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The Go-Giver Initiative Sapphire Jule King AET 535 University of Phoenix June 28, 2009
The Go-Giver Initiative Personal Project and Evaluation Methods Shalom Healing Homes exists to educate, support, and inspire adults worldwide to
transform their personal and career challenges into triumphs (King, n.d.). This author, as Founder and CEO of the organization, envisions eradicating all forms of child maltreatment—including neglect and abandonment—worldwide through personal development education for every adult parent, parent-to-be, teacher, relative, family friend, role model and mentor of a child. However, in achieving this vision, Shalom must not solely rely on the success of its Freedom Quest™ Personal Transformation program for adults. We must ensure that other organizations serving the children in at-risk communities not just meet but exceed their goals. Therefore, this author founded the Go-Giver Coalition as inspired by Bob Burg and John David Mann’s (2007) The Go-Giver. This paper describes the purpose, goals, activities, and expected outcomes of the Coalition; examines the imperative to evaluate its activities; and explores the evaluation definition and model we plan to use to validate the Coalition’s progress. The Go-Giver Initiative The Go-Giver Initiative aims to leverage Shalom Healing Homes’ resources and professional network to (1) reduce the workload, (2) ease the burdens, and (3) significantly boost the success of the following three organizations in Houston, Texas: Child Advocates, Inc., Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and Star of Hope. Selected Organizations Child Advocates, Inc. (2009), formerly known as Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A.), recruits volunteers to serve as guardian ad litems for children who have been removed from their homes due to maltreatment. A guardian ad litem digs deeper into the child’s case than does the assigned social worker to communicate to the court the best interests of the
The Go-Giver Initiative child. “On any given day in our city, nearly 5,000 children are victims of life-threatening child abuse, neglect and abandonment,” says CEO Sonya Galvan (Child Advocates, Inc., 2009, ¶4). Unfortunately, the organization only has the volunteers and resources to serve 38% of those children.
On the other hand, DFPS aims to engage families before it becomes necessary to remove children from their homes. Currently, the organization provides two such services in its Child Protective Services (CPS) division which this author would like the Coalition to address. The first, the Family-Based Safety Services, aims to stabilize the family and reduce the risk of future abuse or neglect (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, 2008a). Secondly, Family Group Decision Making seeks to prevent removal of children and allow them to remain safely at home. Lastly, this author chooses the Star of Hope as the third organization for its dedication to providing transitional and long-term housing for homeless families. The disturbing truth is that the average duration for the homeless in Houston to remain without permanent housing is 3.17 years—almost 6 times the national average (Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, Inc., 2007; National Coalition for the Homeless, 2008). Numerous studies show that the stress and instability of being homeless puts children at a greater risk of maltreatment, neglect, running away, substance abuse, and experiencing homelessness as adult (Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, Inc., 2007; Burt et al.,1999). Goals The primary aims of the Go-Giver Coalition include: (1) recruit and retain 3,200 volunteers to serve as Child Advocates, (2) reduce the number of confirmed CPS allegations for neglectful supervision from 41% to 0% (CPS in Harris County, 2008), and (3) reduce the number
The Go-Giver Initiative of repeat episodes of homelessness from 53% to 0% and the length of homelessness from 3.17 years to 0 years (Blue Ribbon Commission to End Chronic Homelessness, 2006; Health Resources and Services Administration, n.d.). Activities and Expected Outcomes This author invites select business owners, community leaders, and dedicated
professionals who naturally exhibit a giving spirit to join the Go-Giver Coalition. Each Go-Giver will follow the credo of my “true worth is determined by how much more I give in value than I take in payment” (Burg & Mann, 207, p. 129). All members of the group spend countless hours networking with other professionals and executives—a regular activity this author recognizes as a golden opportunity to serve the three organizations described previously. Simply, Go-Givers will engage their networks in creative dialogue to formulate and implement innovative ways to meet the stated goals. This author expects to achieve the first goal of providing every child removed from his or her home in Harris County with an advocate by July 1, 2010. The Coalition anticipates progressively achieving the second and third goals over the next 10 years. Evaluation Many people, including this author, follow the common belief that you cannot get to where you want if you do not know where you are going. As such, she proposes to evaluate the progress and outcomes of the Go-Giver Initiative. First, such an assessment will provide concrete criteria for verifying that the Coalition’s efforts are meeting the specified goals. Secondly, an evaluation will help this author and other members determine if a change in strategy is warranted or if the project is even worth continuing.
