Get IN Chicago’s position as a funder, measurement entity, and thought leader has given us insight into pressing issues faced by the Chicago nonprofit landscape. In particular, our findings have shaped our Five Key Learnings, which we use to guide our strategy and investment.
As we move forward, Get IN Chicago’s commitment to funding and measuring evidence-based programs continues to be linked to capacity building. A portion of our funding thus far has supported technical assistance for our grant recipients, supporting them to use best practices with the goal of reaching more youth with the most effective programs.
One of our Technical Assistance grant recipients, Goodcity, recently finished providing infrastructure support to four local organizations in Austin, Englewood, North Lawndale, and South Shore. While our other technical assistance providers focus on a specific type of program, such as mentoring or therapy, Goodcity worked to make organizations stronger as a whole.
Grant Recipient – Technical Assistance
With their Get IN Chicago grant, Goodcity performed analysis and assessment of four organizations, consulted with each organization one-on-one, and facilitated opportunities for participants to exchange best practices. This technical assistance was meant to elevate these four strong but small organizations for greater levels of community work.
In particular, their technical assistance work focused on the following:
- Exploration of new opportunities or models that fit with organizational strategy
- Examination of efficiency of current strategic plan and process
- Analysis of costs and benefits (running a cost benefit analysis, if applicable)
- Determine if the organization is operating in strategic alignment with their mission
- Increasing board, donor, and investor engagement
- Developing more productive staff with clear goals, outcomes, and action steps
- Developing more strategic financial sustainability
- Establishing key external relationships and partnerships
- Creating and implementing a performance management plan
Goodcity used those findings to develop a strategic plan with each organization that outlined goals and metrics for success. The plans also incorporated internal measures for evaluation/continuous quality improvement (CQI) and clear next steps to ensure short-term and long-term success.
Each organization finished the partnership with an updated strategic plan and action items, including the following:
- Developing marketing and branding plans, including elevator pitches
- Creating fundraising strategies that highlight organizational strengths, innovation, and data
- Training staff in ETO and Raiser’s Edge, a fundraising database
- Creating management training opportunities for current staff members
- Diversifying funding streams and plans
- Creating strategic plan and selection criteria for board of director positions
- Re-evaluating hiring criteria to ensure best possible match when filling jobs
- Changing responsibilities to ensure maximum effectiveness among leadership staff
- Developing new opportunities for revenue beyond grants and donations
Being able to provide social services and support for youth and families can’t happen unless our local organizations can sustain shifts in the funding landscape. With the support provided by Goodcity, we can’t wait to see how these four organizations become stronger, long-lasting resources for their communities.
Goodcity used a Get IN Chicago grant for training and consultation with four emerging community-based organizations. Goodcity helped these organizations increase their capacity in order to scale their programs, strengthen board and administrative leadership, and increase their ability to secure additional and future funding.