TOOLKIT & PUBLICATION LIBRARY

Online Tools | Anti-Poverty Practice Series Publications | Weatherization ToolkitOrganizational Standards Toolkits | ELITE Curriculum

Please note: Community Economic Development toolkits are also available on the Community Economic Development page here.


 Online Tools

COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT ONLINE TOOL

community commonsThe Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment (CCNA) Online Tool provides a significant amount of the secondary data to help you along your way to complete comprehensive community needs assessment with the click of a button.  Through the tool you can measure and visually represent the fundamental drivers of poverty in your community through access to thousands of databases, a report generator, and a mapping tool. 
 

The CCNA tool allows you to select specific state(s) and county(ies) to be included in your report, allowing you to focus on your particular service area, as well as select particular data elements to include (such as employment, education, nutrition, etc).

Click here to join the Community Action Partnership Hub (registration is free). 

If you have any questions regarding Community Commons or the CCNA tool, please contact Natalie Kramer at nkramer@communityactionpartnership.com or Courtney Kohler at ckohler@communityactionpartnership.com  


RISK ASSESSMENT ONLINE TOOL

nonprofit risk mitClick here to be taken to the National Training Center’s Affiliates Page with the Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC).  This will be your entry page to the various affiliate benefits provided to you through the NRMC and the Community Action Partnership’s National Training Center.
Affiliates have access to various discounted risk management resources as well as a customized risk management tool designed specifically for CSBG eligible entities. The tool may be accessed directly free of charge. The additional resources may be purchased at a discounted rate.

Need help accessing the Affiliate page? Please contact Courtney Kohler at ckohler@communityactionpartnership.com  


Anti-Poverty Practice Series Publications

The Learning Communities Resource Center is pleased to release several new publications which highlight promising practices for moving families and communities out of poverty. This series will highlight best practices from eleven agencies who engaged in the Learning Community process.  Additionally, the webinar series will connect participants with anti-poverty resources and how to become involved in the new Learning Community.The Learning Communities Resource Center is pleased to release several new publications which highlight promising practices for moving families and communities out of poverty. This series will highlight best practices from eleven agencies who engaged in the Learning Community process.  Additionally, the webinar series will connect participants with anti-poverty resources and how to become involved in the new Learning Community.

 

Bundling Services to Improve Outcomes: Three Cases

This Anti-Poverty Case Study highlights the major lessons learned from the work of the 2015-2017 Bundling Services to Improve Outcomes LCG. It follows the progress of three Community Action Agencies: Community Action, Inc., Enrichment Services Program, and Douglas County CARES.

Click here to download this case study.

 

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Three Cases

This Anti-Poverty Case Study highlights the major lessons learned from the work of the 2015-2017 Trauma-Informed Approaches to Alleviate Poverty LCG. It follows the progress of two Community Action Agencies and one state CSBG Office: Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Click here to download this case study.

 

Ready Set Go: A Guide to Facilitating a Learning Community (for State Associations)  

This special session for state associations will highlight the new Ready Set Go toolkit which will provide regional and state association leaders with guidance on how to facilitate local learning community groups.

Click here to download the toolkit.

 

 

Rural IMPACT: Two Cases

This publication highlights the work and the lessons learned  from the Rural IMPACT Demonstration project. The paper provides an overview of the Rural IMPACT Demonstration, and follows the progress of two of the participating agencies: Allegany Human Resources Development Commission, and .Family Futures Downeast. The current version of the publication is a draft, and the final version will be made available shortly.

 

Click here to download the publication.


Weatherization Toolkit 2017


Weatherization Day takes place on October 30, 2017. This is an opportunity to highlight the importance of WAP to communities across America. Watch the webinar recording of the national partners (CAP, NASCSP, NCAF) discussing tools and strategies to get involved in October. The toolkit put out by NASCSP offers social media templates and pictures as well as a link to an important guide on how to tell better stories about your program in a way that will resonate best. The Partnership provided tips on engaging with state and local partners to grow the impact of your Weatherization Day and Month activities. NCAF offered messaging recommendations for engaging with elected officials during this time. We want to help spread the word so please reach out to Natalie Kramer at the Partnership at nkramer@communityactionpartnership.com with the stories you are sharing and the events you have planned. #WeatherizationWorks

Weatherization – NCAF Proposed WAP Changes

 


 

 

COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP AND NAHRO SURVEY FINDINGS

This brief describes the findings from a survey completed by Community Action Agencies, Public Housing Authorities, and Local Redevelopment Agencies describing current local partnerships and collaborations.  Included are the top services utilized by each type of agency, the current levels of  coalition involvement, and a case study detailing the current partnership between Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and Fresno Housing Authority. Read the brief here.


Organizational Standards & Training and Technical Assistance Toolkits


 

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO COMMUNITY ACTION STRATEGIC PLANNING

The Community Action Partnership is excited to announce the release A Comprehensive Guide to Community Action Strategic Planning. Produced with support from and in collaboration with the California Community Action Partnership Association, the Guide covers all stages of the strategic planning process, incorporates the ROMA framework and organizational standards, and is tailored for use by Community Action Agencies.

