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  • Delivering Technical Assistance
    CHAPTER 3 Analysis Following the request for TA the TA provider needs to analyze the beneficiary organization Analysis is used to determine underlying issues that are behind the request to ensure that the TA provided is properly aligned with the needs of the beneficiary organization When entering into a long term TA engagement the analysis phase is used to determine all needs that exist across the organization as well as the goals of the TA engagement The analysis phase is also an opportunity to build trust with an organization so that they can honestly discuss their challenges with you During this chapter you will be exposed to the various elements of the analysis phase as well as strategies to assist you with conducting an organizational assessment Most often analysis will be done through an organizational assessment An organizational assessment will identify the greatest TA needs of the organization The assessment should be done collaboratively with the organization and results should be shared and compared to the original request for support If the results point to board development as the primary need but the organization originally requested support in fundraising work together to determine what the TA engagement will actually focus on Key information that you are collecting through an organizational assessment includes Organizational profile Includes name contact information budget and number of staff and volunteers Mission and programs Includes the mission statement current program activities and needs of the community Financial management Includes accounting procedures accounting software financial reporting and audits Fundraising Includes grant writing diversity in income sources revenue generating events earned income individual donors and in kind donations Legal Includes awareness of legal requirements tax exempt status and legal counsel Human Resources Includes staffing plan personnel policies and procedures staff and volunteer management and systems for evaluating staff performance Leadership Includes motivating staff and volunteers internal promotions Governance Includes board orientation board responsibilities board meetings and minutes and culture of the board Evaluation Includes program outcomes data collection processes and communication of results Planning Includes strategic plan operational plan business plan action plans and organizational goals Collaboration Includes establishing and managing partnerships mergers referrals and shared services Outreach and marketing Includes public relations marketing materials branding and media outreach Each TA provider has its own assessment methods Listed below are several strategies for assessing an organization Using the strategies below in a collaborative effort with the beneficiary organization will yield the most accurate results collect both quantitative and qualitative data identify strengths of an organization in addition to organizational gaps and build trust and accountability between the TA provider and beneficiary organization Organizational Capacity Assessment An assessment of the organization s capacity is the most basic element of an organizational assessment This is often completed as a self assessment by one or more person s within the beneficiary organization including the executive director program director development director and board chair This tool will help the TA provider identify baseline performance of the beneficiary organization and provide initial data needed to measure progress through the TA engagement There are several self assessments that exist and are ready for use or you can create your own based on the TA services you are able to provide See the interactivity above for a sample self assessment Document Review The TA provider can ask the beneficiary organization to make a host of documents available for review allowing the TA provider to do their own capacity review and learn about the systems and processes in place within the beneficiary organization Site Visit By visiting the site the TA provider can see the administrative offices of the beneficiary organization the program s and clients of the organization and meet with key staff members of the organization This is a great opportunity to have some informal conversations about the daily operations of the organization and make observations about organizational capacity Assessment Interview If the beneficiary organization lacks organizational awareness the assessment can be skewed Capacity builders often refer to this as you don t know what you don t know To address organizational awareness issues the TA provider can conduct a structured assessment interview to assist in determining the current level of organizational capacity Leadership Assessment Because the success of the TA engagement is so dependent on the ability skills and attitude of the organization s leadership a TA provider should understand how to best support and coach the applicable individuals This can be done through a formal assessment a quick checklist of questions or informal assessment The provision of TA is about meeting an organization where it is With this the TA provider must create an assessment process that accounts for factors such as the organization s size culture and leadership If you are working with an emerging organization that has little in place to assess start by asking some critical defining questions about who they are what they want to do and what they want to become If the TA engagement will continue for a long period of time address several issues or demand intensive amounts of time from organizational leadership or the TA provider it is important to end the analysis phase and launch the next phase with a Memorandum of Understanding MOU and or a work plan identifying each TA action method of delivery and person responsible There is more information about MOUs and work plans in the next chapter on implementation CHAPTER 4 Implementation After you have conducted your analysis and identified the greatest TA needs of the beneficiary organization you can now launch into the implementation phase Implementation is when the provider actually delivers the information and skills that will solve the problem or improve the performance of the organization The implementation phase is the meat of the four phases It requires a great deal of flexibility from the TA provider You should meet the organization in whatever phase of organizational development they are in actively listening so that you can meet their individual needs and coach them to a place that works for them To ensure that you deliver the highest quality technical assistance this chapter will cover the appropriate steps to take during the implementation phase From analysis you launch into the implementation phase when you actually provide the TA At the onset of the implementation phase it is important to outline a TA engagement through a Memorandum of Understanding MOU or work plan This will ensure that everyone is operating with the same plan and priorities and that the TA provider has outlined what can realistically be accomplished through the TA engagement The MOU and or work plan will be the roadmap used by the TA provider and beneficiary organization If the engagement is short lasting only a couple of days or is around one key issue or problem it may be that an MOU will suffice for defining the engagement If the engagement is long term and or addresses several issues a work plan is probably also needed Use the table below to determine what is appropriate for you Elements of MOU Elements of Work Plan Goals for the TA Role of the TA provider Responsibilities of the organization receiving TA Person from each organization who will be held accountable Period of TA engagement Goals for