Community Development Works is a program of The Rapides Foundation

Community Builders Workspace eBulletin

The Impact of GIVING - July 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab is raising awareness on giving. There are many resources available through the CDW Learning Lab covering how-to guides on giving, engaging people in giving, trends in giving, and more.
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Youth Volunteer Corps Summer of Service

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
YVC Club members are invited to participate in the YVC Summer of Service. Youth can use these volunteer opportunities to engage in their communities, to give their time and skills to building up their communities, and to see the impact they can make on various parts of everyday life.
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Celebrate your local volunteers for National Volunteer Week - April 23-29

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
This quarter, CDW is celebrating volunteerism during National Volunteer Week. This national observance is a time to inspire people to engage in their communities, to acknowledge those who give their time and skills to building up their communities, and to show the impact of volunteers on various parts of everyday life.
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U.S. Giving Saw More Increases in 2015 - July 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab is sharing the release of Giving USA 2016. This seminal publication reports on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States. Data is presented on the recent trends in giving, the sources of funding available to nonprofits, and the areas of interest that have seen increases in funding over the past year.
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Celebrating Volunteers - April 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016
This quarter, CDW is celebrating volunteerism during National Volunteer Week. This national observance is a time to in spire people to engage in their communities, to acknowledge those who give their time and skills to building up their communities, and to show the impact of volunteers on various parts of everyday life.
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Civic Engagement in Cenla - March 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab looks at important civic engagement indicators in Central Louisiana. Encouraging community involvement and civic participation requires an understanding of current conditions and how our community ranks on state and national platforms in regards to "Civic Life."
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Know 3 key ways to increasingly engage your community? - November 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab is promoting civic engagement in Central Louisiana. Civic engagement is "the common thread of participation in and building of one's community. It means improving the quality of life, making a difference, and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, trust and motivation among people to give back." Communities are highly developed when their residents are civically engaged in voting, volunteering and giving.
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Can your organization handle the risk? - August 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015
Are you prepared for an unforeseen disaster, need to screen your staff and volunteers, experiencing sudden changes in leadership or financial loss? Take advantage of the free resources in CDW's Learning Lab August eBulletin on risk.
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Celebrating Volunteerism - April 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
April is National Volunteer Month. Learn about National Volunteer Appreciation Week and get statistics on volunteerism in Louisiana. CDW's Learning Lab offers several books, eBooks and related resources on how to build effective volunteer programs in your community.
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Community Builder Tools - March 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015
CDW's Learning Lab is your local civic engagement resource center in Cenla where nonprofits, community/civic groups and concerned citizens can research successful program models and community statistics, identify funding and volunteer opportunities, and stay current on the latest best practice research and nonprofit news. By offering these tools to community members who want to make a difference and motivate others to do the same, the CDW Learning Lab is the Community Builders WorkSpace.
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Promote Your Volunteer Projects - January 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014
Need to promote your service projects to volunteers? CDW has resources that can help.Build a healthier community through volunteerism. Visit the Community Development Works website to see a wealth of resources gathered to assist your nonprofit in recruiting and managing volunteers, as well as links to programs that match interested persons with organizations looking for volunteers.
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A Good Volunteer Recruitment Message - November 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008
For many nonprofit organizations volunteers are valuable keys to a successful program. Effective recruitment of potential volunteer candidates involves first having a recruitment message that moves the candidate to offer their time and talent in service to your organization.
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Evaluation and the Grant Application - October 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Evaluation, or assessment, is the process by which you determine the degree to which your goals and objectives are being achieved. Most funding agencies require an evaluation; many give it major importance. The evaluation leads naturally to the report that you prepare at the end of the project to submit to the supporting agency.

The evaluation section is an integral part of a grant proposal. It contains the plan that spells out in advance how you will know that you have accomplished what you have said you would. It describes how you will prove to the funding agency that they have received their money's worth from the award and that you have used their money to benefit the common good.

On the practical side, your plan for evaluation serves you as a ready guide for monitoring what is actually happening as a result of the activities you are engaging in.

When putting together the evaluation section of a grant proposal there are some common pitfalls to avoid.  These include:
  • Because you are so focused on achieving the goal and designing the methods by which you will achieve that goal, and thus solve the problem, it is easy to treat the evaluation section offhandedly or fail to give it the careful attention it deserves.
  • Be exact. Don't employ vague statements about assessment, like "The evaluation will take place at weekly team conferences," or "Clear, comprehensive records and documentation will be maintained."
  • Beware of falling into the "let Mary do it" syndrome: "Professor-has-won-every-award-in-the-world will design appropriate measures."
  • Don't be absurdly evasive: "The evaluation consists of an ongoing review of data derived from the survey obtained at the initial interview so that both client and program needs may be determined and addressed." Wow! All those words, and they say absolutely nothing that will encourage a funding agency to entrust their money to you.
Always Remember
Evaluation design flows logically from the program goals and objectives. Your project intends to produce change.   Show how things were before you began your project.  Indicate to what extent change took place.   You do this through the procedures in your well-designed plan of evaluation.  

