Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Response to "Non Profit Response to Challenging Economic Times"

Yesterday morning I attended this excellent summit (sponsored by United Way of Dane County) at the Epic Campus outside of Madison. Aimed at nonprofit leaders in Dane County, this half-day event was chuck-full of information and inspiration.

Sure, not everything everyone had to say was what we in the nonprofit community would like to hear. Yes, money is tight -- we all know this. But what I really appreciated about the event, was that it focused on practical strategies for (sure) tightening our belts, (but more significantly) moving forward and even thriving in the now changed landscape:

  • Mergers

  • Measures and Accountability

  • Collaboration

  • Boosting Employee Performance

  • Lowering Administrative Costs, and

  • Effective, Efficient Use of Volunteers

The speakers themselves were excellent as well, though I won't name them all here. And, the Panel Moderator, Neil Heinen of WISC-TV, was a delight as always.

For those of you who were also at the Measures and Accountability breakout group, here are some links to resources you might find helpful:

Logic Model - Comes from UW Extension and focuses on three factors: inputs, outputs, and outcomes.

SMART Criteria - A brief, Wikipedia overview

Writing Measurable Objectives: SMART from the Association of College and Research Libraries

And, for those of you who prefer to cosy-up with a book in hand, you might like to take a look at the following two books available at the Grants Information Collection:

Level Best: How Small and Grassroots Nonprofits Can Tackle Evaluation and Talk Results by Marcia Festen and Marianne Philbin.

Storytelling for Grantseekers: The guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising by Cheryl A. Clarke

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