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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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St Vincent de Paul & CharityTracker Making a Difference Together

Nov. 11, 2016, 11:01 a.m. · 0 comments

From its inception over 10 years ago, CharityTracker has worked alongside St. Vincent de Paul conferences to help them keep track of their good work. SVdP conferences have also used CharityTracker to collaborate and communicate with other conferences and organizations. In fact, there were Vincentians from Florence, AL that were a part of providing feedback into CharityTracker’s very first network!

Meet SVdP Everett, WA

One SVdP Council using CharityTracker very robustly is in Everett, Washington. Carla Laird, executive assistant, says they have 15 parishes within their council and about 200 volunteers. Currently, 13 of the parishes are using CharityTracker.

Centralized system leads to improved recording and reporting

Laird serves as the CharityTracker network administrator with each parish (or conference) being their own “agency” within the network. The conferences record everything from time spent and miles driven by volunteers, to money paid for food and rent, and in-kind donations given away. Before using CharityTracker, Laird says that each conference created their own database, sometimes in Access or Excel, and there would be one person within that conference that would usually access it. She described how moving to a centralized system has improved reporting:

“Previously, a lot of the in-kind donations given out weren’t being recorded as accurately. Some data such as service time spent on home visits, phone calls, mileage driven, etc. would sometimes go unreported because it was recorded with pen and paper. It was all separate. Every conference had their own pool of data. At the end of the year, we are to report to our national council and it was often a challenge. Some conferences had pages of handwritten information that needed to be organized into a spreadsheet in order to come up with the statistics needed for our annual report. What is great about CharityTracker is that it is this on-going recording system that is centralized.”

Expanded services

The benefits of improved reporting are many. Not only does the local council feel more secure in their annual reports to the St. Vincent de Paul Society National Council, Laird said they have expanded their services as a result. She shared about one of their council’s newest projects:

“We recently became the administrators of Project PRIDE. This is where people can make a donation when they pay their electric bill to help someone else who is struggling to pay theirs. We work alongside the Public Utility Department and we do the administration of Project PRIDE with them. We couldn’t have even thought of doing that until we had CharityTracker and could accurately record everything that we pledged out to people who are in need. We are definitely able to serve a lot more people and have our name out there.”

Positioned to receive grants

In addition to taking on new projects, Laird sees that improved data collection and reporting can position the council to receive more grants.

“There is a lot of grant money out there and more and more, grantors are very specific on reporting how you used the funds. Through CharityTracker, I feel confident that as we receive these grants we are able to come up with the statistics they are asking for, which just secures more grant money for us in the future.”

Capturing volunteer efforts

Through improved reporting, this SVdP council has also learned more about their volunteers.

“They are spending a lot more time with our clients than we ever knew. Our volunteers, spiritually-speaking, don’t brag about what they do. Putting it into CharityTracker is actually capturing much more of their efforts than we even realized,” shared Laird. Last year the SVdP council in Everett, WA helped approximately 93,000 people, including people through their four thrift stores as well as those recorded in CharityTracker.

Greater collaboration…and goats!

When requests come in, no matter how big, small or unique, the CharityTracker bulletin feature helps bring the conferences in Everett together to meet many needs. Laird explained:

“We find the bulletin board so handy. We often come across a need that is higher than the conference might have the resources to fulfill. So the CharityTracker bulletin board can explain the situation, for instance a rental payment is needed. They can do sharing, or we call it twinning, so that the need can be met by multiple conferences. There was a need for a handicap van for a child in one of our conferences. They were able to work together to provide that.”

Primarily, Laird sees requests for rental assistance and utilities but they also get very unique opportunities as well. SVdP is known for their innovation and there is no form of charity foreign to this society. Laird shared this story: “Two years ago we had a family that made a request for a goat. They were using the sale of goat milk to supplement their income. When the goat passed away, we were able to replace the goat as well as give them a second one!”

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has 160,000 trained volunteers in the United States provided 11.6 million hours of volunteer service in 2015, helping more than 14 million people through visits to homes, prisons and hospitals at a value of nearly $1 billion dollars. To learn more about their good work, visit www.svdpusa.org

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Nov. 1st Free Webinar: Help People Create a Plan for Stability

Oct. 24, 2016, 11:41 a.m. · 0 comments

In our October webinar, Mike Simon and Cathy Easley introduced us to a Transformational Roadmap, helping us see how communities come together to help people move along a continuum of care to create a new future of stability. Our November webinar goes deeper into how to effectively walk alongside people desiring to change their circumstances.

