision and mission statement that employees board members and all other organizational stakeholders are invested in There is a clear plan for growth in a strategic plan or other written document Investment of Leadership The executive director board of directors and other leadership is committed and directly

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=6 (2016-02-12)
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  • 7 - Change Management - Delivering Technical Assistance
    can use the 5 Why s activity at the beginning of a meeting to remind board members of the reason for the change When conducting the organizational assessment the challenge expressed by board members was that they had too much work to do while the staff reported lack of follow through as their challenge with the board The problem is the starting place for the activity Why Why Why Why Why What challenges do you face right now as a board Too much work 1 Why do you have too much work We don t have enough people on the board 2 Why don t you have more people We haven t had time to do recruitment 3 Why haven t you had time We haven t made it a priority 4 Why hasn t it been a priority if it is such a problem We don t know how to recruit new people so it falls to the bottom of the list 5 Why does it fall to the bottom of the list of things to do We d rather do the stuff that we know ho to do There is nothing magic about asking five questions rather than four or six however experience has shown that five is about the right number to get to the root cause In the above example board members are acknowledging their desire to bring on new board members and also their need to understand what work they should prioritize and how to do that work TA providers will build a great deal of trust by taking a proactive and learning approach In change management the term resistance to change usually encompasses individuals who express varying levels of doubt about the change that is taking place Maybe they do not agree with the need for change at all or perhaps they disagree with the methods or decisions that have been made Resistance is often viewed as something that needs to be overcome and neutralized While this may sometimes be true we can adjust our understanding of resistance and make it a more productive experience for all involved TA providers who are essentially external change agents will build a great deal of trust by taking a proactive and learning approach with resistance that they encounter in the engagement First consider that the person implementing has done the best she or he can to gather all the information necessary to make a decision or a change But no matter how much time someone spends gathering information that process is never complete Therefore a TA provider can view resistance to change as an opportunity to learn more about the culture of the organization and the individuals who are its central players Listening to the resistors concerns can provide opportunities for engagement and if those concerns are both heard and addressed then the TA provider is more likely to have a successful engagement Finally remember that not every resistor can be converted to a champion for the

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=7 (2016-02-12)
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  • Summary - Delivering Technical Assistance
    delivering high quality technical assistance by adopting a systematic approach and preparing a beneficiary organization for change Establishing a systematic approach ensures that all beneficiary organizations get equal treatment and increases the likelihood of high quality of TA provision Preparing an organization for change by assessing their readiness to change and managing them through the growing pains can help avoid any challenges during your TA engagement Incorporating these processes into your technical assistance can help you produce clear measurable outcomes for your beneficiary organizations Thank you for learning more about Delivering Technical Assistance Technical assistance is the process of providing targeted support to a beneficiary organization with a development need or problem As a TA provider you increase the likelihood that all of your beneficiaries receive equal treatment and high quality TA by establishing a systematic approach to your technical assistance engagements This systematic process involves four phases the request phase analysis implementation and evaluation Although the process is not always linear it allows you as the provider to define the development needs and appropriately execute your services Not all beneficiaries will be responsive to your services Change can be an unusual situation and may be met with resistance Therefore

