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Thursday
Dec172015

Sale: 2 for 1 CSDi courses: 1 Week only

 
End of Year Sale: Take any 2 of our Center for Sustainable Development courses for the price of one.
 
Sale is one week only: Midnight December 23 deadline Los Angeles time.
 
Distance Training Programs Begin January 5
Non Profits | International Development | Climate Change | AdWords
 
Be quick! Three steps and you're in:
  • 1. Click on one of the courses below to learn more and to enroll.
  • 2. Pay for one course - and then indicate your choice for a second course. The first course needs to be taken January 5 - March 6. The second course must be taken March 7 - May 1.
  • 3. Fill out the student information sheet at the bottom of the payment form.
And you're in!
 
Winter Quarter
For those of you interested in international programs: How to Design and Fund International Development Programs.
We've trained development professionals from 500 organizations in 153 countries to develop projects impacting over 400,000 people. Student projects have utilized 270 different kinds of solution-oriented activities to address community need. Scan the list to see which would work best for your project.
 
Advanced Courses
Fine Tune your Projects with this Powerful array of Advanced Courses
 
We look forward to working with you in our training programs.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Magee, Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Development
 
Tim Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge, Oxford, England.
 
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The Center for Sustainable Development specializes in providing sound, evidence-based information, tools and training for humanitarian development professionals worldwide. CSDi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
 
Wednesday
Jul222015

New eBook. 1st Four Best Steps to Design & Fund Programs

Launch of complementary eBook on the first four steps in project design and funding.
Today, I'm launching a new, complementary, 50 page eBook: Four Powerful 1st Steps in Designing & Funding Non Profit Projects. Use it to:
  • Advance your Career, Raise Funds and Solve Non Profit Challenges
  • Design your Own Solution-Oriented Project & Attract Donors
  • Great Project Design = Extra Funding + Increased Services
Get your complementary copy of the book by filling out the subscription form at the bottom of this page.
 

Possibly, right now you are beginning the design of a project or program, and developing a plan for funding it.

The eBook is a compilation of four powerful techniques that will get you started.

The twelve chapters in the book provide background information and step-by-step, hands-on instructions for using these techniques.

Each section allows you to download a series of editable templates that you can use to really speed up your project development process.

Section 1. How to Conduct a Community Needs Assessment. In this section we look at how facilitating a needs assessment with your community can lead to a better understanding of needs and their underlying causes.

The example in this section is for a very simple needs assessment conducted by a food bank in Southern California. They used a participatory assessment technique called the Ten Seed Technique.

Section 2. How to Design your Project Incorporating the Results of your Needs Assessment. In this section, we look for solution oriented activities for designing programs to solve the problems uncovered during the needs assessment.

First, in this Section 2 example, we look for solution-oriented activities to each of the problems prioritized in Section 1. Our search will uncover articles, handbooks and manuals focused on your community's challenges.

Section 3. Don't you want your project to work? Evidence based solutions are the key. Suppose that you are a mother whose children are suffering, and an unknown organization came to you with a plan to help your children. Wouldn't you want that plan to work?

This section is for determining through scientific research if your initial activity ideas have shown evidence of having worked to solve your community's needs and challenges. We're looking for evidence based best practices. We provide simple instructions for finding scientific studies online.

Section 4. Fast Logframe for Project Funding & Management. In this section we're going to take your problem statement, project outline and goal statement developed in the first three sections, and place them in a simplified matrix: this is the first step in building a logical framework.

This will only take 30 minutes to do, but it will make your project more presentable to a donor—and also much easier to develop management documents like budgets and schedules.

Get your complementary copy of the book by filling out the subscription form at the bottom of this page.
 

In Summary
Facilitating a needs assessment with community members gets right to the underlying causes of the challenges they face—and develops a sense of ownership on their part.
 
Including solution oriented activities that have shown scientific evidence of having worked on projects similar to your project, will give you a greater likelihood of success and sustainability once the project is launched.
 
Using my fast log frame template will quickly get you speaking the language that donors speak—and will set you up for developing budgets, schedules, and monitoring and evaluation plans. These in turn increase your chances of receiving donations and successes in managing sustainable, impact oriented projects.

Please note: These four techniques are part of the process for developing a project design in a course I teach called OL 101: Designing and Funding International Development Projects. The first two assignments in 101 include detailed instructions for conducting a live needs assessment, an example of a completed assessment, and a project concept based upon the results. The third assignment leads you through the process of finding evidence based best practices. The fourth assignment provides simple steps to developing a logframe and presenting it to a donor.

Designing & Funding International Development Projects begins every month.

Sincerely,

Tim Magee

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Tuesday
Jul212015

Can you identify? Nonprofit Interviews-Challenges Solutions Funding

Can you identify with these results? Nonprofit Interviews: Their Challenges, Solutions & Funding Plans
In May, I was fortunate enough to visit 16 non profit organizations in Southern California—all within easy reach of Claremont, California where we will be holding a training workshop in September in partnership with Pitzer College. To get more background, feel free to download my complementary eBook on Designing and Funding Non Profit Projects.
 
I wanted to see firsthand what challenges this range of nonprofits was facing, what goals they were hoping to achieve over the next six to 12 months, and to make sure that our September training workshop—Funding Programs by Design—will present an appropriate step-by-step process in helping them reach their goals.
 
