Evaluation Through a Learning Lens
In a recent blog for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, TCC Group Associate Director PeiYao Chen discusses how a focus on learning can enhance and strengthen a foundation's evaluation efforts.
How are funders that approach evaluation through a learning lens different from those that use it primarily to measure accountability? Both are important reasons for evaluation -- it is not an either/or situation. Based on her research for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), Chen offers five practices for funders who want to strengthen their evaluative learning efforts. Read more.
In a recent blog for PhilanTopic, Alice Hill delves into important lessons from the Challenge Fund for Journalism (CFJ). Examining the key factors that determine capacity-building success, she finds that a l
eader's mindset matters most. "It is not just a willingness to change, but an embrace of the often messy work of transformation that is most important."
In the case of CFJ grantees, what did this motivation look like? According to Hill, those that flourished "had at least one leader who embraced adaptation and was able to give voice to the need to overhaul business models." Read more.
Mission-Driving Business Planning
TCC Group Partner Shelly Kessler and Senior Consultant Nadia Gomes recently explored the key components of a mission-driven business plan in a well-received webinar. Participants left with an understanding of the steps involved in creating a business plan; how to assess and define a market with contributors, clients, and collaborators; and how to incorporate mission into decision-making. The ideas and frameworks sparked a thoughtful discussion. If you missed the webinar, you can watch it here
or download the slides
|Helping Nonprofit Media|
Weather the Storm
Facing turbulent times, journalism organizations need to adapt faster than ever before. The Ford, Knight, McCormick, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundations came together to pool their resources and partnered with TCC Group to guide the Challenge Fund for Journalism (CFJ). Through a combination of matching grants, coaching, and other capacity-building activities, CFJ helped strengthen a set of 53 media nonprofits, enabling them to leverage $3.6 million in grants into almost $9.5 million in matches.
A new report on the initiative offers lessons not only for journalism organizations but all nonprofits that seek to strengthen their financial footing and remain nimble in the face of change.
"This initiative took place during an especially tumultuous period," observed Calvin Sims, Program Officer for News Media and Journalism at the Ford Foundation. "There was drastic upheaval of the media industry, coupled with the economic downturn. Both caused contributed and earned income for these organizations to dry up." CFJ, he added, provided more than funding. "It focused on the knowledge and tools to revamp business models, tap new sources of support, and become more resilient."
|10,000 Degrees Wins|
10,000 Degrees, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides support to low-income students to help them earn a college degree, won the Social Impact Exchange's 2012 National Business Plan Competition. The award honors social sector scaling initiatives that demonstrate impact and readiness to grow. TCC recently facilitated a business planning process for 10,000 Degrees, undertook a feasibility study, and conducted an in-depth evaluation to guide the its programmatic expansion.
"This represents a huge opportunity for 10,000 Degrees to take our award-winning model to students across Northern California and the nation," said President Kim Mazzuca. "We are facing our nation's crisis of equality head on by investing in low-income youth and producing results that lift entire families out of the cycle of poverty. This recognition by the Social Impact Exchange affirms our approach and will help us take our college success solution to scale."
Join TCC in congratulating 10,000 Degrees and read more about our work together.
|Get More Out of Your Organizational Assessment
Used by more than 3,000 nonprofits, TCC's Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) is a rigorous, research-based, and affordable way to help organizations measure effectiveness and prioritize capacity-building needs.
While some nonprofits may choose to administer and interpret the CCAT themselves, others may want additional support. Trained by TCC Group, CCAT certified facilitators provide expert, on-the-ground guidance to organizations across the country. Our facilitators can help nonprofits understand and apply the CCAT's specific capacity-building recommendations.
Visit tccccat.com to learn more. If you are interested in becoming a CCAT certified facilitator, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.