Simon Solutions has partnered with Getting Ahead because we deeply believe that communities should come together to offer transformative solutions, not just offer temporary relief. On November 1st, you will get to meet Phil DeVol, author of Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World. He will present the constructs a community can use to help people write a new story of stability for themselves and their family.

November Webinar: Getting Ahead: Helping People Create a Plan for Stability
Nov 1, 2016 1:00 - 2:00 PM CT
with Phil DeVol, author of Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World
Click Here to Learn More & Register for November Webinar
Learn about:
• How Getting Ahead class participants, called “investigators,” examine their own experience of poverty as well as explore issues in the community that impact poverty
• How Getting Ahead facilitators guide “investigators” through an assessment of their own resources and how to build those resources as part of their move to self-sufficiency
• How lives are challenged and changed and how Getting Ahead graduates are provided support from Bridges Out of Poverty collaboratives as they work toward their goals.
• How CharityTracker and Getting Ahead have partnered to assess and measure “investigator” success

Phil is an international consultant who has been working with aha! Process since 1997. He used aha! Process concepts to make institutional changes at the addiction treatment center where he was the executive director for 19 years. During this time he also co-wrote Bridges Out of Poverty with Ruby Payne and Terie Dreussi-Smith. His book Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by-World is being used to engage people in poverty in the work of building communities where everyone can live well. It worked so well that DeVol used it as a basis for a prison reentry model called Getting Ahead while Getting Out.

He works with community leaders to help them move quickly from an attraction to application of Bridges concepts. Getting Ahead and Bridges are being used in hundreds of communities in the U.S., as well as a number sites in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. His books have been translated into Spanish, Slovak, and Czech.

This completes are Fall Transform Tuesday Webinars. Look for more webinars coming January 2017! Have an idea for a webinar you’d like to see from the Simon Solutions team? Email krista@simonsolutions.com

View our past webinars, power points and hand outs.

September Recording: Getting the Maximum Benefit from Technology
September Handouts and PPT files
October Recording: Funding is Changing
October Handouts and PPT files

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FREE Transform Tuesday Webinar Series from Simon Solutions

Sept. 26, 2016, 1:52 p.m. · 0 comments

Once a month this fall, Simon Solutions will host a FREE webinar, bringing even greater transformation to your community through innovation and collaboration. Our September webinar was a great success with 135 people registering!

Fall 2016 Schedule

September: Getting the Maximum Benefit from Technology to Build Capacity & Collaborate
Held on Tuesday, Sept 20, 1- 2 PM CT
Click here to watch webinar recording
Click here to download Handouts & PowerPoint Slides
Hear from Shelly Parks and Kelcey Ellis, leaders in two of San Diego’s largest food banks, about building the capacity of their food distribution partners. In San Diego, people began lining up as early as 2:00 a.m. to receive a box of food and the line stretched around the block. Today, with collaboration and technology, the wait time is 30 minutes or less. They describe their processes and work together. No matter what agency you work in, there are principles, tips and tools to learn from.

October: Funding is Changing. Are You Keeping Up?
Oct 18, 2016 1:00 - 2 PM CT
with Mike Simon, co-founder of Simon Solutions
Cathy Easley, Trident United Way, Charleston, SC
Click here to Learn More & Register for October Webinar
Learn about:
• The New Funding Logic Model
• Measuring Input, Activities, Outputs, Outcomes and Impact
• The importance of creating a transformational roadmap
• The technical tools that can help you put it all together

November Webinar: Getting Ahead: Helping People Create a Plan for Stability
Nov 1, 2016 1:00 - 2:00 PM CT
with Phil DeVol, author of Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World
Click Here to Learn More & Register for November Webinar
Learn about:
• How Getting Ahead class participants, called “investigators,” examine their own experience of poverty as well as explore issues in the community that impact poverty
• How Getting Ahead facilitators guide “investigators” through an assessment of their own resources and how to build those resources as part of their move to self-sufficiency
• How lives are challenged and changed and how Getting Ahead graduates are provided support from Bridges Out of Poverty collaboratives as they work toward their goals.
• How CharityTracker and Getting Ahead have partnered to assess and measure “investigator” success

Let's learn together this fall!

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