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February Webinar: Equipping Volunteers for Success

Feb. 5, 2018, 1:58 p.m. · 0 comments


Registration Now Open! Click Here!

Volunteers! Our community benefit organizations and churches often depend on them to help us meet our missions and expand our impact. In this webinar, Krista will discuss best practices in working with volunteers, including:

- inviting people to serve & writing position descriptions

- training & offering feedback

- affirming & recognizing volunteers

- evaluating & reflecting on experiences

- lots of downloadable resources

Krista Petty serves as Community Connector for Simon Solutions Inc, writing case studies and facilitating capacity-building webinars for community benefit organizations and churches. She is also a speaker, trainer and writer with a background in domestic missions, equipping volunteers and community collaboration. She resides in Spirit Lake, Iowa with her husband, Steve.

Registration Now Open! Click Here!

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January 16 Webinar Focuses on Homelessness

Jan. 3, 2018, 1:56 p.m. · 0 comments



Assessing & Coordinating Care with the Homeless
January 16, 2018, 1 -2 PM Central Time
Hosted by Krista Petty, Community Connector, Simon Solutions
Featured Guest, David Tweedie, Associate, OrgCode Consulting
Registration Now Open! Click Here!

The first webinar on 2018 is going to be a great and challenging one! We will be talking about homelessness and the tools and methods used to effectively help communities succeed in housing people and families. One of the most essential tools in the human services sector is a valid, reliable, and consistent tool that allows for a definitive assessment of the needs of clients. Without a proper assessment of clients, chances are very good that resources will be allocated inefficiently – perhaps through a first come, first served system or serving the squeakiest wheel first. OrgCode has developed the SPDAT (Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool). Now in its fourth year, the SPDAT is available in multiple versions and is even integrated with many HMIS programs including CharityTracker.

Yes, Simon Solutions now offers CharityTracker HMIS- All the proven benefits of CT with additional coverage for those in a community with Homeless Management Information System needs.

Our webinar will feature David Tweedie from OrgCode interviewed by our webinar host, Krista Petty, Community Connector at Simons Solutions. David is a fast, intense and tireless problem solving optimist, underdog ally and HMIS programmer. He has been working to end homelessness for more than 10 years, using data to improve service delivery, accessibility and transparency to increase housing outcomes for his vulnerable neighbors experiencing decades of homelessness. Before coming to OrgCode, David led the implementation of Coordinated Entry for individuals experiencing homelessness within the District. David brings more than 10 years' experience as the System Administrator for Homeless Management Information Systems across multiple Continua of Care, designing the technological platform to better target street outreach to people not yet served or difficult to locate. Combining that technology's complex programming, OrgCode's assessment tools, and in-person case conferencing resulted in more than 1,000 of D.C.'s most vulnerable neighbors sleeping outside or in shelter moving into permanent supportive housing over 3 years, as part of more than 3,300 people who were permanently housed during that time.

Unable to make it to live webinar January 16? Go ahead and register! All registrants receive a link to the recording and notes/handouts after the webinar whether you can attend live or not.

Registration Now Open! Click Here!

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Case Studies Now Online!

Dec. 29, 2017, 3:12 p.m. · 0 comments

Would you like to get a sneak peak at how other organizations and communities utilize CharityTracker and Oasis Insight? Now you can! Our Simon Solutions Case Studies are compiled on one simple web site that you can download and share. Just visit Simon Solution Case Studies

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Transform Tuesday Webinars Return!

Aug. 17, 2017, 1:18 p.m. · 0 comments


Check out our new line-up of Transform Tuesday Webinars this fall.
A new web page was created to house all the upcoming webinars with links to registration. Grab your team members and learn together for free. Each webinar includes downloadable handouts and case studies, as well as Q & A with our featured guests following their 45 minute interviews and presentations with your host, Krista Petty.

Register for Fall 2017 Webinars

Also, if you haven't seen it, we have a complete webinar library with recordings of every presentation done to date. Again, all for free! Don't forget to download the materials that accompany each webinar as well!

Webinar Library

Have an idea for an upcoming webinar? We are scheduling topics and guests for 2018. Email our Community Connector, Krista Petty krista@simonsolutions.com with your idea.

