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OE GOLDMINE RESEARCH FINDINGS Packard Program Officers Discussion Group . TCC Group July 13, 2011. Agenda. Introduction Background on research methodology Some interesting specific findings Some final general questions for reflection. Background on Research Methodology.

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OE GOLDMINE RESEARCH FINDINGS

Packard Program Officers Discussion Group

TCC Group

July 13, 2011

agenda
Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Background on research methodology
  • Some interesting specific findings
  • Some final general questions for reflection
background on research methodology
Background on Research Methodology
  • Since 1997, the Foundation has awarded 1392 “organizational effectiveness” grants to an array of nonprofit groups, most of which have annual operating budgets of $1-10 million and operate in the human services, environmental conservation, population, and arts fields.
  • Packard recently surveyed 274 of these grantees that finished OE projects between 2007and 2009 and analyzed the responses from 169 (a 62% response rate), which ranged in grant amount from $7,000 to $160,000 (90% were between $20-$50K), to ascertain the outcomes.
background on research methodology1
Background on Research Methodology
  • The post-grant survey included both multiple choice questions and open-ended questions.
  • This data includes grantees’ self-reported data, as well as, data from OE program’s internal documentation.
  • Research findings are shared with the public: http://packard-foundation-oe.wikispaces.com/OE+Goldmine+Research+Project
agenda1
Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Background on research methodology
  • Some interesting specific findings
  • Some final general questions for reflection
overview of some interesting specific findings
Overview of Some Interesting Specific findings
  • Linking organizational capacity and programmatic effectiveness
  • Factors influencing project success
  • Greater impact associated with projects related to strategy, adaptability, and leadership
  • Keys to consulting success
  • Difficulties in working with consultants
  • The challenges of implementation
finding 1 linking organizational capacity and programmatic effectiveness
Finding #1: Linking Organizational Capacity and Programmatic Effectiveness
  • Grantees say they can clearly make the link between organizational capacity building and program service outputs or outcomes (quality/reach, strategy, visibility, resources, etc.) in a measurable way. 
  • 89% of 169 grantees said the OE grant had “some,” “significant,” or “transformational” and measurable impact on program services.
finding 1 linking organizational capacity and programmatic effectiveness2
Finding #1: Linking Organizational Capacity and Programmatic Effectiveness
  • Do these results seem high or low to you? How do you understand the connection between stronger organizations leading to stronger programs, which lead to greater social impact? What are other ways to document these causal connections?
  • Given that grantees overwhelmingly indicate OE has a measurable impact on program services, how confident do you need to be that a specific capacity-building intervention led directly to program improvement and what would constitute valid evidence? Should OE ask grantees to report on program impact in Final Reports?
finding 2 factors influencing project success
Finding #2: Factors Influencing Project Success
  • The research found that capacity-building project success depends more on organizational readiness and adequate resources to implement the OE project than on whether the organization has resources to implement follow-up after the OE project.
finding 2 factors influencing project success1
Finding #2: Factors Influencing Project Success

This finding confused us. According to grantees’ final report data, the number one challenge for OE projects (23% report this challenge) is implementation after a consultant leaves.

How do you interpret these findings?

Do you think the OE Program should require grantees to demonstrate completion of a recent organizational assessment prior to every grant received in order to better determine organizational readiness?

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Finding #3: Greater Impact Associated with Projects Related to Strategy, Adaptability, and Leadership than Those Related to Fundraising Capacity Development

  • Grantees that concentrated on improving fund development capacity reported inferior longer-term outcomes compared to those that focused on strategic planning, organizational learning, or leadership succession. They were not as likely to have met their grant objectives and described lower levels of sustainability of their grant results, as well as less impact on program services.
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Finding #3: Greater Impact Associated with Projects Related to Strategy, Adaptability, and Leadership than Those Related to Fundraising Capacity Development

  • How can investments made in fundraising capacity have a greater impact? How can grants focused on fundraising go beyond just building technical skills and management abilities; holistically integrate it with organization-wide activities related to learning, adapting, developing leadership, and decision-making; and embed it in the organization’s culture and business model?
finding 4 keys to consulting success
Finding #4: Keys to Consulting Success
  • The most important factors contributing to consultant success were “understanding of grantees’ unique needs” (34%) and “ongoing communications and trusting relationships” (29%), while “consulting skills” (23%) and “field knowledge” (15%) ranked lower.

Does this finding surprise you?

What do you think the most important success factors should be?

finding 4 keys to consulting success1
Finding #4: Keys to Consulting Success
  • Satisfaction working with an external consultant for capacity building has more to do with the consultant’s 1) knowledge of the grantee’s field of work (e.g., conservation) and 2) experience with non-profits than 3) expertise in the specific area of capacity building (e.g., strategic planning) -- though all three are important for project success.

How do you interpret these results?

What, if any, is the role of the Foundation in helping grantees identify and strategically use consultants?

finding 5 difficulties working with consultants
Finding #5: Difficulties Working with Consultants
  • The top three reported challenges working with consultants were:
    • consultant’s availability and accessibility;
    • failure to understand grantees’ unique culture and provide customized approaches;
    • failure to deliver high-quality products that meet grantees’ needs and stay on timeline and budget.
finding 5 difficulties working with consultants1
Finding #5: Difficulties Working with Consultants
  • In general, how can nonprofits, consultants, and funders minimize these challenges?
  • In particular, how can nonprofits become better consumers of consulting services, how can consultants avoid providing services that are too “cookie cutter,” and how can funders help enhance the quality of consulting services?
finding 6 the challenge of implementation
Finding #6: The Challenge of Implementation
  • The survey found that the biggest challenge that nonprofits face with capacity building is implementing the often first-rate strategies that are devised. Too much grantmaker support for nonprofit organizational development seems to be geared for “ready, set,” and not enough for “go.”
finding 6 the challenge of implementation1
Finding #6: The Challenge of Implementation
  • How can nonprofits be supported after the “project” through implementation assistance such as ongoing action-oriented learning, peer exchange, coaching, real-time tools, and hands-on support to act on wise counsel and get the good work done?
  • How can nonprofits make more time to execute?
  • Can more be done up front with grantees to agree on post-project follow-through and implementation expectations?” 
agenda2
Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Background on research methodology
  • Some interesting specific findings
  • Some final general questions for reflection
1 diagnosing organizational development needs
1. Diagnosing Organizational Development Needs
  • At this point, Packard Foundation does informal organizational assessments based on program officers’ sense of grantees’ capacity-building needs as well responding to grantees’ own stated OE priorities.
1 diagnosing organizational development needs1
1. Diagnosing Organizational Development Needs
  • How formal and in-depth do you think the upfront organizational assessment process should be to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis and prioritize needs and a critical path for organizational development?
  • What should be the respective roles of the nonprofit, consultant, and funder in identifying the type of capacity that should be strengthened?
  • How “responsive” or “directive” should a funder be (with respect to determining capacity building priorities, consultant selection, identifying group or individual project, etc.)?
2 broad vs focused capacity building approach
2. Broad vs. Focused Capacity-Building Approach

Focused approach:

  • Currently, the Packard Foundation organizes most of its OE work around a responsive, “focused” capacity-building approach – one capacity at a time, for one year, aimed at organization/network-wide scope and reach. Many OE grantees receive multiple grants over time to focus on different aspects of their capacity.
  • Packard not only gets coordinated input from the primary Program so that the “OE project” is successful, but makes sure the project is a priority for Program and that Program will have ongoing operations support, follow-up, and integration.
2 broad vs focused capacity building approach1
2. Broad vs. Focused Capacity-Building Approach

Broad approach:

  • Some other funders use a broad approach that integrates the program and organizational development work more and follow a more holistic, in-depth, and ongoing approach that is less “project” oriented.

What do you think are some pros and cons of these different approaches?

3 supporting organizational effectiveness work that is not subsidized by a particular grant
3. Supporting Organizational Effectiveness Work that is NOT Subsidized by a Particular Grant
  • Most nonprofit organizational effectiveness work is an inside job – staff and board do the work without the aid of consultants or funding geared toward the particular activity.

How can funders, consultants, and others encourage this “inside” work?

How can general operating support be employed better to encourage and support this work?

4 next steps with the research
4. Next Steps with the Research
  • How useful do you think this set of research findings is for the field?
  • How could it be more beneficial?
  • What are some ways it can be disseminated to those who would find it helpful?
  • What are some areas where additional research and analysis might be helpful?
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Engage with us:

http://packard-foundation-oe.wikispaces.com/OE+Goldmine+Research+Project