The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) is seeking candidates for multiple positions. OCRA works with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to aid communities in shaping and achieving their vision for economic development.
There are two openings for Program Managers - Grant Services. They assist the Business Office of the Lieutenant Governor in the operation and administration of grant programs administered by the agencies that are under the purview of the Lieutenant Governor. The agencies for which Grant Services provides assistance include the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and the Office of Defense Development.
Responsibilities include review of grant applications for compliance with federal, state and departmental regulations to determine eligibility for funding; providing technical assistance regarding the requirements for environmental review, civil rights, land acquisition/relocation, procurement of goods and services, prevailing wage payment, minority and women owned business enterprise requirements and/or other related statutes; on-site field-monitoring activities of federal and state grants and work with grantee to resolve findings and bring project to closed status. Complete written monitoring reports, applicable worksheets and Federal reporting.
The CDBG Project Manager (PM) reports to the CDBG Program Manager and helps manage Indiana’s CDBG Program. This includes the State and Small Cities CDBG Programs, CDBG Disaster Recovery Supplemental Appropriation Two (IKE) and all other programs utilizing CDBG funds. The PM will also be responsible for coordination with the Grants Management Team for compliance monitoring and all other aspects of Grants Management. The PM will perform grants management and compliance on other OCRA funded programs as assigned.
For the full job descriptions and to apply, visit http://www.in.gov/spd/careers/ and search for “rural” or “Lieutenant Governor's Office.”
Community-based organizations from every corner of the country will convene near Washington, DC on May 31-June 2 for People & Places 2017. (Scholarships for registration to the event have all been awarded -- thanks to all who responded.) Click here to attend this event alongside your Hoosier peers and others from around the nation.
Here are four reasons you don't want to miss this dynamic peer-learning event:
See what's working to strengthen places and improve lives. The agenda features 35 sessions with more than 100 presenters. Learn about their successful strategies to remediate blight, promote equitable development, bolster small businesses, encourage asset growth, make places healthier, and so much more. Get inspired by local solutions that you can adapt and transform back home.
Learn effective political organizing tactics. There were some big wins in the November elections at the state and local levels. Ballot initiatives and organizing campaigns across the country resulted in significant new funding for housing and community development. Learn from advocates how they achieved victory and – in some cases – learned from defeat.
Connect to diverse community development networks. Engage with peers from five national networks. You'll develop your own network of placemakers who are just a phone call, text or email away.
Go to Capitol Hill to protect resources. Join us on Capitol Hill as our five networks raise our voices on behalf of the places we serve. Tell your representatives in Congress how federal funds work to improve lives in your community. Help change the narrative to highlight work that benefits low-income and disinvested places. If we don't tell the story of our places, who will?
* National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders * National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development * National Urban League * Network for Developing Conscious Communities * National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations
Read a message from the hosts about the importance of bringing together our networks at this critical moment for America's places.
Hotel rooms are available at the discounted rate of $215 per night at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia – right above the Crystal City Metro Station. The hotel is minutes from Washington, DC and just one Metrorail stop away from Reagan National Airport. Reserve a discounted hotel room online or call 877-212-5752 and say you're attending People & Places 2017. You must RESERVE YOUR ROOM BY MAY 2 to get the discounted rate. In case you want to extend your time in the DC area, the discounted rate runs from May 27-June 5.
Click here for more information and to register today!
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) announced on April 5, 2017 a new grant funding opportunity, the Quick Impact Placebased Grant Program (QuIP), a matching program designed to fund the type of place enhancement and community transformation that sparks community wide conversation and creativity.
“One of the cornerstones of OCRA’s mission is to continuously look for partnership opportunities that offer a variety of resources to support community-led initiatives which improve the economic health and wellbeing of Indiana,” said OCRA Deputy Director Matt Crouch. “We are excited to launch QuIP as a fast turnaround, high impact opportunity for projects throughout our cities and towns.”
Eligible Applicants include:
Eligible applicants have the opportunity to apply for project funding between $2,500 and $5,000 with a 50 percent required cash and/or in-kind match.
“The goal in creating the Quick Impact Placebased Grant Program was to provide communities another opportunity in which to build upon their local assets and create community connections,” added IOTD Executive Director Mark Newman. “We recognize this is a fast turnaround, but have great faith these grants could provide the quick wins for communities to build upon or spark the initial conversations for local transformation and growth.”
Examples of Eligible Projects:
There are many eligible projects. These dollars should be used to create a small change that spurs conversation and community engagement. The space should in some way be transformed for the better.
Ineligible Projects include:
OCRA and IOTD encourage these projects to be community unique and locally inspired. Placemaking involves a working partnership with local governments, residents, community groups, and organizations as well as business and community agencies. Successful applications would demonstrate community collaboration, partnership capacity, and have impactful community benefits.
