Here is a copy of the column I submitted for the September 20-September 26, 2012 issue of the North Lawndale Community News.
Here is an article I wrote for the 9/4/12-9/10/12 issue of the North Lawndale Community News.
Here is a link to my first article in my column for the North Lawndale Community News. This appears in the August 23-30th issue.
I’m really enjoying facilitating an online course in nonprofit management with the UIC-Great Cities Institute Certificate in Nonprofit Management program. The students are extremely motivated and share their real life experiences regarding nonprofit operations. The first week we reviewed nonprofit operations, and the state of nonprofits in America and examined the role of the chief operations officer in an organization. Students had the option of interviewing an executive director of an organization without a chief operating officer, or, analyzing the role of the chief operating officer within their own organizations. Students held vigorous discussions on a broad range of issues, including the similarities and differences between nonprofit and for-profit operations, newest trends in nonprofit operations management and prospects going forward.
This week, students have the opportunity to assess their own nonprofit organization’s operations and to write and critique job descriptions. The discussions are equally engaging, and students are sharing pros and cons of hiring from within organizational networks versus from the outside; describing lessons learned from their hiring experiences and ways nonprofits can retain good employees by offering noncash rewards. The fact that we have students who are from all over the US and abroad makes the discussions that much richer. The course is entirely online and students can post during work breaks, before work, after work and on weekends. I strongly recommend anyone working in nonprofit management to take this course and others in the Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program.
Supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance
WEBINAR: CONSIDERATIONS FOR DEVELOPING AN OPTIMAL INDIVIDUAL REENTRY PLAN: BALANCING OFFENDER NEEDS, COMMUNITY FACTORS AND PRACTICAL REALITIES
In recent years, researchers and practitioners have learned a great deal about properly addressing offender risks to improve post-incarceration outcomes. By conducting actuarial assessments of each individual’s risks and needs and coupling this diagnostic information with clinical judgment, practitioners can develop reentry plans that increase the likelihood of improved outcomes for both the individual and the community. In addition, practitioners can further increase the likelihood of success when factors such as employment, educational levels, and vocational aptitudes, as well as community factors (e.g., access to healthy social activities or access to pro-social individuals) are addressed in individual reentry plans.
This webinar will focus on developing optimal individual reentry plans. The presenter will discuss organizational considerations that can greatly influence how offender risk and needs are measured and addressed, and system considerations including the extent of planning and collaboration with other government and community organizations that is needed to improve the likelihood that a person will succeed after release from prison and jail. Attention will be given to resource limitations, staff training, and the availability of supports and services within communities.
The webinar will also include brief discussions about:
- Appropriate cognitive-behavioral treatment interventions that address assessed criminogenic needs;
- Improving life skills (e.g., financial literacy or interacting with employers and peers in a non-confrontational manner);
- Addressing basic education and vocational training deficits;
- Measuring and capitalizing on an individual’s strengths;
- Ensuring that the transition from living in a prison/jail to the community is as smooth as possible (e.g., How will the individual leave the institution and get to the area he/she will live? Where will he/she go immediately after release? Does the individual have suitable clothing and resources for food and other necessities?);
- Establishing pro-social “hooks” for a given individual (e.g., mentors, community organizations, employers willing to help the ex-offender avoid falling back on anti-social habits);
- Attendees can ask the presenter questions about any of these or other related topics in the last 30 minutes of the webinar.
The presenter for this webinar is Kathleen Gnall, an independent consultant with extensive experience working with criminal justice professionals, policymakers, community and business leaders, social service providers, and members of faith-based and non-profit organizations to enhance public safety while improving individual outcomes. Ms. Gnall spent 17 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC), where she served as executive assistant to the Secretary of Corrections; the Director of Policy, Planning, Research, Evaluation and Grants; and the Deputy Secretary for Specialized Programs and Reentry.
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
To register for this webinar, click here.
This is a National Reentry Resource Center announcement. This announcement is funded in whole or in part through a grant (award number: 2010-MUBX-KO84) from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this announcement (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
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Here’s the most recent edition of In the Loop.
I thank Deborah Bennett, Senior Program Officer at the Polk Brothers Foundation, for sharing this report on benchmarking for workforce development programs.
Putting Data to Work Brief 11-10
Ask the Expert Webinars are jointly sponsored and facilitated by Valerie F. Leonard and Terrance Harrington. Valerie is an expert in community and organizational development, and Terrance is the CEO of Helping Others Provide Excellence, NFP. (HOPE). On a regular basis, Valerie and Terrance will share insights into the latest developments in nonprofit management. Sometimes the discussions will be casual, although they will all be focused and professional. From time to time Valerie and Terrance will also invite other experts to join and share their know-how. Participants are encouraged to share their knowledge as well.
Valerie works with community-based organizations to improve their internal board and management systems so that they may effect positive changes in the lives of their clients and surrounding communities. To learn more about Valerie, visit http://Valeriefleonard.com.
Helping Others Provide Excellence (HOPE) is a team of experienced business people applying their professional expertise, their networks and their passion for change to help nonprofits realize their potential to accomplish even more for Chicago. To learn more about HOPE, visit http://hopeinchicago.org.
This webinar is also being sponsored by the UIC Online Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program, the longest running online nonprofit management program in the country. Students from around the world come together in a stimulating e-classroom to learn the principles of managing effective nonprofit organizations from expert faculty and other nonprofit practitioners. Visit http://www.uic.edu/cuppa/gci/programs/profed/online/
Free Webinar to Better Understand Nonprofit Compliance
Last year, over 18,000 Illinois nonprofits lost tax exempt status because they did not complete form 990 for three consecutive years. About a third of the organizations were based in Chicago, with more than 500 coming from North and South Lawndale and East and West Garfield. There are countless other organizations that have difficulty understanding these forms, let alone, know that state agencies have filing requirements and resources to make them stronger. As a result, many nonprofits are not in a position to grow to their fullest potential. Helping Others Provide Excellence, a North Lawndale-based nonprofit organization, and I will be facilitating a free webinar to provide an overview of the compliance requirements on February 2, 2012, from 10:00 am-12:00 noon.