the TA Intended outcomes of the TA TA activities broken down into actionable steps Person responsible for each TA activity Due date for each TA activity The TA provider will go through three steps during implementation The implementation phase includes the actual delivery of the information and skills that will solve the problem or improve the performance of the organization In implementation the TA provider will go through the following steps Prepare Depending on the nature of the TA skill level of the TA provider and familiarity with the beneficiary organization the preparation could be limited or intensive It could include a review of organizational files a subject matter review related to the TA topic practicing the technological platform that will be used for the TA engagement if it will use technology in some way preparation of logistics for an onsite visit and or the creation of an agenda PowerPoint slides handouts and activities Deliver Delivery of the technical assistance is straightforward if you adequately prepared Begin by orienting and assessing the people and situation you are presented with and then assist by delivering the relevant knowledge and skills Identify next steps Use the ideas and energy produced during the TA session and document the next steps to move the process forward This could be as simple as identifying the to dos of both the TA provider and the beneficiary organization or it could involve creating an action plan or implementation plan based on the TA provided CHAPTER 5 Evaluation You have fielded a request analyzed an organization s capacity and improved the performance of a beneficiary organization by delivering high quality technical assistance The final phase of technical assistance is evaluating the services you provided Evaluating TA services is important for two reasons It proves your effectiveness and impact as a TA provider and it helps you improve your skills and services Evaluations are typically conducted following a TA engagement but it is not uncommon to conduct evaluations periodically throughout a long term engagement This chapter will cover the purpose of evaluations as well as ways to conduct a thorough evaluation of your TA services Evaluating TA services proves your effectiveness and impact and improves your skills and services Evaluation can be done in many ways You can do a verbal check in onsite immediately following the TA session it can be done through a web based survey a few days later or you can request that the beneficiary organization complete an evaluation form or interview periodically throughout a long term engagement See the interactivity for information about low cost web based survey platforms if you choose to use that method Sample data to collect includes reaction to the TA provider reaction to the delivery method knowledge gained behaviors or practices changed next steps areas for improvement and follow up TA needed 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 all unpaid staff volunteers Beneficiary organization produces information on program outcomes such as number of clients served Beneficiary organization diversifies their revenue sources Beneficiary organization increases the amount of funding attracted from grants or contracts from Federal state or local sources amount of funds from grants or contracts Beneficiary organization increases the number of clients served Beneficiary organization expands services to include a new group of service recipients or geographic area Beneficiary organization increases the number of community stakeholders citizens organization and government representatives participating in meetings to coordinate youth activities Long Term Results Over 2 years Long term results indicate success in the achievement of the ultimate goal of improving and or expanding services to clients Measurement of long term results is helpful as it allows the TA provider and beneficiary organization to keep their eyes on the prize The indicators of these results need to be measured throughout the engagement so you want to a select measures for which you can find data and b get a baseline measure or benchmark that will be used to measure future changes Long term results will be specific to the program services offered by the beneficiary organization The examples below are for a youth serving organization Examples Increased youth participation in programs that provide for positive youth development Indicators of target youth engaged in programs for months out of the year average number of contact hours Reduced youth violence Indicator and of target youth involved in violent crime Reduced gang involvement Indicator and of target youth involved with gangs Reduced gun violation arrests and confiscations Improved emotional well being Indicator and of target youth who showed improved self esteem personal power and or decreased alienation Increase social competencies and problem solving skills Indicator and of target youth with conflict resolution skills CHAPTER 6 Organizational Readiness for Change Technical assistance is ultimately about changing an organization by improving their performance Often the success of the TA provider will depend in part on how ready the beneficiary organization is for change and how well the TA provider can manage that change The challenges a TA provider may encounter during an engagement can often be avoided by assessing the organization s readiness for change prior to providing TA The following chapter provides resources and tools to assist a TA provider in assessing readiness for change and managing change Assessing readiness for change is a practice adapted from for profit management consulting and the related disciplines of change management and organizational development Why assess readiness for change In short 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 involved with the change Organizational Alignment Leadership and staff recognize the need for change Leadership and staff mostly agree about what change is needed Leadership and staff are prepared to support the change There is cross functional communication leadership and direct service staff effectively communicate with each other Culture and Infrastructure of the Organization The mood of the organization is optimistic and positive Conflict is dealt with openly with a focus on resolution Innovation within the organization is rewarded and taking risks is allowed Infrastructure is flexible and easily adapted to possible role changes in the future Leadership is aware of trends in the nonprofit sector particularly new and emerging practices Past Experiences The organization has had positive experiences with change in the past The organization is relatively comfortable with transitions CHAPTER 7 Change Management Change management is a practice based on the sense of loss people feel when experiencing change Change can put the organization in an unusual situation as established patterns are threatened altered or broken and it results in loss when the old patterns are replaced TA is ultimately about creating change within an organization Take for example a TA provider that is leading an effort to build and develop the board of directors The TA provider s work includes teaching current board members their roles and responsibilities and assisting in the recruitment of new board members potentially doubling the size of the board If unequipped current board members may feel uncertainty and fear as they wonder whether they can do the job they are being asked to do and whether they are still needed by the organization As a TA provider you can equip them to manage the change that you re facilitating by defining the change and maintaining open communication throughout the process It is necessary to continuously define the change with each interaction and with each stakeholder Defining the change is

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/Print.aspx (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    definitions of technical assistance Text version of audio here Match the core principles with the corresponding qualities of effective technical assistance Match the core principles with the corresponding qualities of effective technical assistance Text version of audio here Request Designing an approach to managing TA requests Designing an approach to managing TA requests Text version of audio here Analysis The Organizational Capacity Assessment tool can help you determine an organization s greatest TA needs The Organizational Capacity Assessment tool can help you determine an organization s greatest TA needs Download this helpful Organizational Capacity Assessment guide to help you determine an organization s greatest TA needs Text version of audio here Document Review Document Review Download this sample list of documents that you can use as a tool when conducting an organizational assessment Text version of audio here Implementation A work plan can be a blueprint for your TA engagement A work plan can be a blueprint for your TA engagement Download this work plan template and begin outlining your TA engagements Text version of audio here Evaluation A number of low cost online tools provide easy interfaces for building surveys and viewing reports online A number of low cost

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  • Interactivites
    chapter 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

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  • Overview - Delivering Technical Assistance
    the process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem and is commonly referred to as consulting TA may be delivered in many different ways such as one on one consultation small group facilitation or through a web based clearinghouse Throughout this lesson you will be given the tools and information to assist you with the process of developing a system for TA provision and appropriately manage change within a beneficiary organization By the end of this lesson you will be able to Identify the core principles of technical assistance recall the phases of a systematic approach to providing technical assistance Assess an organization s readiness for change and deliver targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem Technical Assistance is one of the most effective methods for building the capacity of an organization The process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem By including TA in a capacity building project you make the capacity building much more likely to create change According to a study published by the University of South Florida 10 percent of what gets learned in training is applied on the job

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  • 1 - Definitions and Core Principles of Technical Assistance - Delivering Technical Assistance
    assist you through this lesson Technical assistance TA The process of providing targeted support to an organization with a development need or problem TA provider The person or organization providing the technical assistance or consulting services Beneficiary organization The organization that is receiving the technical assistance or consulting services TA engagement TA provision that has a well defined relationship and scope of work In this lesson a TA engagement will refer to TA service that is provided over a period of time rather than a request that is answered immediately or through a single interaction Indirect technical assistance When providing indirect technical assistance the TA provider points a beneficiary organization to media or tools that they can use such as a manual web based resource or a staff member of another organization Direct technical assistance Provide coaching or consulting services personally applying expertise to their problem or area of need This can be done onsite at the location of the organization or offsite virtually via telephone email or fax Test your knowledge of key definitions of technical assistance You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site The core principles of technical assistance will shape your TA engagements While each technical assistance engagement will vary in duration topic form and structure it should be shaped using the following principles Collaborative Work jointly with the organization s staff to identify underlying needs and long term goals of the capacity building engagement Systematic Use a systematic approach when providing technical assistance such as the approach outlined in the previous section Targeted Determine what areas of the organization have the greatest need and where technical assistance will have the greatest impact Target your efforts on those areas Adaptive As the technical assistance provider you must remain adaptive throughout the engagement