Applications must be received in the OCRA office by 4pm, EST on Friday, April 21, 2017.
Applications can be delivered in person or mailed to:
1 North Capitol
Indianapolis, IN 46204
For more information on QuIP, contact your OCRA Community Liaison or visit: www.in.gov/ocra/quipgrant.htm.
In case you missed it, here's a link to our latest podcast:
2017 Mid-Session Policy Update
Other podcasts released this year include:
April podcasts will focus on business diversity.
April podcasts will focus on business diversity.
The State of Indiana wishes citizens to participate in the development of the State of Indiana’s 2017 Annual Action Plan. In accordance with this regulation, the state is providing the opportunity for citizens to comment on the draft report, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on or before May 15, 2017.
Public hearings will take place at five locations on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 4:00pm EST- 6:00 pm EST.
Central/Indianapolis Indiana State Fairgrounds Discovery Hall, Suite 201 Indianapolis, IN 46205
Southwest/Vincennes Purdue Extension-Knox County 4259 N Purdue Rd. Vincennes, IN 47591
Southeast/Scottsburg Purdue Extension Office for Scott County 1 East McClain Avenue, Suite G-30 Scottsburg, IN. 47170-1894
Northeast/Huntington Purdue Extension Office 1340 S. Jefferson Street Huntington, IN 46750
Northwest/Rensselaer – note that this location in on Central Standard Time. The hearing will start at 3:00pm CST. Purdue Extension Office 2530 N. McKinley Avenue #1 Rensselaer, IN 47978
We asked Jennifer Layton of LTHC Homeless Services, formerly known as Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, for her take on leadership. The executive director of 25-staff strong LTHC since December 2000, Layton has cobbled together the best of what she's seen modeled to become the leader she is today. Here's her story:
I have served as an executive director for many years, and my leadership style has continued to evolve. If I took a class on leadership, I’m sure I would learn about many styles that I have bits and pieces of, but the one that I feel most connected with is Servant Leadership.
I have built my career around the philosophy of servant leadership which, in part, means that there is nothing I am unwilling to do to help reach the goal of ending homelessness. Ending homelessness takes a collaboration of people and organizations that all must work together. When I began my career with LTHC, 22 years ago, I honestly thought it would be an easy job… because how many homeless families could there be in Lafayette, Indiana?? There were more than I imagined. My next thought was “who doesn’t want to end homelessness?” There are those people as well. I take it as a personal challenge to help them understand the reasons that people become homeless and what they can do to help. All of those years of working directly with adults and children who had lived experiences that I had never imagined helped shape who I am.
Their stories, their challenges, and their determination showed me that when offered resources and support, people will succeed! I see it as my responsibility to continue to speak for them to make sure others will have a life-changing experience as well.
When I think about the impact I want to make at LTHC, I know I don’t want to be just a manager... I want to be a leader. I want to use my experiences working with homeless people to share their stories and show the community how important of a role LTHC can play in changing lives. I want the staff and the board of LTHC to understand their role and the impact they are making on the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness. Helping people is both rewarding and tiring, so my hope is to create an environment where the staff all feel appreciated and supported. Our role in the community is to end homelessness, and we can only do that by working as a team. Each person on my staff plays a valuable role, and it’s my job to encourage and help each part of my team understand their role and the asset they are to the group.
If I had to pick a single person who has influenced my leadership style the most, it would be my mother, who passed away three years ago. She was the perfect role model – diplomatic in all situations but also clear about what she wanted to achieve. In her philanthropic roles, she was the type of person who led by example. She would challenge people to learn about new things and ways the community could work together to solve issues. She drew people to her with her energy and enthusiasm and used her passion to help educate them and draw them into the solution.
Every leader should possess the quality of flexibility; and in my personal and professional life, there is rarely a day that goes according to plan. I have worked with many people who, when something goes awry, will get flustered and maybe even panic. I like to keep an even-temper so that problems that arise can be evaluated and addressed. While I consider myself passionate, I don’t think I am prone to emotional carelessness.
I encourage everyone on my team to think about their role and what they can do to be more successful. I want to challenge my employees to not only do their best for their clients, but for themselves as people. Doing the kind of work we do is life-changing – not only for the client, but also for the staff.
The one thing that I had to learn about leadership, the hard way… is to realize that not all people have the same values and beliefs that I do. Especially when it comes to basic human needs. I believe that we must do all we can to end homelessness for everyone. I had assumed that every person would have that same (or at least similar) belief. However, I have seen decisions being made that have huge consequences on the people that have the weakest voice. When I see this happening, it makes me even more determined to use my leadership skills to educate and provide insight to others.