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Mind the Gaps- Tracking Unavailable Resources

July 13, 2017, 3:12 p.m. · 0 comments


By Krista Petty, Community Connector, Simon Solutions

Do you ever work with a client and can’t secure all the resources they need? Are you tracking what your community is NOT able to provide? Tracking the unavailable services can be a powerful way to see the gaps that exist and provide the data necessary for an organization to ask for additional funding to start something that is desperately needed. For example:

Say you are a part of a CharityTracker Network where multiple organizations are collaborating for community impact, networked through relationships and technology. Your organization provides job training and financial counseling. You do not provide any health services, but an agency across town does. You frequently make referrals to them. But the young homeless man you are working with needs dental care, not necessarily healthcare. You know it will help his overall health as well as his chances to get a job he is working so hard to train for. You have nowhere to make the referral. And this is not the first time this has happened. It is actually a regular occurrence- young men needing dental services.

The health services agency you refer to would like to offer those services, but are without funding to offer it. What if you went ahead and made the referral? Begin tracking all the times you need to refer a client for this service, even if you know they will be denied. Imagine the strength of a grant or donor appeal if the health agency can say “We received 30 referrals for dental services in the past six months. Unfortunately, they were denied because we currently are unable to offer those services due to funding.”

PJ Bopp, HMIS Training Coordinator for the Marion County Homeless Council shared with me this little tip about tracking what you can’t provide. This CharityTracker HMIS network in Ocala, FL expanded their referral status options to include the following:

PENDING

APPROVED

ASSISTANCE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

CONTACT MADE/CONTACT ATTEMPTED

DENIED

DETERMINATION PENDING

NO FUNDS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

What a great way to work together as a community to clearly see and record the gaps in services. Of course, organizations and agents should communicate as to what they desire to track together so there are not hundreds of open referrals. And PJ’s advice “Update those referrals often! Don’t leave them as pending.”

To learn more about, Making Requests/Referrals,
visit and view our video tutorials.


Photo by Pawel Loj

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How do we help people get ahead? Let’s learn how!

April 24, 2017, 1:51 p.m. · 0 comments


Register for the May 9th Webinar: The Getting Ahead Experience. Click Here!

If you work for a community benefit organization that provides human services for any length of time, you know that many people are just getting by, and some are barely getting by. How can we help people to get ahead and stay ahead, financially, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally?

Getting ahead is hard to do! So how can it happen? Meet our friends at aHa Process! And their program “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World.” This program assists individuals living in poverty to evaluate their lives, so they can develop the skills necessary to survive and flourish. Participants examine their own pasts and create new futures, including developing a written plan for prosperity that is broken down into manageable and achievable steps. Participants in Getting Ahead:

--Examine all areas of their lives including their resources, attitudes & aspirations.

--Learn about the hidden rules of economic class and how to navigate around them.

--Build new, supportive friendships with classmates.

--Receive one-on-one help to overcome barriers to success.

--Start planning for new, more self-sufficient futures for themselves AND their communities!

According to researchers and participants Getting Ahead has been remarkably successful in 45 states and five other countries. Simon Solutions is a proud partner with this life-changing program, designing assessments that plug into the current CharityTracker system, helping you track and report progress of Getting Ahead participants.

What does it look like to facilitate a Getting Ahead program in your community?
Our May 9th Transform Tuesday Webinar features The Getting Ahead Experience with facilitators Mary Hicks from Muskogee OK, Stanley Smith from Toledo, OH and author Phil DeVol. This webinar features an up-close look at facilitating the program and what individual and community change looks like.

Register for the May 9th Webinar: The Getting Ahead Experience. Click Here!

Watch the webinar with a group!
Get the most out of this webinar by watching it with others in your community. You have permission to share this invitation with others and gather as a group of co-workers, volunteers or community collaborators to view. Have a post-webinar discussion with another about what you learned and what you might want to follow-up on based on your learning experience. Simon Solutions will even provide you with discussion question handout to spark the conversation!

Can’t make it on May 9th? That’s ok! Everyone registered receives a link to the webinar recording and handouts, so you can view it at a time most convenient to you.

Previously, we featured author Phil DeVol introducing the Getting Ahead constructs in November 2016. This May webinar is not a repeat, but a closer look at facilitating the Getting Ahead Experience.
View all our Transform Tuesday Webinars!

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Faith Collaboratives for the Common Good

March 20, 2017, 12:34 p.m. · 0 comments

Free Webinar April 11, 2017 1 PM CST
Registration now open! Click Here!