Download this guide here


 

CAA LEADER'S LEGAL GUIDE

The legal framework that governs both public and nonprofit Community Action Agencies (CAAs) as recipients of federal grant funds is vast.  This Guide attempts to give leaders of CAAs - the board and the executive management - an overview of some of the legal requirements that they will work with on a regular basis.  The guide  covers topics such as the federal grant life cycle; the legal authority underlying federal grants; the federal Community Services Block Grant Act; federal financial management requirements; and tax rules specific to nonprofit CAAs operation as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.

Download this guide here


 

DYNAMIC DUO: A GUIDE TO ENHANCING THE BOARD & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PARTNERSHIP

Engaged, informed, and enthusiastic executive directors and board members working as a team are essential to the success of a CAA.  Cultivating a positive, open and flexible relationship is an ongoing task for all board members and executive directors.  This guide analyzes the board and executive director relationship including roles and responsibilities; board recruitment and development; internal and external communications; the executive director and board chair relationship; executive director transition; executive director compensation; and executive director supervision and evaluation.  

Download this guide here


 

UTILIZING A STRENGTHS-BASED APPROACH TO IMPLEMENT ROMA THROUGHOUT THE CAA

An important component to success in any Community Action Agency is the work of staff that serve customers on a daily basis. This direct service is done in the context of the agency's overall expectations for the changes they can produce in families and communities.  As local agencies are considering establishing a Theory of Change as a part of their strategic planning activities, they will be exploring the assumptions that lie behind their Mission Statement and the services they deliver. Understanding an agency's "Results Orientation" and the need to encourage strengths-based practices at all levels of a Community Action Agency is a way to assist in the implementation of ROMA. 

Download this guide here


 

 

FISCAL FUNDAMENTALS FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS

Guide from Community Action Partnership and Wipfli, LLP that covers the basic things an Executive Director needs to know and their role in the fiscal leadership of an organization.  Though specifically addressed to Executive Directors/CEOs, it provides a good overview for any CAA leader looking to learn more about fiscal matters.The guide includes red flags to look for, a brief discussion of the basics of that topic, and examples - making it easy to navigate and practical to use.
The guide itself is divided into four sections:

•  Internal Controls
•  Budgets
•  Analyzing Financial Information
•  Financial Information for Decision-Making

 

 

 

 

  Download this guide here


 

SPOTLIGHT ON NONPROFIT GRANTS ADMINISTRATION

Determining how to properly administer federal grants and federal grant funds can be confusing and challenging. Approximately 30 years ago, the federal Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) attempted to clarify this murky area by issuing guidance to federal agencies on uniform administrative requirements for grants and agreements with institutions of higher education, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations in the form of Circular A-110, which has been codified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 2 CFR Part 215. In compiling this guide, CAPLAW reviewed decisions from the HHS Departmental Appeals Board (“DAB”) and other administrative appeal bodies. These administrative bodies hear appeals of decisions by federal funding sources to disallow costs, cancel grants, or take other adverse action against grant recipients. The decisions, case law, and audits included in this guide serve as informative vehicles for explaining the grant administrative requirements and their application to real world situations.

Click here to download


 

COLLABORATION CHECKUP: Assessing & Improving Your Community Partnerships

This toolkit is directly related to the fourth Community Action National Goal: Partnerships among supporters and providers of services to low-income people are achieved. As with the other National Goals, it is becoming more important to have tools to evaluate how effective our CSBG Network is using partnerships to achieve outcomes.
 
The goal with this document is to help the Community Action Network better understand the functioning of partnerships so they can more effectively develop and nurture those that have a measurable impact in local communities. Example surveys and other measurement tools to assess both the functioning of the partnerships and the results achieved because of them are provided.

Click here to download


 

AUDIT ESSENTIALS: What Every Board Member Needs to Know

This guide is intended as an overview of the audit report and financial statements.  Addressed to Board members of CAAs, the toolkit walks through the terms and processes of an audit report and how to read financial statements.  The toolkit includes an exercise that walks through financial reports, a sample RFP for audit services, and a directory for additional resources.

Click here to download

Click here for the Addendum to Audit Essentials


 

PRACTICAL RESOURCES FOR PURSUING EXCELLENCE: The EICAP Toolbox

This toolkit is designed to provide CAAs a range of practical tools and resources that have been found to be effective in key organizational management and leadership areas of agency functioning. Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (EICAP) was presented with the Community Action Award for Excellence in August, 2012. The work products produced by EICAP’s board and staff during the process are included in this toolkit along with copies of presentations made at the national Community Action Partnership Annual Convention in August 2012. EICAP is proud to share all of these resources with the Community Action Network so that all CAAs can benefit from EICAP’s experience.

Click here to download


PERSONNEL ACTIVITY REPORTS (PARs): The Do's and the Don'ts

Personnel Activity Reports (PARs), or time and effort reporting, provide written support that salaries and wages charged to a federal grant benefit the grant and are a required component of your receipt of federal funds. This toolkit outlines the key concepts behind PARs, spotlights potential trouble spots for Community Action Agencies (CAAs), and provides best practice samples to help CAAs better meet this requirement.