Throughout my career, I have worked under several different types of leaders…all of whom I learned from. Some I aspire to be more like – to use some of the skills that I have seen them use successfully. There are also “leaders” that I have met that I try to avoid what I have seen them do because I judge it to be ineffective or not compatible with my own style. Every leader must find his/her own way to be true to themselves.
On Thursday, March 16, a draft of President Trump’s proposed FY18 Budget was released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf). While the budget was not comprehensive in program-by-program specifics, it confirms earlier fears of deep cuts to critical community development programs Hoosiers rely on. Below are some of the key findings that affect the diverse programs and interests of Prosperity Indiana members. In light of the dramatic and damaging impact this proposal would across our state, please stay tuned to our blog for updates and be sure to respond to our action alert to be sent via email next week.
Stay tuned for our Action Alert to go to out to our members via email next week urging Indiana’s congressional delegation next week to oppose these damaging proposed cuts.
Join the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and other leaders of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) for a webinar on Monday, March 20, entitled “How Advocates Can Help Stop President Trump’s $7 Billion Cut to HUD In Its Tracks,” by clicking on this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/712995188908614659
accessABILITY is currently seeking individuals to serve on their Board of Directors. accessABILITY is a 501(c)3 organization committed to helping individuals make the most out of life and the least out of disability. They execute their mission by providing education and advocacy to all members of the community; by increasing awareness of the rights, needs and freedom of choice of individuals with disabilities; and by eliminating barriers that impede inclusion and equity. All services are provided free of charge.
The center is located in Indianapolis and serves the counties of: Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Hendricks, Hancock, Morgan, Johnson and Shelby.
The accessABILITY Board of Directors governs the overall execution of the organization’s mission. Principally, the Board manages organizational finances and sets long term priorities for programs and services. Additionally, the Board oversees the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who is responsible for the day-to-day management of accessABILITY. Overall, the members of the Board contribute the educational, management, legal, and financial skills needed to ensure long term organizational stability and ensure year-to-year excellence for accessABILITY’s services.
Finally, Fifty-one percent (51%) of the Board of Directors must be individuals with disabilities.
The Board of Directors currently has no maximum number of directors. Terms are for three years.
Building advocacy and inclusive communities with, and for, people who have disabilities.
accessABILITY’s mission is reflected in the following beliefs:
Interested parties should contact Tammy Themel, CEO & Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about accessABILITY, visit www.abilityindiana.org.
Prosperity Indiana is still seeking funds to drive down the costs associated with roll-out of a new member benefit this year, the Outcomes Platform. But we've been talking about it with potential partners and already have organizations committed to a pilot of the program. So, we wanted to more broadly communicate the intent of the endeavor. We outlined the need for the new data collection, tracking and outcomes reporting solution in the article below, recently published by Charitable Advisors:
Meeting a Need No Longer Enough
Generally, nonprofits are established to make a difference for the people or places they serve. As a result, the impact and outcomes are inherent in the work.
But these days, meeting an individual or community need is generally not good enough for a nonprofit to thrive, or even survive, in a world “competing” for donations, sponsorships and grants. Nonprofits must prove they are doing the good they set out to accomplish – and that they’re about outcomes as much or more than they are about outputs.
The National Council of Nonprofits cites this same challenge in an article, titled Impact and Evaluation of Outcomes. The article highlights concepts from Leap of Reason (2011). Of note is that measuring outcomes is not just about attracting resources to your nonprofit, but about mission. A nonprofit will only know that it is indeed helping individuals, solving problems in communities, and protecting the environment, etc., if it is evaluating its performance and then communicating the impact. The article also provides helpful links to numerous resources to improve outcome measurement.
Unfortunately, tracking outcomes is often disjointed from one organization to another and from one funder to another. Additionally, outcomes are often just tracked to meet external requirements or cite specific accomplishments, and may not tell the larger story of the organization’s or program’s success.
According to Andrew Means, co-founder of the Impact Lab and founder of Data Analysts for Social Good, technology is one example. The nonprofit sector often doesn’t see technology as a set of tools created to make jobs better. Means suggested that nonprofits, acting as partners in creating a social sector powered by information, have a huge opportunity “to actually use data and data technology to inform the way that we program.”
He also suggested that nonprofits beginning to use data to measure impact should first start “where they are.” As their work advances, they should seek to invest wisely and align themselves with data experts so as to not waste time with bad data. It is critical, according to Means that nonprofits work together to take advantage of the data.
“No nonprofit has the market concentration of Amazon, or Netflix, or Google. We need to come together, and share our data, work more collaboratively with one another to really understand and identify ways of increasing our impact. If you want to do really great data work, you have to do it collaboratively with other organizations,” he said.
