How the Latest Ecosystem Data Informs Bob Woodruff Foundation Local Partner Network Programming
As of November 1, 2020, National Veterans Intermediary (NVI) is called the Local Partner Network. Older content may reference our original name.
“Better data, better decisions” has been a mantra of ours from the beginning. Part of BWF’s Local Partner Network data strategy involves collecting, synthesizing, analyzing, and reporting on survey data provided by our communities during the local partner onboarding process.
The community collaborative survey asks questions about the makeup of the communities our collaboratives serve; the needs of the veterans in those communities; how the collaboratives work; and what they need to work better.
We updated our Ecosystem Data this month. It now includes the responses of 74 collaboratives in the BWF Local Partner Network.
Sharing Tactics, Techniques & Procedures
Through both their survey responses and in feedback we received during the pilot round of our BWF Local Partner regional web convening, local partners have made it clear that they want to learn Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) to collaborate better and, in turn, better serve their veterans.
We are closing out our inaugural round of regional convenings next week, which we created to bring together collaborative leaders so that they can learn from each other and begin to identify systemic solutions. The survey data helps us prioritize topics for future convenings.
Guidance for Fundraising and Marketing
Our partners tell us that their top need in order to increase their collaborative impact is fundraising, followed by marketing and outreach.
Data like this is more than just trivia. It’s actionable intelligence that we can use to prioritize program topics. Here’s how we’re addressing the learning needs of BWF Local Partner collaboratives:
On the fundraising front, we’re connecting all of our local partners with a free membership to the National Association of Veteran Serving Organizations, giving them access to a webinar series dedicated to finding, winning, and keeping grants. Through this partnership, BWF Local Partners also have access to the Foundation Center’s funder mapping tool, which helps identify grantmakers interested in the well-being of veterans and military families, at the local, regional, and national levels, across the country.
Marketing & Outreach
To help with marketing and outreach, we’re offering a trio of webinars each quarter on Messaging, Email Marketing, and Social Media for stakeholder engagement. Designed and delivered by Rhiannon Guzelian, BWF’s Local Partners comms guru and a veteran herself, our marketing and outreach webinars combine 21st century tech savvy with both cultural competence and data, to impart credible, useful, real-time information that helps our Local Partners find and connect with the veterans they serve.
Housing & Homelessness
To equip our collaborative leaders with the tools and information they need to address housing and homelessness in their communities most effectively, we’re working with partners who have best-in-class expertise and experience not only in the housing space, but in the range of civic infrastructure and policy issues that inform housing systems. Through webinars and conferences designed specifically for veteran-serving collaboratives, National League of Cities researches and shares “Community and Housing” best practices identified by cities and towns, from urban to rural, across the nation. Through online coaching and learning groups, Collective Impact Forum uses case studies and success stories to share its unparalleled expertise in social movement building with collaborative leaders looking to move the needle on veterans’ housing. Offering these learning opportunities in a web-based format, at no cost to local partners, brings the resources to our busy collaborative leaders’ desks.
Learning to Collaborate from Collaboration Experts
The top challenge faced by collaboratives is a fundamental one: How do they communicate and collaborate (especially when the majority of collaboratives have 25+ participating organizations)?
We’re thrilled to have the support and partnership of the Collective Impact Forum (CIF) to provide tailored shared learning webinars and collective impact coaching sessions to our local partners.
The Collective Impact Forum is the lead organization in the collective impact world, and they have rigorously studied collective impact efforts from other spaces–healthcare, education, housing, and more.
Our work with CIF will be deepening and we’ll be adding more programming this spring. Through a series of five tailored workshops, CIF will share the wisdom of these successful collective impact efforts, and will support collaboratives’ implementation through coaching.
To Our Local Partners: Thank You
A huge “thank you” to our local partners, whose survey responses help us better understand the conditions, needs, and challenges that they face. With this information, we can share findings with other stakeholders in the veterans ecosystem and design programming to help communities better serve veterans and their families. The data you contribute is helping not just your communities, but communities across the country.