BTW informing change

BTW Debrief - October 2011


informing change is excited to share new research and discussion topics that are the result of our work over the past few months. We find these topics interesting and relevant to advancing the philanthropic and nonprofit fields, and we want to share our current learnings with you!

Insights on Change

Purpose & Humility 

The recent passing of two prominent Americans, Steve Jobs and Betty Ford, has prompted many of us to reflect on their complex and interesting lives. In Ellen Irie's new blog, she explores two qualities that made these people extraordinary--purpose and humility. Join her in conversation about how these qualities are applied to our work in the nonprofit sector.  


A Well-Stocked Tech Toolbox 

With a profusion of technological tools at our fingertips, we often feel compelled to use all of them (sometimes all at once). Ellen B. Gattozzi writes about her panic and subsequent lessons learned when faced with too many technological options. Share your own stories about using tech tools in your work.


 Publications & Presentations


High Flyers in Developmental Education  

High Flyers in Developmental Edcuation    

What can community colleges do to ensure that students complete their degrees and move into fulfilling careers? Jobs for the Future asked BTW to conduct a study on Florida's developmental education practices and policies. Our new report, "High Flyers: Policies and Strategies that Boost Developmental Education Success in Florida's Community Colleges" addresses this question with a set of case studies about three community colleges that are particularly successful in serving students who begin their college careers in developmental education.



Protecting Research & Evaluation Study Participants  Resource Document

What does it really mean to treat evaluation study participants fairly, equitably and with the utmost respect? Through the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, BTW has developed "Ensuring the Rights of Study Participants: Resource Documents and Training Toolkit for Philanthropic Organizations" to help foundation staff spot potential issues related to protecting study participants in the work their organizations commission. BTW Principal, Ellen Irie, will be presenting these resources at the upcoming American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting during her session, "Fairness for Participants in Evaluation Studies: An Easy-to-Use Toolkit to Identify Issues for Consideration." Ellen draws on BTW's materials to provide easy-to-follow decision trees, guidelines and interactive training activities to help foundation staff ensure ethically sound evaluations. The Resource Documents and Training Toolkit are available for download on BTW's Web site. For more information about the conference, see the Events Calendar below.


Talking About Networks 

Building Capacity to Promote Community Health

In early November, BTW Director, Kim Ammann Howard, will present highlights from BTW's ongoing evaluation of the Community Clinics Initiative's Networking for Community Health program at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting. She will draw on BTW's report, "Building Capacity to Promote Community Health," which examines the ways in which the program has enhanced the capacity of community clinics and their partners to improve community health.


Kim will be joined by Claire Reinelt from the Leadership Learning Community and Melanie Moore Kubo from See Change at the American Evaluation Association's Annual Meeting. Their session, "Evaluating Networks: The Evolving Practices, Their Promises and Perils," will review the pros and cons of different data collection and analysis methods, value creation strategies for network learning processes, and the role of sponsors, facilitators and evaluators in these processes. For more information about the conferences, see the Events Calendar below.



Turn, Turn Turn: To Everything There is a Season 

It is with both sadness and excitement that we announce that Lande Ajose, BTW Managing Director, is transitioning to a new position at California Competes. She will play a leadership role in the organization's effort to develop an approach for how the state's higher education institutions can better meet the needs of California's economy. Lande notes, "I feel so proud to have been a part of the BTW team and to have contributed to the growth of the organization over the past five years." BTW thanks Lande for all her wonderful contributions and looks forward to the company's continued growth and expansion in the coming years.


A Growing Team 

BTW welcomes new staff to our team! Naomi Orensten joins us from the Israel office of The Jewish Federations of North America. In her role as BTW Senior Consultant, she will draw on her deep expertise in grants management, strategic planning and the Jewish community. Kevin Draper and Moriah Cohen join the team as Research Project Assistants and Melanie Choy joins us as BTW's Administrative Assistant.


Events Calendar

Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies 

What: American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting

Where: Washington, DC

When: October 29-November 2, 2011

Who: Registration is now open for members and non-members.

Note: Kim Ammann Howard's session, "Building Capacity to Promote Community Health," will take place on Tuesday, November 1.


Evaluation 2011: Values and Valuing in Evaluation   

What: American Evaluation Association's Annual Conference
Where: Anaheim, California

When: November 2-5, 2011

Note: Ellen Irie's session, "Fairness for Participants in Evaluation Studies: An Easy-to-Use Toolkit to Identify Issues for Consideration," will take place on November 3. Kim Ammann Howard's session, "Evaluating Networks: The Evolving Practices, Their Promises and Perils," will take place on November 5.


Healthy Communities, Strong Regions, a Prosperous America 

What: PolicyLink's Equity Summit 2011

Where: Detroit, Michigan

When: November 8-11, 2011

Who: Registration is open for everyone (e.g., advocates, activists, policymakers, foundation officials, equity leaders and students)


Multiple Choices   

What: California Workforce Association Annual Youth Conference

Where: Long Beach, CA

When: January 17-19, 2012

Who: Registration is now open for members, non-members and youth.



What: Council on Foundations' Family Philanthropy Conference

Where: Miami, FL

When: February 13-15, 2012

Who: Registration is not open yet, but visit their Web site for more information.

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