That’s where a new initiative of Prosperity Indiana – the Outcomes Platform – will support its members in a more meaningful way.
In a survey of the membership, 90 percent of respondents said they use data to support their programs and to document and demonstrate success. More than half of all respondents indicated Excel is the tracking tool of choice.
Prosperity Indiana values the importance of developing specific, measureable, aggressive yet achievable, realistic and time-bound goals, but realizes that without a dynamic system for collecting, measuring and tracking goals, strategies, actions and accomplishments, it’s difficult to determine whether those aspirations were achieved.
Because limitations are inherent across the field and clearly identified by Prosperity Indiana’s member survey, Prosperity Indiana wants to provide a way to overcome the challenges of time, staff and financial resources and training.
Providing/developing a cloud-based system for use across the membership to collectively measure impact by tracking of organizational outcomes and planning initiatives against community-level indicators, Prosperity Indiana’s new data collection system will give a clearer picture of impact through a tool that creates visual representations of the data with a web embed option.
Through an evolving relationship with an award-winning online database developer, Insightformation, Prosperity Indiana hopes to provide access to this cloud-based tool for at least 100 nonprofit members with the specific goal of meeting the community economic development sector’s diverse data needs.
And according to the authors of the Stanford Social Innovation Review article in July 2015, Architecting for Data, we are right on track.
Prosperity Indiana seeks to provide a system that meets four criteria: “organized (stored in a consistent structure), well described (documented formally or informally so folks know what it is and where it came from), accessible (easy available for folks to find and use), and usable (stored in a format people in your organization know how to wrangle).”
Goals of Prosperity Indiana’s initiative include providing the system at low- or no-cost, reducing the amount of staff time it takes to track outcomes while providing a better system for doing so, and developing in-house capacity to provide training and technical assistance to members on the data collection, measurement and reporting processes. Prosperity Indiana is also seeking collaboration with other associations and funders to develop a system that meets the needs of the field in such an all-encompassing way that reporting redundancies can be eliminated.
Those interested in learning more about Prosperity Indiana’s Outcomes Platform may contact Jessica Love, Associate Executive Director, at email@example.com.
Prosperity Indiana is excited to announce our 2017 Training Calendar! See below for training topics, dates, and links to register. All trainings are $50 for members, $100 for non-members.
April 4-5, Indianapolis
Universal Design/Build, a course through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), presents a shift in the approach to residential design and construction. Comfort and convenience regardless of age, stature or ability is the hallmark of inclusive design. Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) courses are not a pre-requisite and CAPS graduates will find benefit by expanding into the broader spectrum of universal design that offers a much wider target audience.
June 5-6, Indianapolis
Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) from Build It Green introduces participants to the overarching principles of green building and the systems approach to the design, construction, and operation of residential buildings. Participants will develop an understanding of energy efficiency, resource conservation, water conservation, and indoor air quality, and how they can effectively convey the importance of these building principles to homeowners.
July 25-26, Indianapolis (tentative)
This training will explore the challenges to developing affordable housing for homeownership, including predevelopment work such as land acquisition, subdivision, and construction finance. Trainers will address the differences between development of scattered sites and subdivisions. They'll also address finance requirements often associated with funding for homeownership development and the potential ramifications of these requirements for developers.
August 22-23, Indianapolis
The Center for Community Progress will lead this training, working with participants to identify key strategic issues in their communities and to understand appropriate tools and interventions. As a national leader on solutions for vacant, abandoned, and other problem properties, the Center for Community Progress serves as the leading resource for local, state, and federal policies and best practices that address the full cycle of property revitalization, from blight prevention and strategic code enforcement through the acquisition and management of problem properties to their productive reuse.
September 13-14, Indianapolis (tentative)
Practitioners in rural areas often wear multiple hats, addressing the interrelated issues of housing, infrastructure, transportation, brownfield redevelopment, and economic development in an agricultural community. This training will address successful strategies for rural development.
September 13-14, Indianapolis
The Green Home Institute supports homeowners and builders in making healthier and more sustainable choices in housing renovation and construction. This course will introduce participants to several green building certification programs which offer points on Indiana's QAP. After this training, participants will walk away better prepared to make decisions about how to ensure sustainability of their projects.
October 25-26, Indianapolis (tentative)
This training will provide practical tools and strategies for engaging the community. The first day will include a general overview of engagement strategies and situations. The second day of training will include sessions for how to target community engagement strategies for particular populations. Trainers will discuss common misperceptions, cultural differences, and effective strategies for ensuring that all voices in the community are heard.
Thank you to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which underwrites our training program.
Interested in presenting at a Prosperity Indiana training? Respond to one of our RFPs.
If you have any questions about training with Prosperity Indiana, please contact Rachel Mattingly at firstname.lastname@example.org.