The Go-Giver Initiative One of the most influential factors guiding the success of an evaluation is the underlying philosophy or reason for conducting it (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005). Boulmetis and Dutwin (2005) describe two different definitions and thus purposes for conducting evaluations that coincide with the Coalition’s needs. They both include a “systematic process of collecting and analyzing data” (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005, p.4). However, one approach seeks “to determine whether and to what degree objectives have been or are being achieved” while the other evaluation is conducted “in order to make a decision” (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005, p.4). This author subscribes to the former definition for evaluating the Go-Giver Initiative as the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact measurements would influence the decision-making process. For example, the overall goal of the project centers on reducing the workload of the selected organizations by leveraging the established networks of Coalition members. Furthermore, this author envisions members using their regular, on-going networking activities for both their business purposes and for the goals of the Coalition. However, if an evaluation reveals that members and their partners are expending large amounts of resources with little return, we would have to make adjustments. The goal of optimizing and making most efficient use of our time and networks would not be met. The same reasoning applies to the overall effectiveness and impact. If the evaluation results in these areas are poor, the Coalition must make decisions on how to improve its efforts. Evaluation Model The goal-based model as described by Boulmetis and Dutwin (2005) seems most appropriate for evaluating the Go-Giver Initiative. Child Advocates, DFPS, and Star of Hope all have hard numbers that must be met and reported to stakeholders. Since the Coalition aims to directly increase the success of these organizations, it must follow the goals established by these
The Go-Giver Initiative groups. In essence, the organizations’ goals directly determine the goals that the Coalition must attain. Therefore, the remaining evaluation models fail to satisfy this requirement. Conclusion
Shalom Healing Homes envisions completely eliminating all forms of child maltreatment throughout the world. This author, its Founder and CEO, devised and implemented the Go-Giver Initiative as part of Shalom’s pledge to achieve this vision by helping three major social service organizations succeed: Child Advocates, Inc., Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), and Star of Hope. The Go-Giver Initiative exists to (1) provide 3,200 Child Advocates, (2) reduce neglectful supervision allegations by 100%, and (3) reduce chronic homelessness by 100%. A coalition of business owners and community leaders dedicated to giving more in value than they receive in payment will use their established resources and professional networks to help achieve the stated goals. The selected organizations’ goals drive those of the Initiative. Thus, this author proposes using a goal-based evaluation model to stay abreast of the efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the Coalition’s efforts.
The Go-Giver Initiative References Blue Ribbon Commission to End Chronic Homelessness. (2006, May). Strategic plan to address homelessness Houston/Harris County. Retrieved March 28, 2009, from
http://www.homelesshouston.org/images/hh/Documents/Downloads/Final%20Strategic% 20Plan%20May%202006.pdf Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2005). The ABCs of evaluation: Timeless techniques for program and project managers (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Burg, B. & Mann, J.D. (2007). The Go-Giver: A little story about a powerful business idea. New York, NY: Penguin Group. Burt, M.R., Aron, L.Y., Douglas, T., Valente, J., Lee, E., & Iwen, B. (1999, December). Homelessness: Programs and the people they serve. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.huduser.org/publications/homeless/homelessness/contents.html Child Advocates, Inc. (2009). About us. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from http://www.childadvocates.org/leadership.htm Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, Inc. (2007). 2006-2007 Homeless enumeration and needs assessment. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.homelesshouston.org/images/hh/Documents/Downloads/Enumeration%20Re port%202007.pdf CPS in Harris County. (2008). Annual report: 2007 Statistics, 2008 program information. Retrieved April 9, 2009, from http://www.hc-ps.org/2008%20CPS%20Ann%20Rep1.pdf Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Homeless. Retrieved March 28, 2009, from http://www.hrsa.gov/homeless/pa_materials/pa9/awm/02psfi/02psfiShinn.doc
The Go-Giver Initiative King, S.J. (n.d.). Shalom Healing Homes. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from http://shalomhealinghomes.com/blog/shalom-healing-homes/ National Coalition for the Homeless. (2008, June). Why are people homeless?: NCH fact sheet #1. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/facts/why.html Star of Hope. (n.d.). 2007 Annual report. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www.sohmission.org/NetCommunity/Document.Doc?id=54 Star of Hope. (2009a). New horizons – Long term housing. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www.sohmission.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=324 Star of Hope. (2009b). Transitional living center. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www.sohmission.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=268 Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. (2008a). Annual report 2008. Retrieved April 9, 2009, from
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