How do churches come together to serve with their community? In our next webinar, we will hear the story of how Stillwater, OK churches came together initially for prayer and created a dynamic collaboration which builds the capacity of all the helping organizations in their community.

Learn how churches can...
-Practice goodwill and mutual support of one another
-Promote best practices to prevent and alleviate poverty
-Provide a mechanism for collaborative case management and interfaith and community communications and referrals
-Focus on Responsive, Responsible, Relational, Respectful, and Redemptive Benevolence

Our featured guest is Quinn Schipper. An ordained minister of 33 years, Quinn has experience both overseas and in America in cross-denominational networking and multi-sector collaborations. He is the president of OIKOS Network, a ministry to unite the Body of Christ. Stillwater CARES in Stillwater, OK was birthed out of OIKOS Network in 2010. Through Stillwater CARES, Quinn developed an association of 58 organizations working together to address the prevention and alleviation of poverty - half of those organizations being local churches.

In 2014, under Quinn’s leadership, Stillwater CARES launched a CharityTracker network with 28 churches and 14 organizations sharing case management and referrals using this collaborative, cloud-based solution. Quinn believes it is possible to elevate people above and beyond their circumstance of poverty, whatever that might be. He is a Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead certified trainer, Bridges workshop leader, and involved in Oklahoma’s Bridge the Gap statewide poverty alleviation program. Quinn leveraged his relationship with local pastors and churches to create a unique model to sponsor students for Getting Ahead classes in Stillwater.

Our webinar facilitator is Krista Petty. Krista serves Community Connector for Simon Solutions Inc with an extensive background in research and resource development in faith collaborations leading to community transformation. She has written and trained faith leaders on moving their churches from internally focused to externally focused, moving from a crisis to development mentality, how to have multi-sector collaborations, and best practices for volunteer engagement. She has published numerous articles and white papers for Leadership Network, Group Publishing, FASTEN, Compassion Coalition, and The Neighboring Church and been project manager, researcher and editor on numerous book projects including The Externally Focused Church, To Transform a City and The Neighboring Church.

Forward this information to a faith leader in your community! Grow your network!

Can't make it to the live webinar?
No worries! By registering, you will be automatically sent a recording within days of the live webinar as well as links to all the handouts.
Registration now open! Click Here!

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Creating Collaborative Solutions

Feb. 25, 2017, 11:32 a.m. · 0 comments


You will not want to miss this upcoming webinar with author Dr. Tom Wolff! This is especially good for all CharityTracker and Oasis Insight Network Administrators!

Can't make it to the live webinar? Go ahead and register because all registrants receive links to recordings and presentation materials!

Creating Collaborative Solutions with author Dr. Tom Wolff on March 7th, 1 PM Central

Tom is a nationally recognized consultant on coalition building and community development, with over 30 years’ experience training and consulting with individuals, organizations and communities across North America. He has published numerous resources to help communities solve their own problems. His most recent book is "The Power of Collaborative Solutions – Six Principles and Effective Tools for Building Health Communities" published by Jossey Bass-John Wiley in early 2010.

In this webinar hear principles and practices for effective collaboration. You will learn about:
--How to design community-based solutions, as opposed to agency-based only
--How to ask outreach, asset-based questions
--How to move from fragmentation and duplication of effort to holistic approaches and coordination
--How to move from crisis orientation to prevention
--How to move from excessive professionalism to integrating formal and informal helping networks
Tom is passionate about looking at issues from a community perspective and empowering local communities to solve their own problems. His writings combine theoretical understanding with rich stories and on-the-ground experience. His clients include federal, state and local government agencies, foundations, hospitals, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and grassroots groups. This webinar has something for everyone at every level of your organization, church or agency.

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Transform Tuesday FREE Webinars are Back!

Jan. 3, 2017, 2:01 p.m. · 0 comments


Casting a Wide Collaborative Net
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CST
Click Here to Learn More & Register for January 24th Webinar

Bring more partners into your network to collaborate! In this 1-hour webinar, we will learn how two United Ways are bringing together community organizations, churches, schools, businesses and more to create community solutions. Learn about:

-How these networks got started.
-How communication flows and technology strengthens their work together.
-How they grow and develop their networks.
-How their on-boarding and training process for new agencies joining the network flows.
-What their role as network administrators looks like.
-How these leaders develop in their roles as community conveners.

Our Featured Guests are James Jackson, Executive Director of Ada United Way and Maret Cahill, Executive Director of United Way of Central Arkansas

Click Here to Learn More & Register for January 24th Webinar

Registration is now open for our February and March Webinars as well!