The non profits I interviewed worked with:
  1. food banks/emergency food assistance
  2. community gardens that provide food for members, food banks and restaurants
  3. community education program
  4. social justice for women in the prison system
  5. community development/community organizing
  6. urban agriculture/local farming and markets
  7. student scholarships, and high school and college mentoring
  8. youth and the environment
  9. emergency rental assistance/shelter
  10. community centers
  11. after school programs
  12. parental support and skill building
  13. social services
  14. community emergency funds
  15. senior citizen centers
  16. and included colleges and a graduate school
The programming challenges and goals that they prioritized during the interviews included:
Staffing and Volunteers
  • increase in committed volunteer base
  • volunteer management; volunteer coordinator
  • staff for youth programs and parent liaison programs
  • volunteers and funds for program expansion
  • work load reduction for core staff
  • staffing: funds for trained, long-term staff and support staff
  • improved case management with clients: re-assess client need and expand case support
Organization and Program Management
  • increased communication for donors on their organization's programs
  • quantifying impact
  • assessing community needs
  • increasing/maintaining client base
  • relating organizational wants and needs with client wants and needs
  • setting up a planning process for improving current programs and developing new programs
  • better analysis of success in moving people forward to independence
Funding
  • funding, funding, funding
  • increased donor, membership & customer income
  • funding for experienced staff, volunteer coordinators
  • donor communications: newsletters, blogs, social media
  • identifying donors
  • assistance in paperwork: accounting, reporting and grant writing
Educational
  • keeping kids in high school
  • more robust program in college access for constituents
  • community education: facilities, supplies and facilitators
  • finding organizations for placing undergraduate and graduate interns
  • expanded educational facilities/locations
  • elementary children learning onsite about farming, gardens and where food comes from
Food banks, community gardens and urban agriculture
  • food delivery vehicles
  • equipment: refrigerators and walk-in refrigeration, food storage, bigger buildings
  • community garden supply and tool storage
  • community garden tools, equipment, supplies and delivery trucks (and drivers)
  • community gardens and urban farms: more customers
  • living wages for urban farmers
  • garden coordinators
  • land
  • access to and funding for farmer's markets
  • community input: what do food clients want?
  • greater diversity of food at food banks—especially more eggs and meat
  • vegetables that clients will eat and enjoy
Community Development
  • rapid re-housing for homeless; permanent apartment units & support
  • financial literacy courses; managing income
  • reduction in energy use city wide
  • getting personal items, fun things and food packages into the hands of women in the prison system
  • space and places to stage and prepare for programs
After the interviews, we looked through the workshop syllabus and we discussed how the different phases of the workshop could help them to achieve their goals—and more clearly communicate these goals to potential donors.
 
How the September workshop will help these organizations achieve their goals:
The workshop is not based upon lectures—it is based upon action. We will not be using case studies. We will be doing it.
 
We will start the workshop off with our partners at Pitzer College and their Huerta del Valle community garden in Ontario on Saturday and Sunday the 19th and 20th so that we can better understand the process of facilitating a needs assessment and developing a simple project outline.
 
We will then reconvene on Monday at Pitzer College. We will develop the following tangible outputs, tools and techniques for your specific project based upon your own community's assessment. They will include:
  • developing a project outline with a problem statement, underlying causes, and goals
  • researching solution oriented activities that have worked to solve the project challenge
  • developing project funding documents: log frames, budgets and schedules
  • writing a newsletter or blog announcing the new program for your current donor base
  • developing a letter of inquiry for a donor presentation
  • exploring ways to identify donors
  • writing a detailed workshop plan for your first community capacity building workshop
We provide cutting-edge information, tools, time-saving templates, training and expert consultancy through this diploma program—and lead you in developing a real project for your organization.
 
DIPLOMA 240: Designing & Funding Non Profit Programs
Blended Training Program—Including:
A 5 Day Live Workshop. September 21 - 25, 2015. Pitzer College, Claremont, California.

Program Information
In this blended learning, 4 month training program you will participate in:
PHASE I: Four weeks. September 1 - 25, 2015.
  1. 3 weeks pre-workshop. September 1 - 18, 2015. Guided Field Data Collection: Community Needs Assessments. Conduct a needs assessment with a community where you work in preparation for use in the workshop—guided through distance learning by CSDi staff. We will provide all of the tools and information you need to conduct the needs assessments.
  2. 2 optional field days. September 19 - 20, 2015. Don't have community access? Participate in two additional, optional field days the Saturday and Sunday prior to the workshop conducting a participatory needs assessment with our local partner near the workshop venue.
  3. 5 days. September 21 - 25, 2015. A Face-to-Face Workshop. Full Project Design and Development. Working with the CSDi workshop leader, you will use your needs assessment to begin the development of a complete, fundable, launchable project.
PHASE II: 12 weeks. September 28 - December 18, 2015.
  1. Post-workshop: In OL 203 and OL 204 form a project team, design capacity-building workshops and launch your project.
Detailed information and logistics. Visit the Non Profit training program page to find full, detailed information, logistics and a syllabus.
 
We look forward to working with you in our training programs.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tim Magee, Executive Director
Center for Sustainable Development
 
Tim Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge, Oxford, England.
 
 
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