2016 was a year of flipping the script and changing up the status quo. Come tomorrow, it is time to push through our anxiety about what may lie ahead and plot a course to best navigate the unknown terrain of 2017.
Show the impact of the work you do – the very change your program facilitates at both the client and community levels. It seems to be in fashion to downplay all measurement because quantifying impact can be challenging, what with small samples and scattered cohorts and bias (oh my!). Yes, it is. But demonstrating how a program meets expected and desired goals – the outcomes – is not a clinical trial, it is just good practice. As is using those data to inform and improve services.
Moving purposefully into the unknown may be less intimidating for a nonprofit when there is a verbal AND a financial commitment to cultivate leadership within the ranks.
On the topic of developing leaders, this is a perfect time to engage in a some formative assessment of a more personal nature. As an established or up-and-coming nonprofit leader, how do will you look back on 2016 and plan for 2017?
Use/create a rubric to determine where you are now and what you should focus on, add, or set aside in 2017. Rubrics consist of a descriptive set of items or elements and a related performance scale. List your goals or expectations for 2016, then rate each one on a numerical scale where each point is defined along a continuum of progress, for example, 0 = “No progress made” while 4 = “Achieved 100%.” Add as much or as little detail to each rating point as needed to accurately capture the situation.
Last January, I worked with Emily Marco on a year-in-review that included a look back at professional and personal events and milestones of 2015 and planning for 2016. She also helped me clarify my goals and identify “action steps” to begin working toward them immediately. Emily is a visual problem solver who excels at helping people organize their thoughts and build a plan of action to achieve their goals. If you are interested in exploring a new way to digest the old and plan for the new you can learn more about her new online learning experience Relaunch 2017 or contact her for a goal setting session at Emilymarco.com.
Note: This post is not sponsored. I do not receive any compensation or services for mentions or links included in the post.
A few years ago, a study from the Forbes Funds, The Pittsburgh Foundation and the United Way of Allegheny County examined the impact of nonprofits (minus the health care systems and institutions of higher education) on Pittsburgh’s economy. It found that nonprofits, ranging from human service agencies to animal rescue organizations, provided over 75,000 jobs for local residents and spent $4.4 billion in the local economy – supporting over 31,000 jobs in other industries. Preventive factors associated with such community–focused programming resulted in both lives and tax dollars saved. The state-wide data for nonprofits (including healthcare organizations) confirms the strength of the sector. In 2015, Pennsylvania nonprofits employed over 15% of the state workforce and generated $132 billion in annual revenue.
Unfortunately, even with this proven social and economic impact, there is concern that Pennsylvania nonprofits may once again face a serious threat to their operations during the upcoming budget process. First, the 2016-17 budget was never really balanced, and the expected revenue shortfalls are a reality (first quarter revenue collections were $200 million short). Second, a pension reform bill supported by Governor Wolf failed to pass in the PA House earlier this week after opposition from unions, including the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, pushing that debt issue further down the road. Third, our decaying infrastructure issues, already underfunded, are not going away in 2017-18 and the gas tax residents pay to fund repairs and improvements is being spent on state police. Also, 2018 is a gubernatorial election year in Pennsylvania. Could we see the sequel to the 2015 impasse?
A lack of services or case schedule (expedited hearing, review or meeting schedules) crafted with the special needs and developmental changes of 0-to-3 year olds in mind. Some states (9) did allow more frequent visitation between parents and their very young children in foster care. The majority of states (42) have policies that involve the birth parent(s) in discussion of their children’s health and healthcare decisions while in state care.
Although their is interest in improving practices, overall, policies and training around child maltreatment are not driven by research on the impact of trauma on the still-developing brain of a child less than 3 years old. Neurological formation is critical from birth to age 3, but only 6 percent (3) of states reported mandatory training for all child welfare staff grounded in research on “promising practices” for infants and toddlers. Of those responding to the survey, 25 states require such training for front-line caseworkers and 15 states offer it as voluntary.
The most commonly provided service was parenting education (offered by 39 states) or therapy provided to the young child (28 states). Seventeen states do not collect data on the services received by infants or toddlers who have been abused.
In the wake of the Sandusky case, Pennsylvania created the Task Force on Child Protection to review child abuse legislation and procedure. The final report released in 2012, available at their website as a PDF, contains several recommendations including,
The use and fiscal support of evidence-based child abuse prevention programs
Increasing the training requirements for caseworkers
Expediting communication and information sharing through use of electronic communication
An overhaul of the Child Protective Services Law, revision of definitions of key terms and expanding the list of mandatory reporters (with penalties for non-reporting)
Creating a statewide database containing information from every report concerning possible neglect or abuse of a child, including those determined as unfounded, while eliminating the expungement process
With the summer nearly over, the political wires are abuzz with all things appropriations. As the deadline draws near for the fiscal year 2012 budget allocations to be finalized, the debate on spending continues.
The Health and Human Services funding bill is currently being held up in House subcommittee due to concern over the cost, but the Senate subcommittee may move to take up the bill.
Yesterday, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee approved the 2012 bill that provides $158 billion in funding for programs to train workers, serve at-risk youth, reduce fraud and waste, prevent chronic disease and fund health research.
Today, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers introduced a continuing appropriations resolution that would keep the federal government operating until November 18, 2011.
You can follow daily appropriations activity via the House and Senate committee websites as well as politically focused news sources such as The Hill.