Capacity-building can encompass many activities, from planning and research through to implementation of new ideas. The list below includes Strong Roots’ main skills and areas of expertise.
Research and Evaluation
“No numbers without stories and no stories without numbers”
How are you making a difference? Who are you serving? What are their needs? Why isn’t your idea working out the way you thought it would? Addressing these questions can help your non-profit improve its approach, plan for future programs and initiatives, and demonstrate successes to partners and funders. A cornerstone of my approach to research and evaluation is utilizing Community-Based Participatory Research principles to encourage involvement of everyone who will be most affected, both within your organization and more broadly in the community.
In addition to traditional program evaluation, Strong Roots can provide support for social innovations through developmental evaluation. Innovators grappling with complex social problems may not be able to concretely define what “success” looks like, especially at early stages: rather than prematurely force new initiatives into a box, developmental evaluation helps you work through the questions and decision points, articulate the reasoning behind the approaches you take, and tell the story of the successes (and failures!) of the initiative.
- Surveys (print/online)
- Interviews and focus groups
- Community engagement events
- Discussion groups and workshops
- Needs/Assets assessments
- Community mapping exercises
- Other participatory approaches (e.g. World Cafés)
- Analysis of pre-existing information and data, such as from organizational and government sources (e.g. Census)
What’s the big picture? How do you get from here to there despite roadblocks and obstacles? For that matter, where should you be going in the first place? Strong Roots can help in this process by identifying current trends through community-based research and assessment, facilitating conversations both within the organization and with stakeholders, drafting plans, and presenting options.
The non-profit sector is great at creating specialists in the area of “other duties as required” and Strong Roots Consulting is no exception! We can provide assistance in areas such as grant preparation, volunteer management, and board development, especially when they relate to our core strengths and specialities.