Click here to download


COST ALLOCATION: Red Flags and Remedies

This toolkit is designed to help your Community Action Agency (CAA) meet the requirements for cost allocation contained in Office of Management and Budget A-122 (OMB Circular A-122, now incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations as 2 CFR Part 230). In order to substantiate charges to federal, state, and local grants and contracts, CAAs must develop and implement effective approaches to cost allocation. At a deeper level, every CAA needs a sound cost allocation system in order to understand what it really costs to deliver their services.

Click here to download


NEW MODELS TO ACHIEVE YOUR MISSION:
Strategic Restructuring for your CAA

Strategic Restructuring comprises a range of collaborative strategies that Community Action Agencies (CAAs) might use to pursue new opportunities, build capacity, increase client impact, increase access to funding, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.  This toolkit has been developed to provide CAAs with baseline information on strategic restructuring, resources necessary to begin the discussion of possibilities, and key board and staff questions that need to be considered before starting the strategic restructuring process.

Click here to download


PREPARING FOR YOUR COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY'S FUTURE: SUSTAINABILITY, SUCCESSION AND TRANSITION
 
The three guides in the Community Action Partnership Sustainability Toolkit were written specifically with Community Action in mind. These guides were designed to help Community Action Agency (CAA) leaders strengthen the capacity of their organizations, especially those organizations that may be facing a chief executive or other leadership transition in the near future. While each of the guides can be used individually, together they are designed to help leaders strengthen their organizations and manage leadership turnover.

This series was created in partnership between the Leadership Development Center of Excellence and the National Risk Mitigation and Quality Improvement T/TA Center. 

Part1

Part 1 – Organizational Sustainability Planning
The first guide, Organizational Sustainability Planning, is a tool for assessing and strengthening the four areas critical to the organization’s long-term sustainability by conducting an organizational sustainability assessment and using the results of the assessment to develop an organizational sustainability action plan. 

Click here to download.

Part 2 – Executive Succession Planning
The second guide, Executive Succession Planning, provides an overview of three approaches to succession planning and presents a detailed approach for developing “succession essentials,” a board-adopted succession policy for the chief executive position and a companion emergency backup plan for the CEO position, but it can be adapted to other staff leadership positions as well. 


Click here to download.

 

Part 3 – Executive Transition Management
The third guide, Executive Transition Management, presents a three-phase approach for managing turnover in a leadership position, especially the agency chief executive position.

Click here to download.  

This publication was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Numbers 90EQ0231 & 90ET0428. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


 

BATTER UP! BUILDING YOUR LEADERSHIP BENCH

Succession Planning needs to be part of an agency-wide and comprehensive Leadership Development program in order to enable the organization to develop, support, and retain staff with the skills and qualities needed to lead Community Action Agencies in the 21st century. This Toolkit provides current Community Action leaders with a guideline for implementing a systematic approach to meet short-term leadership needs while developing long-term strategies to cultivate the next generation of Community Action leaders – Building a Leadership Bench.
 

CLICK HERE to download


IMPROVING  PERFORMANCE, SCORING SUCCESS
Using Balanced Scorecards for Organizational Excellence

Working with the Community Action Partnership, the Balanced Scorecard Institute has created this "do-it-yourself" planning Toolkit available free for Community Action Agencies. The Toolkit guides the user through a comprehensive planning and outcome measurement process using the five stages of the ROMA cycle: Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Achievement of Results, and Evaluation. The Toolkit is based on the Institute's Nine Steps to Success™ balanced scorecard framework that combines strategic planning, change management, program and service prioritization, performance measurement and target setting into a comprehensive strategy management system.

Click here to view.


This publication was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


MONITORING MAPS FOR CAAs
 

This new toolkit represents a collaborative effort between the Community Action Partnership (Partnership) and CAPLAW to provide timely training and technical assistance (T/TA) material about the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) monitoring process.  The toolkit, designed for usability, outlines key aspects of the monitoring process as defined by the CSBG act and more specifically IM 116.  Key features include:
•    Actual examples of monitoring tools
•    Letter templates
•    Approaches to addressing common monitoring findings

Click here to view.

This publication was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


RISK ASSESSMENT TOOLKIT

A Handy Quick Reference Guide for Risk Assessment in Today’s Community Action Agency
 
This is a toolkit designed to be a quick reference guide for the foundational elements of risk assessment. It is based on IM-112 which outlines standards to be used in risk assessment. 


Click here to view

This publication was created by the National Association of Community Action Agencies – Community Action Partnership, in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Grant Number 90ET0428. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


ELITE Curriculum    

 

The Emerging Leaders’ Institute for Training and Excellence (ELITE) curriculum was developed to be a resource for State Associations and Community Action Agencies that want to formalize their Emerging Leader development efforts. The program can be used in its entirety or in segments depending on the needs and resources of the coordinating entity. The tools and resources provided can be modified with State Association/CAA names, logos, branding messages, and text can be changed to meet local needs

To view the curriculum, click here.