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=8 (2016-02-12)
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  • Establishing a Community of Practice to Enhance Training & Technical Assistance
    collect all the autographs These virtual activities can help a COP explore needs and expertise Here are some virtual activities you can use to help members explore their organizational needs and expertise Conduct a live virtual needs assessment using webinar and polling technology You may choose to ask a series of poll questions that will help you as the organizer understand the hopes concerns and needs of COP members in terms of percentages e g 45 percent of your group might be wrestling with board development Show the results as you go By conducting the needs assessment this way you can immediately address pain points and shape the COP accordingly Virtual needs assessments may also be done ahead of time with an online survey free tools include SurveyMonkey Google Forms and Zoomerang You can then use the webinar time to address concerns and potential benefits of COP participation encouraging discussion among members Read the article A Few Good Online Survey Tools to learn more about online assessments Conduct a webinar displaying the results of an asynchronous not live needs assessment One member of the COP administers the needs assessment and puts together the presentation This facilitator then poses some questions based on the needs assessment findings Members can answer questions by live conference call or by interactive features on virtual meetings raising hands chatting white boarding etc Identify three common needs of the organizations Via conference call have each member prepare and present the most pressing needs of their organization Use free desktop sharing technology e g ScreenStream TeamViewer Yuuguu to keep a running list of these needs Based on the list work together to group and prioritize the needs Then identify the top three needs that the group is committed to addressing together Identify major areas of expertise in the group Via conference call have each member prepare and present the top three areas of expertise they bring to the group Rely on free desktop sharing technology e g ScreenStream TeamViewer Yuuguu to keep a running list of the expertise that is mentioned Using the list work together to group and classify the kinds of talent within the COP Then identify how this expertise might be used to address the priority needs that have been identified CHAPTER 3 Defining a COP s Work and Structure After COP members complete activities that help them discover common needs expertise in the group and potential benefits from COP participation they need to develop goals for their work and methods for accomplishing their objectives Now is the time to facilitate discussions that help the group focus its efforts and define its structure You can help COPs answer questions such as What are our priority needs In what order should we tackle them What are our goals How will we know when we ve achieved them How will we structure our meetings What roles do we need These conversations will also lead to a deeper exploration of the value of maintaining this learning community These questions can help a COP prioritize needs and define goals Make sure that COP members have the time and space to explore and prioritize their needs and goals You can use the questions below to generate a healthy discussion Can the COP take action that will have a greater impact than any individual organization acting alone to address a specific need What existing assets or resources within the community can be leveraged to help address the need What outcome produced by the COP would satisfactorily address the need What type of work is most useful to the COP Possible options include Innovating Distilling best practices Collective problem solving Group learning TTA providers can support a new COP by setting up its basic infrastructure As a TTA provider you can help the COP get off to a strong start by offering some basic infrastructure For instance you might set up a free conference call number recommend the frequency of calls such as suggesting that the group meet monthly and provide a set of suggested dates You could also set up a regular meeting of COP leaders facilitated by you the TTA provider This type of regular support can serve to reenergize COPs Another way to provide infrastructure is to set up a community website to reduce COP start up obstacles You might rely on online services like Google Groups Wiggio Ning or Jive Another option is for you to work with the COP leaders to help them establish their own COP website Ensure that every COP develops an action plan structure and roles To define a focus and stay on course a COP needs to develop an action plan determine a meeting structure and define group roles You can provide a template for the COP to fill out For greatest impact you may want to break the template into a series of smaller components to be completed over the course of a conference or over a series of conference calls A robust action structure plan would answer the following questions What potential do you see in your team What are three of your team s goals How will you know when these goals have been accomplished What general format and structure have you determined for your team Possible options might include Regular informal check ins during which members with something to discuss can bring the topic up during a group call Peer led trainings in which each member trains on a topic or leads a discussion of interest to all members You may want to determine topics in advance and include them within the action plan Presentations on existing practices followed by discussions on how to improve them Identification of problems for the group to discuss and solve together How frequently will meetings occur How long will they be What format will we use for meetings Conference call virtual meeting in person meeting What is your meeting schedule with times and dates How will each meeting be structured What is

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communitiesofpractice/Print.aspx (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    different approaches to forming COP groups Check your understanding of different approaches to forming COP groups Text version of audio here Tip Sheet for a Webinar based COP Kickoff Tip Sheet for a Webinar based COP Kickoff Click this link to download a tip sheet with activities for a webinar based kickoff Text version of audio here Identifying Needs and Expertise Check your understanding of techniques for identifying COP needs and expertise Check your understanding of techniques for identifying COP needs and expertise Text version of audio here Defining a COP s Work and Structure Check your understanding of approaches that can help COPs define their work and structure Check your understanding of approaches that can help COPs define their work and structure Text version of audio here Here are some suggested COP member roles Here are some suggested COP member roles Please click on the images to a read description of each role Text version of audio here Managing a COP Check your understanding of methods for managing COPs Check your understanding of methods for managing COPs Text version of audio here Download the Template Tip Sheet to learn more about useful templates Download the Template Tip Sheet to

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communitiesofpractice/Interactivities.aspx?chp=99 (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    Press Play to hear the overview and pause at any time by pressing the Pause button on the bottom left of the player The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen On Screen Text Below the player you will find on screen text This includes the detailed information you will need to know in order to

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communitiesofpractice/Help.aspx?chp=99 (2016-02-12)
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  • Overview - Establishing a Community of Practice to Enhance Training & Technical Assistance
    many other names including peer networks learning circles action teams councils This e learning lesson provides guidance on how to incorporate a COP into your training and technical assistance program for the organizations you serve At the end of this lesson you will be able to recall different methods for forming COPs identify activities to help COPs define their work and structure recognize methods for managing COPs identify ways to help communities of practice outlive your training and technical assistance program Establish communities of practice to enhance your TTA One of the best ways to reinforce and expand the training and technical assistance TTA you provide to community based organizations is to incorporate a community of practice COP into your TTA work Through participation in a community of practice people with common interests concerns and organizational issues will have an opportunity to continue learning with and from each other This in turn can lead to enhancements in their organizations knowledge base problem solving and service delivery This e learning lesson focuses on approaches to get COPs underway methods to help them clarify their goals and operating structure strategies for managing COPs and ways to help them continue on their own

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/communitiesofpractice/default.aspx?chp=0 (2016-02-12)
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