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  • 2 - Request - Delivering Technical Assistance
    a long term extended TA engagement This chapter will explore the characteristics of the request phase of technical assistance from origination to response In the first phase the leadership of the beneficiary organization makes a request for TA A request for TA can develop in a variety of ways The leadership of the beneficiary organization could submit a proposal asking for large scale support approach you in the middle of a TA engagement with an emergency or call you with an informal question Regardless of how the request originates there is key information that can be gleaned and documented from the request Basic information such as the organization s name and date of request Narrative description of the presenting problem and requested assistance Preliminary analysis of underlying issues and needs contributing to the presenting problem TA action necessary to fix the problem Designing an approach to managing TA requests You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site There are three responses you may have to a technical assistance request After that information has been gleaned there are three responses you might have 1 Yes I can help you right now If the request requires little action

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=2 (2016-02-12)
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  • 3 - Analysis - Delivering Technical Assistance
    assessment includes Organizational profile Includes name contact information budget and number of staff and volunteers Mission and programs Includes the mission statement current program activities and needs of the community Financial management Includes accounting procedures accounting software financial reporting and audits Fundraising Includes grant writing diversity in income sources revenue generating events earned income individual donors and in kind donations Legal Includes awareness of legal requirements tax exempt status and legal counsel Human Resources Includes staffing plan personnel policies and procedures staff and volunteer management and systems for evaluating staff performance Leadership Includes motivating staff and volunteers internal promotions Governance Includes board orientation board responsibilities board meetings and minutes and culture of the board Evaluation Includes program outcomes data collection processes and communication of results Planning Includes strategic plan operational plan business plan action plans and organizational goals Collaboration Includes establishing and managing partnerships mergers referrals and shared services Outreach and marketing Includes public relations marketing materials branding and media outreach The Organizational Capacity Assessment tool can help you determine an organization s greatest TA needs Download this helpful Organizational Capacity Assessment guide to help you determine an organization s greatest TA needs You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Each TA provider has its own assessment methods Listed below are several strategies for assessing an organization Using the strategies below in a collaborative effort with the beneficiary organization will yield the most accurate results collect both quantitative and qualitative data identify strengths of an organization in addition to organizational gaps and build trust and accountability between the TA provider and beneficiary organization Organizational Capacity Assessment An assessment of the organization s capacity is the most basic element of an organizational assessment This is often completed as a self assessment by one or more person s within the beneficiary organization including the executive director program director development director and board chair This tool will help the TA provider identify baseline performance of the beneficiary organization and provide initial data needed to measure progress through the TA engagement There are several self assessments that exist and are ready for use or you can create your own based on the TA services you are able to provide See the interactivity above for a sample self assessment Document Review The TA provider can ask the beneficiary organization to make a host of documents available for review allowing the TA provider to do their own capacity review and learn about the systems and processes in place within the beneficiary organization Site Visit By visiting the site the TA provider can see the administrative offices of the beneficiary organization the program s and clients of the organization and meet with key staff members of the organization This is a great opportunity to have some informal conversations about the daily operations of the organization and make observations about organizational capacity Assessment Interview If the beneficiary organization lacks organizational awareness the assessment can be skewed Capacity builders often refer to this as

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/deliveringta/default.aspx?chp=3 (2016-02-12)
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  • 4 - Implementation - Delivering Technical Assistance
    will cover the appropriate steps to take during the implementation phase From analysis you launch into the implementation phase when you actually provide the TA At the onset of the implementation phase it is important to outline a TA engagement through a Memorandum of Understanding MOU or work plan This will ensure that everyone is operating with the same plan and priorities and that the TA provider has outlined what can realistically be accomplished through the TA engagement The MOU and or work plan will be the roadmap used by the TA provider and beneficiary organization If the engagement is short lasting only a couple of days or is around one key issue or problem it may be that an MOU will suffice for defining the engagement If the engagement is long term and or addresses several issues a work plan is probably also needed Use the table below to determine what is appropriate for you Elements of MOU Elements of Work Plan Goals for the TA Role of the TA provider Responsibilities of the organization receiving TA Person from each organization who will be held accountable Period of TA engagement Goals for the TA Intended outcomes of the TA TA activities broken down into actionable steps Person responsible for each TA activity Due date for each TA activity A work plan can be a blueprint for your TA engagement Download this work plan template and begin outlining your TA engagements You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site The TA provider will go through three steps during implementation The implementation phase includes the actual delivery of the information and skills that will solve the problem or improve the performance of the organization In implementation the TA provider will go through the following steps Prepare Depending

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