Source:  University of Eastern Michigan, Office of Research Development,
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Collaboration - September 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008
According to the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation collaboration is defined as "a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve common goals. The relationship includes a commitment to mutual relationship and goals; a jointly developed structure and shared responsibility; mutual authority and accountability for success; and sharing of resources and rewards."
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Building a Technology Plan - August 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008
In many ways technology is a necessary evil of our fast paced society. It has its positive and negatives. A well thought-out technology plan can help your organization.
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Financial Statements and the Board - April 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Nonprofit board members come to the table with knowledge and skills useful to support and promote a cause dear to their hearts. However, cash flow, balance sheet, and income statement are foreign terms. Many board members do not know the first thing about reading financial statements while others simply are uncomfortable do so.
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Program Development/Leadership - March 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Over the past few years, the work of nonprofit organizations in communities has increased. This amplified demand for services has increased the need for effective program development and leadership on the part of nonprofit organizations.
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Small Nonprofits and the IRS - February 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008
Tax season is here and change is in the air, especially for small nonprofit organizations. Small nonprofit organizations that previously were not required to file a return with the Internal Revenue Service now must do so.
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New Year's Resolutions for Your Organization - January 2008

Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Pump some new life into your organization with the following resolutions for the New Year!
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Special Edition - Fundraising - December 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007
People want vivid examples of how their donations will be used. So if your audience has given before, tell them all the great things they've done - then all the wonderful additional things more support will bring. As one MarketingProf member pointed out, "I give money regularly to groups where I have been able to see what they accomplish."
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Risk Management - December 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Not every nonprofit needs every type of insurance. But every nonprofit board should consider its insurance needs and the resources needed to protect the good health and mission of the organization. We offer 8 tips on insurance issues to get you started.
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Faith-Based Organizations - November 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007
All successful organizations have characteristics in common. The same is true of successful faith-based organizations. There are seven characteristics which can be found in consistently successful faith-based organizations.
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Sarbanes Oxley - September 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007
What is Sarbanes Oxley? The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was signed into law in July 2002 in response to corporate scandals and is considered to be the most influential change to federal securities laws.
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Volunteer Management - October 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007
Have you been successful in recruiting volunteers in the past but now seem to have hit a wall of apathy? Are there populations you'd love to involve but who do not seem attracted to your organization? Maybe the problem lies in the hidden messages of your recruitment techniques.
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Conflict Management - August 2007

Wednesday, August 1, 2007
In nonprofit organizations diversity among board members and staff is highly encouraged to cultivate a more effective organization in dealing with the everyday issues facing communities. Inevitably when individuals of varying cultures, experiences, and motivations come together conflict will arise.
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Succession Planning (Part 2) - July 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007
When the Executive Director Leaves: The Job Of The Board's Executive Transition Committee. The departure of an agency executive demands intensive leadership and activity by the board of directors. The obvious primary task is the search for a new chief executive. But regardless of the circumstances under which the ED is departing, a healthy transition usually entails many more tasks as well.
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Succession Planning (Part 1) - June 2007

Friday, June 1, 2007
Succession planning is making provisions for the replacement of board members or staff members of an organization. It is a proactive process to keep the management constantly aligned with the strategic framework of the organization. (Nonprofit Good Practice Guide, 2006)
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Partnering and Collaboration - May 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
For foundations partnerships seem like a powerful way to “broaden, deepen, and diversify cultural participation in local communities. While partnering or collaborating can be beneficial there are also pitfalls to be considered.
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Leadership - April 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007
Decision making is crucial in nonprofit organizations. Whether there are issues surrounding board or staff, money or the organization’s mission decisions must always be made. As with all aspects of an effective nonprofit organization a particular process should be in place and followed when decisions are to be made.
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The Main Course (Earned Income) - March 2007

Thursday, March 1, 2007
Overall, the nonprofit sector's biggest source of revenue is government, and its second biggest source is earned income. Earned income can include fees-for-service, sales of books or other items, tickets to performances, or third-party payment systems. In this article, Betsy Rosenblatt of the National Center for Nonprofit Boards discusses some questions to ask before a nonprofit initiates an income-earning venture.
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Budget Narrative - April 2006

Saturday, April 1, 2006
A narrative portion of the budget is used to explain any unusual line items in the budget and is not always needed. If costs are straightforward and the numbers tell the story clearly, explanations are redundant. If you decide a budget narrative is needed, you can structure it in one of two ways. You can create "Notes to the Budget," with footnote-style numbers on the line items in the budget keyed to numbered explanations.
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Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards - March 2006

Wednesday, March 1, 2006
If you presently serve on a board or you are thinking of serving on a board, you must be aware of the basic responsibilities of undertaking such a task. An organization can only be as effective as its board. Therefore the responsibilities of the board should not be taken lightly by individuals.
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Starting A Nonprofit - February 2006

Monday, February 6, 2006
When starting any organization or business you must do so on a solid foundation. In the nonprofit world organizations begin as the vision of an individual or group seeking to meet the needs of others through various programs not for profit, but for the sheer pleasure of helping others.
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Grantwriting - January 2006

Sunday, January 1, 2006
Successful grant-writing involves solid advance planning and preparation. Preparation is vital to the grant-writing process. Solid planning and research will simplify the writing stage. A well-written proposal follows the basic steps outlined below.
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