Elephants and monkeys and cats…oh my!

Raise your hands grantseekers.  Are you confused, frustrated or just plain puzzled by foundations and their insistence on measuring and evaluation? 

Let’s talk. 

At the Dekko Foundation when we encourage our grantseekers to measure the work they do, what we’re really saying is this, “Tell us what will change for the better.” And, “How will you know whether or not anything has changed?”  

In the same way that we all like to see our savings accounts grow, foundations want to invest in improvement.   When projects make small improvements in people’s lives in the short term, it’s good. And, when those small improvements compound into significant change over time, well that’s what we’re all about! 

You’ll be pleased to know that measuring things doesn’t have to be serious, overwhelming stuff.  In fact, keeping track of progress can be downright fun! 

Here is a great idea from Sherry Hanchar, the executive director of Butler Early Education (BEE) in Butler Indiana.  Take a look at this survey below to see how Sherry took a previously un-measurable thing (“How are you feeling about the changes we’re being asked to make?”) and came up with a way to measure progress. 

Let us know what you think of Sherry’s demystifying idea…and share your own…email us at:  dekko@dekkofoundation.org

Go with the child development flow

You know how fun it is to float down stream on a canoe, right?  The scenery flows by.  Clouds float overhead.  You’re relaxed.   The trip is effortless!  But have you ever tried to float upstream?  It’s like night and day…furious paddling…sweating…you NEVER notice the scenery!

We think that teaching children and young people is much like being in a canoe.

When the adult in the canoe considers the developmental needs of the children that he’s teaching, it’s like a trip down stream.  On the other hand, if the adult arranges the environment (and the schedule) without stopping to consider what his children need to grow and develop…he’s headed up stream.  There will be furious paddling.  There will be sweating.  No one will notice any scenery!

At the Dekko Foundation we want to invest in some trips down stream.

The ideas won’t apply to everyone, but you’ll be able to apply these good thoughts to your work with children and youth of any age!

Let us know what you’re thinking on this topic and others!  Email us at: dekko@dekkofoundation.org

Drop by for info and inspiration!

We are absolutely, positively, dedicated to helping grantseekers understand our work here at the Dekko Foundation.  We’ve created this blog with that in mind.  Visit from time to time and you’ll learn:

  • What is economic freedom, anyway?  The ultimate liberty to make choices…and who wouldn’t want that?
  • What is quality child and youth development?  We’ll help you know how to know it when you see it.
  • What do we mean when we talk about improving child and youth development?  We mean making a positive measurable difference.

We hope you’ll stop by often to get a little inspiration and learn what we’re thinking about.  We hope you’ll let us know what you’re thinking too.  Email us at:  dekko@dekkofoundation.org