Show and tell: Projects designed to solve challenges

Summer is a great time to slow down and take stock of what we’ve been working on. Partners come to us with design challenges centered on how to help people take action on something. I want to share some of these challenges and solutions in case they might help you think about a challenge in front of you. 

How do we strengthen nonprofit boards?

Community foundations and nonprofit associations have the challenge of training up board members, particularly after a few years of not meeting in a room together. This includes improving general board practice, as well as financial literacy important in making consequential decisions.

The Nonprofit Board Certificate Program has provided an off-the-shelf solution for the four foundations and associations that have licensed it, with many more boards working through the course on their own. In June, we released Let’s Talk Money: Nonprofit Finance Basics to get everyone up to speed and on the same page when it’s time to talk about financial statements, cashflow, budgeting, IRS Form 990, and internal controls. Both classes are also taught live, providing multiple ways for a community to strengthen their nonprofit boards. Visit the Nonprofit Learning Center

How do we use economic data to strengthen our sector?

The Florida Nonprofit Alliance produces an Economic Impact Report that highlights the power of the nonprofit sector. It wanted to go one step further and show nonprofit leaders how they might use this data to strengthen their organization, connect with others, and grow their collective power. 
We produced the Strength in Numbers Guide to help people navigate through a data dashboard and pull out relevant data that tells a story about their organization. We used a fish narrative to draw people through the content. 

How do we keep volunteers safe and healthy?

During a webinar for food bank directors last year, a participant mentioned that she struggled with volunteer training. She’s busy, and volunteers come and go and don’t have a lot of time for training. In partnership with the Washington Food Coalition, we created flip cards on common volunteer safety topics, complete with a QR code that leads to a short video.

Flip through four cards here. 
Visit the Nonprofit Safety Hero website . 

How do we make a conference program worth keeping?

The Central Washington Conference for the Greater Good is focused on giving people the information, tools, and connections they need to contribute to their communities as nonprofits and as a community of nonprofits.  The conference committee wanted to make the day one that provided reflection and concrete action steps, so we created a conference notebook in the style of a composition notebook. We included all of the worksheets for general sessions and lots of blank pages for other aspects of the conference. (Yes, we provided colored pencils on the tables.) See the whole program here.

These are just a few of the projects we are working on. If you see something here that sparks your interest– or have another design challenge you want to run past us, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Published by Nancy

I work at the intersection of learning, nonprofits, and leadership. I am a teacher, instructional designer, and nonprofit person who has worn every hat possible. I regular write, speak, and consult on learning strategy, design, and leadership.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: