SPOTLIGHT – The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation,
Helping United Ways Engage Their Communities…

http://outofschooltime2.unitedway.org/_img/8.jpgUnited Way has partnered with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation to accelerate our efforts to create results in education, income, and health. The Harwood Institute works with individuals, organizations, and communities to "turn outward"—listening to communities in a new way; connecting United Ways differently to grass-roots community members, building understanding and awareness of education issues, and (once strategies are developed with community involvement) involving more and more "real people" as part of a community-wide coalition for change. Harwood tools have been created and adapted for United Ways to use in education impact work, and can be found here.


  • Community Conversations Tools for United Ways
    Introduction to Community Conversations: This August 5, 2010 webinar features Rich Harwood from The Harwood Institute, who describes practical reasons for United Ways to "turn outward," how this is different from what we've been doing, how the approach can be used with traditional partners (workplace employees, young leaders, major donors, etc.), and some of the pay-offs. Rebecca Katz from Hilltop Public Solutions offers suggestions on messaging the tough issues in education and describes some of the hot issues in the education debate.
    • Conducting Community Conversations: In this August 20, 2010 webinar Rich Harwood describes resources on conducting community conversations that are available to United Ways and offers practical suggestions on recruiting participants, finding the right conversation leader, picking locations, questions to ask, how to figure out and share what you learn, knowing how many conversations to hold, and more. The three documents below are referenced during the webinar.
    • FAQ on Community Conversations on Education — Why is United Way engaging communities in conversation around education, and how can this help accelerate the local work I'm already doing?
    • Community Conversations Workbook — A complete guide to setting up, recruiting for, hosting, facilitating, and documenting community conversations.
    • Annotated Community Conversation Guide — A community conversation guide broken down for a facilitator.
    • Community Conversations: Use this PowerPoint from United Way Worldwide, The Harwood Institute and Hilltop Public Solutions to begin community conversations in your area.




  • Ask about Aspirations
    This Harwood Institute for Public Innovation tool is an easy to use quick set of four questions that have been tested in a variety of community engagement efforts over the years. They can be used to build relationships and learn from all kinds of stakeholders around a variety of issues, either one-on-one or in small groups.
  • Community Rhythms
    The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation has identified five stages for community life. Each stage has its own set of challenges and opportunities. If you want to accelerate change in your community first you must understand the 5 Stages of Community Life. This small group discussion guide helps you understand the stages of community life and the strategic implications for moving communities forward.
  • The Community Café
    The Community Café, a strengths-based approach founded upon the principles of The World Café, sparks leadership to develop relationships necessary to strengthen families. The Community Café learning community web site offers tools, resources, contacts, and a blog link to share your Café stories.
  • Supporting the Education Pipeline: A Business Engagement Toolkit for Community-Based Organizations
    This online toolkit is designed to assist community leaders in creating beneficial and sustainable partnerships with business. It provides lessons on how community leaders can identify potential business partners, set realistic goals, and create partnerships for long-term success to ensure that all youth are ready for college, work and life. Co-developed by United Way Worldwide, Corporate Voices for Working Families, and the Workforce Strategy Center, you can access the full toolkit here, and the companion website here.
  • Building Systems-Level Partnerships (2009)
    In an effort to expand what is known about systems-level partnerships. Child Trends conducted a review of research on this topic. This brief presents findings and the review of the research and linked these findings to effective strategies for building systems-level partnerships in out-of-school programs.
  • Handbook on Family and Community Engagement (2010)
    This handbook is intended to provide educators, community leaders, and parents with a succinct survey of the best research and practice accumulated related to family and community engagement.
  • Supporting Youth Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities (2010)
    http://outofschooltime2.unitedway.org/_img/9.jpgAs part of an Out-of-School Time Community Pilot Grant from United Way Worldwide, Youth Community Connections (network lead for the statewide afterschool network in Minnesota), engaged youth across the state to inform the development of a policy framework. The framework asserts that youth are most successfully when they have access to a range of high-quality formal (school), non-formal (out-of-school time), and informal (everyday learning in the home and in communities) experiences that support their development. The report asserts that high-quality expanded learning opportunities (out-of-school time) are part of a comprehensive approach to learning and advances four key recommendations: increase youth access to programs; improve program quality; optimize public and private resources to support programming; and increase coordination and alignment between formal and informal learning experiences.