The 2 Tips Blog

Every month, we bring strong, crafty community programming professionals fun, free tips and materials! We have years of bimonthly blogs on nonprofit capacity building and wellness topics; feel free to explore them all. Contact us to let us know how you use 2 Tips or a topic that you think would benefit the sector.

Interviewing for a Nonprofit Supervisor Role?

Interviewing for a Nonprofit Supervisor Role?

Introduction Interviewing for a role where you get to support a staff team as a supervisor? Perfect! Whether or not evaluation shows-up in the actual job description, you must think about evaluation and here's why: 1 |  Aspects of evaluation can excite teams, pushing...

Messed-up Relationship Between Impact & Evaluation?

Messed-up Relationship Between Impact & Evaluation?

Introduction Evaluation – measuring impact – is never supposed to be the focus of our community-based transformation work. In the nonprofit/CBO sector, no one typically argues for this stance, but our behavior certainly shows the occasional mismatched relationship...

How are Strategic Plans & Change Management Linked?

How are Strategic Plans & Change Management Linked?

Introduction All strategic planning, at the organizational and program levels, is based on taking new actions or refining past actions in order to advance the mission of the organization/program. This means that change will be required. Change to processes. Change to...

Rolling Out Red Carpets in Your Org

Rolling Out Red Carpets in Your Org

Introduction Day-1 is vital for celebrating new employees and volunteers. This 2 Tips focuses on ways to metaphorically roll out red carpets for new employees and volunteers, why this is important for the organizational culture and climate, and resources to support...

Nonprofit Exits & Starts

Nonprofit Exits & Starts

Introduction There are many reasons that you entered community-based programming as your career path and there are many reasons for leaving your current organization or the sector all together. In this 2 Tips, we supply you with two ways to assess and take wise action...

Cut Drama in Your Org

Cut Drama in Your Org

Introduction Workplace drama is defined as behaviors that detract from a workplace climate and culture that allows for creativity and joy to thrive. In this 2 Tips, we offered two tools for reducing the drama in your organization. These tools are geared towards...

How to Lose Nonprofit Talent

How to Lose Nonprofit Talent

Introduction For nonprofit supervisors who already subscribe to self-development and advancing leadership skills, this 2 Tips is for you. There are many structural and climate-related actions that can be taken to keep talent within your organization. We are focused on...

Educate Institutional Partners

Educate Institutional Partners

Introduction When collaborating with institutional partners such as large entities in the educational, health care, or criminal justice sectors, there are two things that organizational and programmatic leaders can do to cultivate collaborative working relationships....

Vicarious Trauma and Chronic Stress in Community Programming

Vicarious Trauma and Chronic Stress in Community Programming

IntroductionVicarious Trauma (VT) and Chronic Stress (CS) are common within community programming, particularly programming that has as its mission the transformation of social inequities.For this 2 Tips, the importance of seeing and building awareness about VT and CS...

Why & When to Avoid Policies

Why & When to Avoid Policies

IntroductionThe differences between policies and guidelines are monumental for supporting a meaningful organizational climate and culture. This 2 Tips doesn’t focus on the legality issues surrounding to have policies or not to have policies. Rather, the human-to-human...

Are You a Conscientious Tool Adopter?

Are You a Conscientious Tool Adopter?

Introduction Community-based programs use tools all of the time, including evidence-based curriculums, smartphone apps, project scheduling software, databases, etc. Your org’s approach to bringing in a new tool impacts how well that tool is implemented, how warm the...

Diversity & Inclusion, Define and Deploy Them

Diversity & Inclusion, Define and Deploy Them

Introduction Many community-based organizations implicitly align with diversity and inclusion (D&I) as values. And for many, their very mission is to serve historically marginalized populations. Yet, enrolling diverse populations in your programming is not the end...

Why You Need Key Indicators of Effectiveness

Why You Need Key Indicators of Effectiveness

Introduction Organizations that deliver community programs and services benefit from organizational-level key indicators of effectiveness. Such indicators help the organization to stay steady in its vision, communicate overall successes to stakeholders, and relay...

Leading Change Management in Your Organization

Leading Change Management in Your Organization

Introduction Adding a program, subtracting a service, entering into an initiative or partnership, or adding a new administrative role are some of the features of what is considered “change management.” There are many useful tools and resources available to support...

How to Keep Your Organization Away from the Wellness Movement

How to Keep Your Organization Away from the Wellness Movement

Introduction There are a lot of legitimate reasons some folks are not interested in talking about and/or engaging in Wellness. For example, you might hear: 1 |  “I don’t want to be viewed as weak.” 2 |  “I don’t need to worry about this right now.” 3 |  “There’s...

Renew Your Team by Renewing Your Decor

Renew Your Team by Renewing Your Decor

Introduction Many of us in the nonprofit sector understand that we're too busy making community transformation happen to care about what we look like... and what our office spaces look like. Yet, this is a major downfall for the success of our teams. In a previous 2...

