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Focusing for RESULTS
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  1. Focusing for RESULTS Who Did What, How Long it Took, and Lessons Learned in Four United Ways

  2. Topics Getting focused: What means; what it looks like Examples from the field • United Way of Santa Fe County; Santa Fe, NM • United Way of the Midlands; Omaha, NE • United Way of Rock River Valley; Rockford, IL • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; San Antonio, TX Resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  3. What Does “Getting Focused” Mean? Selecting a limited number of issues and strategies in which to invest time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, and other resources to improve people’s lives Getting focused is essential for delivering meaningful results with limited resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  4. Focus Area What Does “Getting Focused” Look Like? Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  5. Focus Area Specific direct-service and/or community change strategies for improving lives What Does “Getting Focused” Look Like? Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  6. Focus Area Next level; more specific Next level; still more specific Next level; even more specific Specific direct-service and/or community change strategies for improving lives What Does “Getting Focused” Look Like? Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  7. Topics Getting focused: What means; what it looks like Examples from the field • United Way of Santa Fe County; Santa Fe, NM • United Way of the Midlands; Omaha, NE • United Way of Rock River Valley; Rockford, IL • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; San Antonio, TX Resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  8. United Way of Santa Fe CountySanta Fe, New Mexico • Presenter: • Ron Stevens • Former President and CEO Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  9. United Way of Santa Fe CountyWhy We Focused • To have a more strategic effect on important problems • To break free of historical patterns as the framework for investing funds • To differentiate ourselves – provide clearer identify for UWSFC based on “creating lasting change in chronic community conditions” • To improve market share among donors • To position UWSFC as a leader rather than “middleman” for passing through funds • To embody good business practice Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  10. United Way of Santa Fe CountyBenefits of Focusing • Contributed to recognition as community leader around 2-1-1 and Early Childhood • Broke out of historical funding patterns box • Framed a 5-year investment strategy based on “creating lasting change in chronic community conditions” • Created the ability to identify strategies in addition to direct service funding to achieve results • Created alignment of mission, board, staff, resources • Attracted new people with fresh ideas Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  11. United Way of Santa Fe CountyBenefits of Focusing • Energized board and staff, allowed us to create a very strong team • Resulted in creation of a focused, energized marketing strategy • Increased board involvement in resource development • We say “no” to work not in alignment Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  12. Priority Area Goal Objective Strategy United Way of Santa Fe CountyLevels of Focus Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  13. United Way of Santa Fe CountyHow and How Long –Level 1: Priority Areas • Who Did What: • Staff researched & provided options. Included research into other UWs, survey of donors, discussion of options, selection of draft • Community Investment Committee (CIC) proposed • Staff & CIC identified & recruited experts for Work Groups (agency & nonprofit staff and other community members with expertise in each priority area). • Work Groups & Board approved proposed priority areas • How Long It Took: • Approximately 5 months (not including board approval) Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  14. United Way of Santa Fe CountyFour Priority Areas • Helping Kids Succeed • Improving Health & Healing • Increasing Self-sufficiency • Unifying Our Diverse Community Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  15. United Way of Santa Fe CountyHow and How Long–Level 2: Goals • Who Did What: • Staff provided options • CIC recommended • Work Groups reviewed, approved • Board approved • How Long It Took: • Once priority areas determined, draft in about 1 month • Finalized in 2 more months (not including board approval) Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  16. United Way ofSanta Fe County A Goal for One Priority Area Priority Area Increasing Self-sufficiency Goal Individuals and families have opportunities to maintain independence and improve their quality of life Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  17. United Way of Santa Fe CountyHow and How Long –Level 3: Objectives • Who Did What: • Staff synthesized Work Group input, drafted objectives • CIC recommended • Work Groups vetted • Board approved • How Long It Took: • Approximately 3 months, not including board approval (1 month overlap with finalizing goals) Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  18. United Way of Santa Fe County An Objective for One Goal Priority Area Increasing Self-sufficiency Goal Individuals and families have opportunities to maintain independence and improve their quality of life Objective Increase economic opportunities and financial security for families and individuals by focusing on financial skills, housing options, employment and job opportunities, and functional literacy Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  19. United Way of Santa Fe CountyHow and How Long –Level 4: Strategies • Who Did What: • Staff synthesized Work Group input, drafted strategies • CIC recommended • Work Groups vetted • Board approved • How Long It Took: • Approximately 2 months Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  20. Promote innovative approaches such as IDAs to help families become self-sufficient • Develop partnerships between nonprofits and educational institutions that lead to careers in small business and nonprofit management Efforts to influence community changes that: Breakthrough opportunities to advance community change efforts • Increase the development of affordable housing • Provide outreach and education leading to financial literacy and security for low-income, at-risk populations • Provide people in the hospitality industry with skills needed to advance their careers Prevention & development services that: Basic human-needs & crisis services that: • No strategies identified for investment United Way of Santa Fe County Direct-service and Community-change Strategies for One Objective Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  21. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Challenges • Creating Work Groups that were sufficiently broad and inclusive of enough expertise while still being manageable. • Creating an expedited process that would not feel too rushed by those participating • Creating not only the reality of meaningful input, but the feeling of meaningful input in an expedited process • Strategies may evolve as community needs shift Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  22. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Things we’re glad we did • Unifying decision making in one committee so that investment decisions would be consistent and integrated • Lots of communication with agencies and donors along the way • Engagement of people with specific expertise through Work Groups to provide input and vetting at each level • Streamlined process Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  23. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Things we’re glad we did • Staff provided recommendations to volunteers, who actually made decisions • First phase of implementation revolutionized the funding process. Second phase began shifting resources toward initiatives, developed investment strategy. Phase-in was a good thing -- less resistance to change • Regular education of board members Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  24. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Things we would do differently • Fewer objectives and strategies • Use identification of community outcomes as way to prioritize and reduce number of objectives and strategies Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  25. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Best advice we can offer • Expect the process to be dynamic, iterative, particularly as focus becomes more specific. • Make use of UWA Community Impact materials (Essential Attributes, Community Investment Triangle, etc.). Provide a great conceptual framework that can be used with all stakeholders. • Develop change management and community development competencies within staff and volunteers – collaboration to identify and implement priorities is new work. Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  26. United Way of Santa Fe CountyLessons Learned • Best advice we can offer • Expect and work with resistance. • Make sure you have the right people: staff, volunteers and partners. • Have courage and take risks. Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  27. Topics Getting focused: What means; what it looks like Examples from the field • United Way of Santa Fe County; Santa Fe, NM • United Way of the Midlands; Omaha, NE • United Way of Rock River Valley; Rockford, IL • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; San Antonio, TX Resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  28. United Way of the MidlandsOmaha, Nebraska • Presenters: • Virgil Keller • Vice President • Planning and Community Development • Barbara Velinsky • Director • Allocations & Agency Relations Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  29. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Why We Focused • To create lasting changes at community level, avoid addressing only the symptoms • To develop coherent community understanding and strategy to address priority needs of the community • To create a more compelling case for donors • To address declining market share & increasing designations • To attract new partners with financial resources from outside annual campaign Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  30. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Benefits of Focusing • Revitalized interest in United Way by donors, staff, volunteers, partners • Increased positive exposure in local newspaper • Clearer differentiation of United Way brand and marketing materials • Increased undesignated contributions through greater differentiation • Increased creative exchange for program entrepreneurship – opened the windows for renewed discussion • Compels better integration of departments, and projects and activities within departments, removing the “silo” syndrome Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  31. Focus Area Impact Initiative Strategy Project United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Levels of Focus Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  32. Who Did What: Area provider experts including traditional UW agency partners identified pressing issues of specific populations, reported promising approaches and potential partners United Way staff summarized input, reviewed annual Human Care Profile, drafted recommendations United Way fund distribution/planning volunteers reviewed and amended staff report and recommendations Executive Committee reviewed report, recommended engaging other parts of the organization Board approved Focus Areas How Long It Took: Approximately 8 months United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)How and How Long: Level 1 - Focus Areas Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  33. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Three Focus Areas • Economically & Socially Disadvantaged Families • Frail & Impaired Older Adults • Youth at Risk Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  34. Who Did What: Staff proposed 3 initiatives based on information gathered during “Focus Areas” phase and existing community initiative Fund distribution/planning volunteers approved 1 initiative for implementation and learning How Long It Took: 1 month United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)How and How Long: Level 2 - Impact Initiative Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  35. United Way the Midlands (Omaha) An Impact Initiative for One Focus Area Focus Area Economically & Socially Disadvantaged Families Impact Initiative Economic self-sufficiency by connecting “unbanked” working families including immigrants with traditional financial institutions Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  36. Who Did What: Staff person with relevant expertise consulted with community experts, drafted recommendations Community experts reviewed and amended recommendations Fund distribution/planning volunteers approved strategies How Long It Took: 2 months United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)How and How Long: Level 3 - Strategies Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  37. United Way the Midlands (Omaha) A Strategy for One Impact Initiative Focus Area Economically & Socially Disadvantaged Families Impact Initiative Economic self-sufficiency by connecting “unbanked” working families including immigrants with traditional financial institutions Strategy Financial literacy. Help poor avoid costs of non-traditional financial operations Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  38. How Long It Took: 2 months to draft project plans; refinement is ongoing Who Did What: Staff person continued consultation with community experts, drafted project outlines Community experts reviewed and amended proposals Fund distribution/planning volunteers approved proposed projects United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)How and How Long: Level 4 - Projects Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  39. United Way the Midlands (Omaha) A Project within One Strategy Focus Area Economically & Socially Disadvantaged Families Impact Initiative Economic self-sufficiency by connecting “unbanked” working families including immigrants with traditional financial institutions Strategy Financial literacy. Help poor avoid costs of non-traditional financial operations Project Work with employers to offer financial literacy training and Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s) as benefits Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  40. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Lessons Learned • Challenges • Resistance to change and agency fear of losing funding • Temptation to engage in multiple areas, thereby lessening impact in all of them • Communication – we human beings require continued communication in multiple forms to meet their individual perspectives • Managing different levels of development for each focus area while maintaining consistency Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  41. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Lessons Learned • Things we’re glad we did • Selecting an initiative where we already had some successes, visibility, and reputation • Starting with experts and research and engaging volunteers with specificrecommendations • Staff took a much more proactive role, proposing content for volunteer review • Not holding out for consensus on every decision Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  42. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Lessons Learned • Things we would do differently • When making references to engaging non-traditional partners, always emphasize pursuit of additional resources • Better communicate agency engagement as effort progresses • Better alert volunteer leadership of potential resistance and reasons for it Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  43. United Way of the Midlands (Omaha)Lessons Learned • Best advice we can offer • Perseverance – unless you are ready for a long-term commitment, do not start • Adaptability – be ready to change based on valid input while maintaining a core of your original plan; this is a true balancing act Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  44. Topics Getting focused: What means; what it looks like Examples from the field • United Way of Santa Fe County; Santa Fe, NM • United Way of the Midlands; Omaha, NE • United Way of Rock River Valley; Rockford, IL • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; San Antonio, TX Resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  45. United Way of Rock River ValleyRockford, IL • Presenters: • Brent BernardiBoard member • Martha CoatsVice President, Community Building Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  46. United Way of Rock River ValleyWhy We Focused • Our traditional role as fundraiser was no longer compelling • Change in local business environment • While we had been funding services for over 80 years, our community problems continued to worsen • With declining revenue, we realized that we couldn’t be all things to all people – we weren’t having a great impact Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  47. United Way of Rock River ValleyBenefits of Focusing • Achieving measurable results • Seen as more than a fundraiser • Able to attract/retain qualified staff • Increased ability to recruit the right volunteers • Heightened awareness of community issues • Ownership of community issues by board members, donors and the community as a whole Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  48. Priority Area Goal Objective Strategy United Way of Rock River ValleyLevels of Focus Investments of time, relationships, technology, expertise, money, other resources Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  49. United Way of Rock River Valley How and How Long - Level 1: Priority Areas • Who Did What: • Contracted with University of Illinois Health Systems Research for community assessment including empirical data, focus groups, key informant interviews • Board studied assessment data • UW hosted Community Issues forum – 250 community representatives were presented with assessment data, created vision statements in 14 topics • Board reviewed vision statements, sought additional input from UW volunteers, funded partners • continued Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned

  50. United Way of Rock River Valley How and How Long - Level 1: Priority Areas • Who Did What (continued): • Board drafted potential areas of focus • Staff conducted additional research, studied efforts elsewhere and presented additional information to board • Board approved priority areas • How Long It Took: • Approximately 14 months (community assessment conducted December - March, board approved priority areas in December) Focusing RESULTS: Who, What, How Long, Lessons Learned