The United Way Worldwide (UWW) wanted to reorganize the Community Impact Leadership & Learning Engagement (CILL) Team in an effective way, aligning its strategic direction with the overall mission of UWW.
Collaborative teamed up with UWW to provide planning and facilitation support as the CILL team developed a work plan. We worked closely with the executive leadership at UWW to design facilitated engagement with local United Way leaders as well as staff to build new workplans. Our efforts include:
Facilitating the CEO Summit and staff retreats
Providing ongoing strategic planning design support
Coaching overall effectiveness of senior leadership
By developing a clear work plan, the CILL team has streamlined its efforts. The CILL division has a clear workplan and improved work integration.
The Education Foundation of Collier County (EFCC) sought assistance with community engagement to bring the community together in a time of turmoil on education issues.
Collaborative teamed up with EFCC to implement a comprehensive community engagement effort, called Connect Now, which included the following:
Structure and facilitation of a steering committee representative of all key stakeholders.
Design, coordination, facilitation and documentation of conversations among residents across all neighborhoods.
Design, facilitation and documentation of cross-sector community-wide forums that build and solidify a community vision for public education.
Collaborative’s experience leading similar efforts gave confidence and support the leadership effort played by EFCC in creating and moving Connect Now forward.
The Connect Now process allowed the community to have ownership of its vision for education. Through Collaborative’s efforts, the EFCC and community stakeholders gained the ability to facilitate effective conversations about education. Building this internal capacity within the community allowed this community to continue discussions, which would lead to the school district’s decision to develop a district strategic plan.
Learn more about what the steering committee members said about this process.
The final product – a statement from the community about the future of education. That statement is serving as the foundation for organizational and school district planning.
The United Way Worldwide (UWW) wanted to build a highly capable internal Education Team to drive its education initiatives.
Beginning in 2008, Collaborative supported the development of an Education Team at UWW. Through facilitation, strategic advice and strategic planning, we assisted this new team in crafting an overarching plan for UWW’s Education Initiative. We designed the make up of team, facilitated the articulation of the focus areas for work, defined the structure of the staff, and determined the most effective way for this team to support senior staff.
As the Education Team built its capacity, Collaborative provided ongoing support:
Facilitation of Education Team and senior leadership planning and strategy meetings
Leadership consulting and coaching
Research to support plan and strategy decision-making
UWW has a highly capable and effective Education Team, which drives the organization’s actions in education. Also, this process now serves as a model for development and operations of other signature efforts at United Way, such as Income and Health.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) wanted to increase user registration and activity on Arkansas IDEAS, its premiere online professional development portal for educators.
Our approach was to create a series of promotional materials, Web site content, and implementation strategies that the ADE could distribute to a variety of prospective users.
Our first step was to create materials that demonstrate the benefits of IDEAS to district and school administrators. Once they understood the value of the online portal, they could then promote it within their district or school. We created a promotion plan and an implementation strategy that ADE staff could use to talk about and promote IDEAS with administrators at the district and school level.
Next, we developed an implementation plan for administrators, to help them introduce and promote IDEAS in their school or district. The plan is accompanied by supporting resources including IDEAS talking points, sample email language, a PowerPoint presentation and a promotional poster. We recommended all of these resources be available to administrators in a centralized location on the IDEAS Web site.
To measure the impact of these promotional activities, we recommended that ADE staff track their efforts and monitor Web site traffic and email click through rates to track ongoing promotional efforts against goals. The intent is to be strategic about outreach efforts and to consistently monitor, adjust and improve the process to achieve desired results.
The National Academy Foundation (NAF), a national network of career academies whose mission is to support the development of America's youth toward personal and professional success in high school, in higher education and throughout their careers, reached out to Collaborative to take a comprehensive look at the state of career academies and multiple pathways in 29 communities in California, and to make recommendations for potential expansion opportunities.
NAF shared with Collaborative some previous challenges they had experienced with collecting information to inform their expansion decisions. One of the biggest challenges they encountered was that school data and information became quickly outdated because of the constantly changing landscape of multiple pathways and career academies in California. Limited funding also put a cap on the number of communities they could reasonably examine.
Collaborative looked at multiple indicators to identify potential expansion opportunities for NAF academies in California. We examined public education data, interviewed potential partners and identified existing support structures, to gain a clear picture of interest, need and support. We looked at how these indicators intersected and overlapped, to identify potential areas for academy expansion. We synthesized our findings in a written report that "maps" our recommendations.
In response to the need be able to update information and continue to explore new locations, Collaborative created the Community Readiness Assessment Tool, which helps to guide strategic thinking about a community's level of readiness to engage in the career academy approach. By capturing and documenting the process by which data can be used to inform decisions, Collaborative empowered NAF to continue its work in an effective and strategic way.
NAF responded enthusiastically to the value that Collaborative added to this project, and plans to continue to explore how these and other tools might be put into an interactive online format.