Policy Analysis and Advocacy
Valerie works with organizations to conduct issue-based needs assessments to identify key policy and/orcommunity issues that impact their ability to provide programs and services. The results are used todevelop appropriate strategies to advocate for changes that will result in triple-win situations for clients,organizations and policy-makers. Valerie has been particularly effective in advocating for greaterworkforce development and capacity building for minorities and small business owners wishing to dobusiness with the State of Illinois; developing strategies to increase transparency and access toNeighborhood Stabilization Funding; advocating for TIF reforms and highlighting the need for statelegislative boundaries to be drawn in a manner that included input from rank and file citizens andpreserved communities of interest.
Valerie has served as the project manager on a number of engagements, ranging from communitydevelopment projects, strategic planning, comprehensive capacity building and community engagement.Her collaborative approach, attention to details and follow up results in projects that have buy-in frommajor stakeholders with a significant likelihood of results that can be sustained by the organization afterthe engagement is completed.
Program Regulatory Compliance
Valerie has observed in the course of her work, that emerging organizations often have capacity issuesthat present challenges maintaining compliance with programmatic or regulatory requirements.Depending on the needs of the organization, she conducts an assessment that helps them to understandhow their internal systems
against best practices and statutory requirements, and helpsorganizations correct any deficiencies. Valerie has developed an assessment tool, workshops, facilitatedonline chats and written articles on the subject to raise awareness of compliance issues and help
organizations increase their capacity to get funded.
Ask the Expert Live Chat
Once every month for 1 to 2 hours, Valerie will “get together” with clients and potential clients
online to chat about things that matter to nonprofits. Sometimes the discussions will be casual,although they wil
l all be focused and professional. Valerie also invites other “experts” to join and
share their know-how or take turns educating each other. Occasionally, it might get personal, and
Valerie will offer a support group for a struggling colleagues.For further information, contactValerie F. LeonardExpert in Community and Organizational Developent