How to Avoid a Crappy Consultant

How to Avoid a Crappy Consultant

Introduction The grumbling about crappy consultants is legit, as long as you’ve fulfilled your role as co-leader with every contractual relationship. No one enjoys crappy relationships and end products, with a consultant or otherwise. But often there was no due...

8 Easy Wellness Practices for Your Organization

8 Easy Wellness Practices for Your Organization

IntroductionAny community-based organization can begin brining wellness practices into their organization.In this 2 Tips, we provide a means for onboarding and embedding wellness into your very busy and very mission-driven organization.Below, download and print the 8...

Is a Toxic Org Messing with Your Wellness?

Is a Toxic Org Messing with Your Wellness?

IntroductionLet’s have an official conversation about this. Many nonprofit, community-based organizations have toxic environments.You stay for a lot of practical reasons. Your paycheck and family’s welfare may be tied to accepting the toxicity. You may be early in...

Strive for Easy: “Nonstop Professionals” & Wellness

Strive for Easy: “Nonstop Professionals” & Wellness

Introduction The U.S. work setting is an exhausting and stressful place. This is not a surprise. For decades, research has reflected to us the dire state of work life. For example: 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful (CDC) 18% had...

The Good, Bad, & Ugly of In-Kind Donations in Your #Nonprofit

The Good, Bad, & Ugly of In-Kind Donations in Your #Nonprofit

Introduction In-Kind donations can powerfully support the operations of your nonprofit, community-based organization. They can also create a norm of taking crappy things pretending that they’re great because they’re free. The office environment eventually communicates...

Structure Will Set You Free to Do the Work You Love, Case Mgmt Orgs

Structure Will Set You Free to Do the Work You Love, Case Mgmt Orgs

Introduction Staff teams in community-based organizations with case management programming are busy with authentically meeting the needs of clients, entering case notes, completing other types of paperwork, and juggling the chronic stress of doing case management work...

Structure Will Set You Free to Do the Work You Love, Arts Orgs

Structure Will Set You Free to Do the Work You Love, Arts Orgs

Introduction Arts nonprofits are often lean and scrappy, running on tight budgets with limited staff, but a big vision. And when that’s the case, you absolutely must make sure everything you do makes an impact and no time or resources are wasted. To release what can...

How to Develop In-Kind Support for Programs

How to Develop In-Kind Support for Programs

Introduction In-kind contributions can infuse your programming and program staff team with meaningful support, fun, and connection that would otherwise be outside of the scope of the program budget! For example, contributions of material goods for program...

Fostering Leadership Opportunities & Mindset in Your #Nonprofit

Fostering Leadership Opportunities & Mindset in Your #Nonprofit

Introduction Fostering leadership opportunities as well as a rich leadership mindset* inside your community-based organization advances all members of the team and the organizational mission. The benefits of such opportunities and a mindset impact the big picture of...

Why There’s Fear of Program Evaluation

Why There’s Fear of Program Evaluation

Introduction Hesitation about engaging in program evaluation is sometimes about money. However, there are creative wats to address the financial challenges to affording in-house or consultant-based program evaluation. Most often, community-based...

Welcome Outlier Data

Welcome Outlier Data

What is Outlier Data Outlier data in your program data refer to a few pieces of information that are noticeably different from the majority of the information. Example Let’s say that you have 300 program participants and 50 of them completed a feedback...

Avoid a Default Definition of Efficiency

Avoid a Default Definition of Efficiency

Introduction The definition of efficiency used by your organization reflects the org's values, mirrors the purposes of your programs, and tells the world what’s important to you. This is also true for your funders’ definitions of efficiency. In the 2 Tips below, we...

Altruism vs. Infrastructure in Your Community Organization

Altruism vs. Infrastructure in Your Community Organization

Introduction Presenting the community with a solution to a need, but not paving the way to that solution is like no solution exists at all. Providing staff with the opportunity to fuse their passions and their employment, but when staffing infrastructure...

#Love The Community Through Data

#Love The Community Through Data

Introduction When loving the community on their terms happens, it often materializes in programming like person-centered planning*, bringing food to those with limited mobility** or healthcare to homes with newborns.*** Practices like these reflect a...

Why Assess Inclusivity in Your Nonprofit

Why Assess Inclusivity in Your Nonprofit

Introduction Whether or not an organization actively cultivates a culture of inclusivity, the nonprofit professionals at all levels who comprise the organization can champion inclusivity in many small ways. Cumulatively, many small steps towards inclusivity will...

5 Types of Research in the Nonprofit Sector & Their Importance

5 Types of Research in the Nonprofit Sector & Their Importance

Introduction Many nonprofit professionals know the value of using research-based, evidence-based, and best-practices in their programming. Yet, many don’t have a clear framework of the full scope of how research impacts their programs and the entire...

How to Find The Right Program Evaluator

How to Find The Right Program Evaluator

Introduction This week’s 2 Tips helps you to find the right program evaluator for your organization. Many professionals are wary of high costs, cumbersome steps, and a long drawn-out, painful process. This doesn't have to be your experience. Use these two...

How to Design a Staff Retreat for Nonprofits

How to Design a Staff Retreat for Nonprofits

Introduction This week, let’s focus 2 Tips on supporting you with in-house annual staff retreats. The following 2 Tips are important for developing an in-house staff retreat or going with a retreat facilitated by an external specialist. Unfortunately, even...

Hang Your Strategic Plan

Hang Your Strategic Plan

Introduction A Strategic Plan is an important blueprint for accomplishing your organization’s mission within the context of external factors like the political, social, and economic context that impacts your organization’s work. The basic components...

No Such Thing as a “Tech Person”

No Such Thing as a “Tech Person”

Intro You already have mastery over some of the rules that govern technological tools. There is no separate specie called a "Tech Person" with special tech powers. But what's the deal with some people appearing to be better with using tech tools? Check out...

Better Feedback Surveys

Better Feedback Surveys

Introduction For organizations that coordinate or host events – internally as staff trainings or for community stakeholders – feedback surveys are the last thing that is often thought about.   Here are the best things about awesome Feedback Surveys...

5 Things to do with Staff Climate Data

5 Things to do with Staff Climate Data

Introduction Organizations big and small benefit from understanding the staff team’s experiences with the workplace climate, including: Amount of interpersonal and physical safety for staff Degree of trust among peers and supervisors Ways conflict resolution happens...

How to use text messaging to collect program evaluation data

How to use text messaging to collect program evaluation data

Introduction Follow-up surveys and interviews with program clients is challenging for a lot of reasons. Yet, follow-up data is vital to understanding the effectiveness and long-term impact of the program. Some programs need this data to inform the design of the...

Update Your Approach to Writing Program Evaluation Reports

Update Your Approach to Writing Program Evaluation Reports

Introduction For junior as well as seasoned professionals who write Program Evaluation Reports, we recommend these two tips for keeping your work exciting for you and the audiences (whoever they may be). Tip 1: Review Program Evaluation Reports...

How to Include Staff in Data Analysis

How to Include Staff in Data Analysis

Introduction The results from analyzing program output and outcome data should be shared with staff members frequently and enthusiastically. There are three reasons for this: 1.) Staff members can use the results to inform their current practices. 2.)...

Program Evaluation First Aid

Program Evaluation First Aid

Introduction All programs wish that they could get the best outcomes data and employ it to drive decisions-making. In the CBO/nonprofit sector, the reality is that many organizations just can't prioritize the most effective approaches to program...

Assessing Staff Supervision Procedures

Assessing Staff Supervision Procedures

Introduction Different size organizations have Staff Supervision procedures, whether or not those procedures are formalized or robust. There are many layers to Staff Supervision, but we are going to focus on just three of them that significantly impact who...

Stronger Pre/Post Tests and Assessments

Stronger Pre/Post Tests and Assessments

Introduction There are 7 things that you can do to strengthen Pre/Post tests, surveys, and assessments (all 3 types are referred to in this post as “tests”). These 7 things are useful for junior, mid-career, and senior professionals. Skim these until you find two or...

Assessing Unconscious Bias

Assessing Unconscious Bias

Introduction Unconscious Bias is important for Human Services and Education organizations to examine because many organizations directly contend with Unconscious Bias in terms of serving historically marginalized communities and/or leading systems change where...

How Board Members Support Effectiveness and a Culture of Learning

How Board Members Support Effectiveness and a Culture of Learning

Introduction Board Members have major roles to play in ensuring short- and long-term effectiveness. While Board Members are central to ensuring a healthy Board of Directors through Board Assessment, Ambassador Training, Fundraising, and Recruitment of Board...

Joyful Data Cleaning

Joyful Data Cleaning

Introduction Wouldn’t it be great to joyfully do your data cleaning work? No chance. Data cleaning, organizing, and various tasks involved in data management require attention to the minutia of columns, rows, fields, and codes. Joy is so far removed from this work....

A Storytelling Audience You’re Probably Overlooking

A Storytelling Audience You’re Probably Overlooking

Introduction Storytelling in the CBO/nonprofit sector is typically geared for funders, and elite funders at that (e.g. think big dollars). This makes sense. Funders expect that your organization is doing careful data collection and reporting on the impact of the...

Small Steps Towards Awesome Nonprofit Data Collection

Small Steps Towards Awesome Nonprofit Data Collection

Introduction Each month we provide "2 Tips" on program and/or operational assessment for professionals in Human Services and Education organizations. Let's Get Started Tip 1: Collect Household Size Description: For programs that are not directly focused on serving...

Spring Cleaning in Nonprofit Organizations, Think Data

Spring Cleaning in Nonprofit Organizations, Think Data

Introduction Our specialization is design and assessment for programming and operations in the Human Services and Education Sectors. The Spring Cleaning recommendations are, of course, reflective of this. Our "2 Tips" this week are: Take the spring season as an...

(Re)Launching QA Standards? 5 Steps for Your Staff Team

(Re)Launching QA Standards? 5 Steps for Your Staff Team

Introduction How can an organization introduce new or revised quality assurance (QA) standards? Your staff team likely has many strengths, but can't be blamed for some amount of resistance or skepticism when the leadership is launching or (re)launching QA standards....

Training and Leadership Programs: Assessing Impact

Training and Leadership Programs: Assessing Impact

Introduction Training and leadership programs include an array of entities that offer specialized instruction and coaching in sector-specific content. Such programs exist as institutes, fellowships, certificates, academies, and conventional programs. Many program...

Youth Programs in a Landscape of Social Equity Issues

Youth Programs in a Landscape of Social Equity Issues

Weekly Assessment Tips: a Vlog that supports assessment in the Human Services and Education Sectors Introduction Social equity issues (SEI), locally and nationally, tend to interrupt the effectiveness of youth programs (e.g. youth workforce programs are impacted by...

Getting the Most out of Pinterest for Orgs and Schools

Getting the Most out of Pinterest for Orgs and Schools

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Why Use Pinterest for Orgs and Schools? Access a tremendous range of (free) resources, tools, and ideas. Develop an index, or storage, of resources to use over and...

DIY Assessment for Programs

DIY Assessment for Programs

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Do It Yourself (DIY) Assessment for Programs  Introduction “Do It Yourself” (DIY): Assessment activities can be headed by your staff team. We recommend that the staff...

DIY Assessment.administrative

DIY Assessment.administrative

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors DIY Assessment.administrative Why Engage in Administrative Assessment? Get creative with assessing the effectiveness of your organization’s protocols and practices....

Nix the quilted approach to program assessment

Nix the quilted approach to program assessment

   Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Nix the quilted approach to program assessment 4 Tips support your organization (or school) in moving towards greater effectiveness with a centralized approach to...

Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks (Pt 2)

Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks (Pt 2)

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks (Pt 2) In this short video, we provide additional examples of how to include or engage staff in program...

Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks

Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Empower your org by distributing program assessment tasks In this short video, we describe two ways to disperse program assessment responsibilities throughout your org....

Googling your data entry

Googling your data entry

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Googling your data entry In this short video, we describe how a Google tool can be applied to data entry in the field/community and at the office. Organizations will...

Program Evaluation is For, About, and Centered on People

Program Evaluation is For, About, and Centered on People

Each week we contribute tips to the ether of innovation in the Human Services and Education Sectors Program Evaluation is For, About, and Centered on People In this short video, two different examples are provided that speak to staff as benefactors of program...

Youth Programs in The Context of a Social Equity Framework

Youth Programs in The Context of a Social Equity Framework

Introduction Programs that serve young people from historically underprivileged backgrounds (e.g. youth of color, immigrant youth, youth with disabilities, etc.) exist in a landscape of social equity issues and this landscape is often overlooked. Youth programs tend...

A Climate of Conversation

A Climate of Conversation

In administrative assessment projects, we engage partners in several strategic ways -- we assess the effectiveness of departmental configurations, appraisal practices, and processes. We especially love to collaborate with organizations and schools on building a...

Social Equity Issues in Grantmaking (Part III)

Social Equity Issues in Grantmaking (Part III)

Introduction This installment is the third in a series that engages readers on social equity issues as they impact programming, grantmaking, and advocacy. Here, we examine the intersection of social equity issues and grantmaking, particularly in foundation settings....

Social Equity Data Analysis: Introduction

Social Equity Data Analysis: Introduction

Framing This Series As we discussed the implications of our three part series Dynamic Definitions of Data, we became distracted with the potential hazards faced by organizations when using data to inform programing and strategic direction. In our four-part series...

Dynamic Definitions of Data: Beyond Counting Heads

Dynamic Definitions of Data: Beyond Counting Heads

Last month, we focused on three creative data strategies for demonstrating impact. The strategies are borrowed from organizations working in especially challenging contexts, serving and engaging high-risk populations. This month, we focus on a more ubiquitous...

Outcomes “Smoutcomes” Part 2: The punch that PO assessment provides

Outcomes “Smoutcomes” Part 2: The punch that PO assessment provides

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Last month in Part 1 of our series Outcomes “Smoutcomes” : The practicality of service outcomes assessment in your organization  we discussed how Organizations can begin thinking about Outcomes Assessments for their work....