Presentation on theme: "Website Sustainability: Staffing Fundraising Budgets NTAP Training July 20, 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Website Sustainability: Staffing Fundraising Budgets NTAP Training July 20, 2006
Introductions NTAP and Pro Bono Net Bruce Perrone, Legal Aid West Virginia Erik Cole, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services Angie Tracker, Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Introduction Focus of todays training: Statewide Websites initially funded by TIG Goal of the training – focused on participants needs – answering questions, highlighting resources and making connections with other website staff who can share experiences. Questions and comments are welcome – if you need to be on mute and/or are feeling shy feel free to use the chat box.
Participants will show you who is on the training. You can raise your hand to ask a questions or check yes or no. You can also mute your own phone by highlighting your name and pressing mute. Chat allows anyone to post a question, suggestion or answer.
Copy of PowerPoint and Resources:
Sustainability ….Big Picture TIG Conference January 2006 presentation: NTAP Training Fall 2005:
Sustainability building blocks Staffing: –How are other people staffing the statewide website? –How many staff do most programs dedicate to the project? –What is the role or job description of those staff members? Budgets: –How do programs decide how much funding to dedicate to the statewide website? –What are the line items other programs have for a website budget? –Do most programs have a separate website budget? Fundraising: –How are programs without development staff fundraising for the website? –Where have people gotten grants/money for their website projects? –What resources/samples can I use.
Staffing…how much (or how little) does it take?
Staffing Goals: Survey responses ranged from.25 of a staff attorneys time to 1.5 FTE with the assistance of additional interns and/or content providers. Example of website staffing goals: Our long term goal is to maintain at least a half time person (with or without TIG funding) for our website and continue to promote its growth and use by both clients and staff. My personal goal is 1.5 FTE, plus students/interns during the school year and intensive L-1 law student interns each summer. We think 1.5 FTEs plus volunteers is about right, with maybe more content contribution from other staff. Continue as is: half-time attorney as Content Manager; half-time techie to handle the hard stuff. To maintain one FTE
W. Virginia Example and Discussion: West Virginia Statewide Website: –Received funding for 1 st year website in –Decision to apply for TIG was based on organizational decision that website would be of value. –Developed Advocate website first.
W. VA Staffing Plan 1 Part-time staff attorney to manage content, do outreach and promote the site. 1 Part-time IT staff to manage technical maintenance and development.
Role of a staff attorney W. Virginia – An existing staff attorney with ½ time devoted to advocacy support (training, resources and litigation support) – resources and training now is work on the website.
Role of IT/Tech Staff On the website project the IT staff works on technical improvements to site, posting of certain content, addresses technical issues as they arise. Before the TIG funding, the program had never had a qualified tech person. It had become achingly apparent that we desperately needed one, for all kinds of reasons.
Organization Philosophy The site will continue, as a part of the larger commitment to (1) advocacy support, and (2) technical support, even if there isn't future outside funding for it.
Questions and Discussion Advice for a resource/support attorney who is taking on the website. Advice for programs who do not have (or have never had) resources devoted to advocacy support. Risks/benefits of adding the website to an existing attorneys list of projects.
Staffing: How to determine what you need: Whether due to staff turn-over, budget changes or project growth determining and hiring new website staff should involve evaluation of what role that staff will play in the organization. How do you determine the job description, skill-set and find that person.
Tennessee Example Statewide support organization –(non- LSC funded supports 4 LSC funded organizations.) Has 3 websites – Public – TennLegalAid, Advocate – TALS and TennHelp (a directory of social service organizations). Faced staff turn-over and need to increase community support for all 3 projects.
How the job description was determined: What role do the websites play in the mission of the organization? What staffing is necessary to maintain and improve the website – and use the websites to achieve the mission/organizational goals? What responsibilities are essential to the success of the project?
Skill-set Technical expertise began at the top of the list. Community organizing, project management and ability to work well with others were also desired skills.
Job Description: 1.Significant experience with web-site creation, design, architecture, and content management. 2.Must be a team player who can solicit ideas and input, work collaboratively, and drive implementation of shared goals. 3.Experience in the non-profit environment or in the legal system preferred. 4.Excellent communication, organization, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills a must. 5.Strong writing and editing skills required. 6.Demonstrated experience with project management and coordination. 7.Demonstrated experience with HTML and basic web design and creation are a must. TALS uses an Open Source Template built upon the Zope web development platform. Knowledge of Zope and SQL server technologies are a plus, but not required. 8.Desktop publishing, graphic design, and printing management are a plus, but not required.
Reality of the Key Qualities 1.Significant experience with web-site creation, design, architecture, and content management. 2.Must be a team player who can solicit ideas and input, work collaboratively, and drive implementation of shared goals. 3.Experience in the non-profit environment or in the legal system preferred. 4.Excellent communication, organization, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills a must. 5.Strong writing and editing skills required. 6.Demonstrated experience with project management and coordination. 7.Demonstrated experience with HTML and basic web design and creation are a must. TALS uses an Open Source Template built upon the Zope web development platform. Knowledge of Zope and SQL server technologies are a plus, but not required. 8.Desktop publishing, graphic design, and printing management are a plus, but not required.
Why those qualities? Community organizing and project management background assisted on getting the websites organized, on-track with reporting and building community involvement. Interest and buy-in from key community members is a critical part of success of the sites and long-term viability. Technical skills were able to be learned and/or supplemented through outside sources.
Questions and Discussion Copy of the TALS job description is available in the resources section. (Along with several other job descriptions and volunteer descriptions). Recommendations for determining skill set. General hiring/staff transition recommendations.
Staffing strategies: Integration of website work into existing jobs within the organization. –Pros: Integrates the website into the work of the organization. May not require additional funding. –Cons: Unrealistic expectations of amt. of work required and website is neglected. Use of TIG (and other) funding to hire and maintain website staff. –Pros: Dedicated staff focused on the website project, job description and skill set can be tailored to the website project needs. –Cons: Funding must be maintained after TIG. May be seen as an outside project. Use of volunteers and interns. –Pros: Provides additional staffing at low-cost, provides way to expand the project without large budget expansion. –Cons: Requires supervision and planning. Frequent turn-over.
Use of volunteers/interns:
What do volunteers do? Upload new content, work with attorneys to review content for accuracy, create staff website e-newsletter, format materials for public website (eg- brochures, pamphlets, etc.), research and post events for event calendar. Editing, content development, web development Collect and scan court decisions from court clerk\'s office; collect and enter information on \"helpful organizations\" other than legal service entities; research or write information which is posted to public library; and research or write resources for staff advocates, for posting to private library. VISTA volunteers help with outreach and content Currently one off site volunteer uploads news articles and calendar events. College-level summer intern works on site projects. Two other summer volunteer law students are working on content development and maintenance part-time. One summer volunteer law student is working on planning outreach and promotion of the EITC project beginning in Sept. of 06. Total hours committed to web work for summer = 1FTE
How can you start using volunteers? Review sample volunteer job descriptions and paid intern options (VISTA, work-study, fellowships). Determine who will supervise the volunteers/interns and determine the specific job descriptions for them or projects that meet your needs and eligibility requirements for fellowships/grants. Develop a long-term relationship with schools in your area – law schools, technology programs, undergraduate.
The great budget dilemma… Often organizations struggle with whether to have a separate website budget or integrate the costs of the website into the various existing budget line items. Either way, it is important to understand what the working costs of the website are so that you can budget the appropriate amount.
How are budgets determined? Survey responses: The amount allowed on the TIG grant. Staff time Director determines the budget What my grant gave me. A statewide committee and the Florida Bar Foundation got information and had a presentation by and discussion with ProBonoNet.
When are budgets determined?
Is there a magic number? Statewide budgets range from less than $25,000 – $500,000 (+) per year. Depends on: –Size of state. –Perceived value and use of the statewide community using the site. –Organizational philosophy of program managing the site. –Support by other organizations. –Vision of what the site can and should be supported by determination, fundraising and community building.
In a perfect world? Step 1: Determine the goals of the website, the value it adds to service delivery, how it should grow to meet the needs of the state justice community. Step 2: Determine cost to achieve those goals. Step 3: Develop a plan to provide the necessary funding for the cost determined.
Budget Basics Personnel –Project management –Content (Public, Advocate, Pro Bono) –Outreach (Public, Advocate, Pro Bono) –Fundraising Technology –Hosting –Technical Support –Maintenance and Enhancements Marketing and Outreach Evaluation Overhead expenses –Space, equipment, communications, travel.
Where these items might fit into an overall budget: Personnel: –Communication/Outreach –Advocacy Support – Litigation Support –Training –Pro Bono Technology –Technology budget –Communications budget Marketing and Outreach
Where website funding is in current budgets:
Questions and Discussion What are your biggest challenges in creating website budget? Who will decide/approve the budget? What are barriers to getting other programs using the website to contribute?
Fundraising Internal commitment to keep the website going is a key element to a long-term website funding plan. Website costs may be integrated and committed to as part of an organizational budget. This doesnt preclude the potential for outside funding to expand the website or cover new website projects. For programs where internal commitment is lacking, outside funding can help to boost the websites legitimacy.
Fundraising: Georgia Example Jumping in….lessons from the Georgia statewide website…
When it is no ones job to fundraise: 69% of survey respondents said organization running statewide website does not have a development staff person.
Fundraising 101 Research opportunities. –Community foundations –Technology funders –Local opportunities Dont be afraid to submit a proposal. If rejected the first time - contact the funding organization and ask why – often they are willing to meet with you to discuss an unfunded proposal.
Questions and Discussion What is the scariest part of fundraising? What prevents you (or your organization) from submitting grant proposals for the website?
Website specific funding isnt the only option: Include the website costs in other proposals. Consider substantive law opportunities that provide funding for content development.
Funding beyond TIG: Where programs have received funding : Bar Foundations – Colorado, Florida, Illinois (may or may not be IOLTA funds) IOLTA – Ohio, Kentucky (request in) Administrative Office of the Courts Substantive Content Development (includes web component) –HUD Housing Counseling Grant, Fair Housing –Attorney General – Consumer Rights –Health Access Foundation –ABA Child Custody Mini-grant
Other Potential Sources Local Community Foundations –Explore potential angles – may be language translation, outreach, content development. Locally based corporate foundations –Often employee recommended look for contacts to United Way –Statewide aspect, potential partnership with 211 initiatives and partnership among multiple United Way funded organizations.
Fundraising Discussion and Questions: Resources requested in the survey: –Staff time –Sample proposals –Listing of funding opportunities Success stories Challenges
Fundraising Resources Research: 1.http://www.grantstation.com/ - Quarterly membership is $159 and includes federal sources- great value 2.http://www.guidestar.org- limited free search 3.http://fdncenter.org/ -can subscribe for one month at $19.95; foundations only 4.http://www.internet-prospector.org/found.html – listing of major prospecting resources
Sample Grant Applications Washington LawHelp (through Northwest Justice) successful application to Office of the Attorney General – Consumer Rights Division. (2004) available in Pro Bono Net SWEB Library. Virginia LawHelp successful application to Virginia Law Foundation to hire law students for work on the advocate website. ( ) available in Pro Bono Net SWEB Library.
Sample Technology Proposals Central New York Legal Helpline Proposal to Community Foundation: