Jane and I have recently realized that blogging is, well…it’s been difficult to get to these days. This is not an entry about making excuses…it’s an entry about the challenge between delivering high quality client service and finding the time to be introspective about our work and to share that learning with you. Very often, we will create a research document for a client or be asked to look into a specific trend in the nonprofit sector. The document is created and then, that’s it. Between clients and family commitments, we are struggling with how to capture our experiences and observations and, in many ways, cull out the essential learning for our readers. That being said, we are turning over a new leaf and, in the coming months, hope to share with you more of what we are up to…and more of what we are learning while we are in the field.So what have we been doing the last few months? Multiple projects spread over seven states and Canada for one thing. The focus of our client engagements has focused in three main areas: 1) nonprofit collaborations and strategic alliances of all different forms, 2) strategic planning, and 3)information management. We are currently providing support to the following kinds of nonprofit collaborative efforts: the creation of three nonprofit networks (for service delivery and for economies of scale), a management service organization, a parent corporation, and two mergers. As nonprofit collaboration continues to be a hot topic, nonprofits are struggling with not only understanding the types of options available, but how to identify partners and then engage in a healthy, successful implementation. Are you seeing this interest in your area of the sector as well?
We are also supporting a number of agencies in developing strategic plans. You may think that a downturn is a difficult time to plan – but we believe it is, in fact, a perfect time to develop a better understanding of your organization’s current situation and plot an evidence-based course for the future. From key informant interviews to internal capacity assessments, gathering information to create a common base of information to support decision making is the central tenet of our approach. How is your organization looking at planning these days? A luxury or a necessity?
And we continue our work on information management, supporting an intriguing study of how nonprofits do and don’t use information and evidence to guide decision making. We are piloting a guide for program managers on how to think about the critical success factors for their programs and to link those critical success factors to data collection.
Questions about our work? Or questions about your work as it might relate to ours? We would love to hear from you…
Photo: Flickr, l.i.l.l.i.a.n.