Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the fourth in a series of updates about Eagle Rock’s strategic plan — Vision 2020. Below, Michael Soguero, our director of professional development, provides the Eagle Rock community with an update on our efforts related to the plan’s fifth domain: National Contribution. If you’re interested in learning about the overall aim of the plan, please see News From The Rock: Vision 2020.
When it comes to Eagle Rock’s strategic plan, that part of the document that falls under the National Contribution section, speaks to our nation’s high schools as high-functioning centers of engagement and learning, and our own role in helping make that vision a reality. As a result, we’re continuing to articulate our notion of national impact and to refine our approach in support of that outcome.
While exploring this concept, we have found many nonprofits make one of two mistakes while attempting to do good works:
- They either focus on performing a number of activities — counting the activities themselves as a success; or
- They assess satisfaction with the activity as a measure of success.
Problems arise when schools put on workshops, send their personnel to speak at conferences or hold events — all of which are well received — but with little sense as to whether there is an impact on the community issue they were addressing. The other mistake goes in the opposite direction. The organization will put a stake in the ground around some large social condition such as teen crime, poverty or the environment, not realizing how little impact one isolated group can have on solving such complex issues.
What you end up with are organizations that are either declaring victory with small programmatic events, or excessively touting influence with a social condition that actually requires many allies contributing to the issues just to move the needle.
Eagle Rock is charged with having a positive impact on high school engagement nationally. Our strategy includes Continue reading…