Improving the Senior Adult Experience with CSFP- on February 21st

Creating Collaborative Solutions with author Dr. Tom Wolff on March 4th

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Emerge Solutions Offers National Network for Ending Poverty

Nov. 30, 2016, 11:30 a.m. · 0 comments

A note from Simon Solutions...We invited Barbara Duncanson of Emerge Solutions, to share with our CharityTracker and Oasis Insight networks information about this developing online learning community. Emerge Solutions and its members can be especially helpful to any of our networks utilizing the Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead solutions for their community. Barbara explains more in this blog and then check out the web site! Simon Solutions is already a proud member! To learn more about CharityTracker and our Getting Ahead module, check out this free webinar: Helping People Create a Plan for Stability - Krista Petty, Simon Solutions Community Connector

Meet EMERGE SOLUTIONS! By Barbara Duncanson

If you’re already a CharityTracker or Oasis Insight client (or considering becoming one), you are naturally collaborative, understanding the advantages of working together across organizations and communities to more effectively serve people in need. And you’re eager to adopt the latest ideas and technologies that can help you stretch limited resources and effect real change in individual lives and in your community.

Now, there’s a growing organization that can complement your resources from CharityTracker, further expanding your knowledge network and your access to best practices, data and latest tools.

Emerge Solutions is a nonprofit virtual organization through which members across the country are sharing their challenges and successes in ending poverty in their communities. Its mission is to promote lasting solutions to close the economic gap and build community sustainability at the local, regional, and national levels.

It was founded especially for nonprofits, businesses, governmental agencies, educators, religious organizations, healthcare organizations and others that view the current economic disparity in our nation with alarm, and understand that by addressing this disparity, we both strengthen the social fabric and become more effective allies to under-resourced individuals moving toward self-sustainability.

Emerge Solutions aims to be a positive force for reducing this economic disparity by supporting initiatives to advance economic equality through collaboration, education, advocacy and proven solutions.

Emerge Solutions began when several representatives of communities using Bridges Out of Poverty constructs from the publishing and training company aha! Process discovered a common dilemma. While the constructs had the power to facilitate understanding about the nature and causes of poverty in diverse audiences across the country – creating true “aha!” moments --, the questions of “what do we do now” and “how do we implement what we’ve learned” were not easily answered.

These representatives founded the organization in 2012 under the name Advancing Bridges. It was renamed Emerge Solutions in 2015. The new name and tagline, “Breakthroughs in Closing the Economic Gap,” better reflect the organization’s mission, emphasis on collaboration and expanded focus on seeking out and promoting proven solutions to transform communities from a broader range of sources.

Today, Emerge Solutions is a member-driven, nationwide organization for those dedicated to closing the economic gap. Membership is expanding beyond communities using Bridges Out of Poverty to those, like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, that are approaching the elimination of poverty through a variety of lenses and strategies.

Two recent developments underscore Emerge Solutions’ emphasis on becoming the premier resource for individuals and organizations working to end poverty:
•Emerge Solutions was named a service provider in a $750,000 grant to the Lucas County, Ohio, Bridges Out of Poverty organization. Emerge Solutions will provide a platform to share challenges and best practices to the grant coalition.

•Emerge Solutions began reaching out and forging relationships with other individuals and organizations whose products, services, information, ideas or other resources may benefit our members, including CharityTracker.

“I’m consistently amazed at how the resources and relationships I’ve gained through Emerge Solutions have enriched my day-to-day work to prevent and alleviate poverty in Ohio,” said Stephen MacDonald, chair of Emerge Solutions’ board of directors and coordinator for Lucas County’s Bridges Out of Poverty initiative. “And the more our membership grows, the more we will be able to give back to members as well as influence issues impacting poverty on local, regional and national levels.”

Emerge Solutions invites you to join its commitment to close the economic gap. It’s easy and cost-effective to become a member. For an annual membership fee of just $35 ($100 for an organizational membership including three individual memberships), members enjoy benefits such as:

•Networking through Emerge Solutions’ Community of Practice
•Blogging opportunities
•Access to a directory of members
•Links to web-based resources
•A quarterly newsletter
•Opportunities to join virtual committees working in marketing and membership, best practices, advocacy, finance and fundraising

You can learn more by visiting the organization’s website at www.emergesolutions.org.

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