You've been collecting data for years.

Why not use it to shape your next community project?

Blueprint for a Dream

About

Help Us Rethink Impact
The Basics

Our Mission: Use data to rethink, reboot, and scale social impact by partnering with nonprofit, government, and business leaders.

Why Social Enterprise? We believe that Impact starts with good data and some guidance on how to use it or find it. Unfortunately, expertise is expensive and the right data is hard to find. For us, social enterprise provides the best way to protect our mission, and grow a business that makes valuable insight affordable and user-friendly for all.

We’re a Member:

reSET Logo for Web

Support Benefit Corps. in CT!

Visit the Social Enterprise Trust (here) to learn more.  

I

magine if every Social Sector organization relied on a data-driven blueprint as a framework for meaningful impact. Think about it. You hire an architect to make sure a new building is safe and up to code. Why shouldn’t community projects be designed with the same attention to detail?

A blueprint is the first step in preparing nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses to meet their missions, reduce expenses, and remain viable.

We envision a Social Sector that spends more time helping people and less time worrying about how to use data.

So, we provide 21st Century tools and knowledge that help strengthen social programs and prepare community leaders to meet the challenges of the future.                            Learn More.

When we discovered that almost 100% of nonprofits are collecting data, but fewer than half are using it to improve fundraising and communications, or to track outcomes for clients (nten), we decided to act.

First, we had to understand why there was such a large gap. It turns out, that that the Social Sector’s talent pool is small, and nonprofits pay an average of $10,000 to $25,000 less for comparable data and tech jobs at for-profit companies (nten).

The next step was to create a business model that could meet the needs of the Social Sector and facilitate impact. After working with the Windham Region Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in Connecticut, we found a sustainable way to provide expertise, while organizing data in a way that anyone can understand and use for grant writing, advocacy, or communication.

A scalable tool for using data to design programs and build partnerships was born. You can see an example at www.BlueprintforHousing.com.

What We Do

Blueprint for a Dream wants to use data to give the Social Sector a fresh perspective on society’s most pressing issues.

Whether your organization is working to impact affordable housing, homelessness, unemployment, education, public health, democracy, or any of a range of issues, our custom blueprints are a way to rethink the problem, reboot your project, and scale it to meet the needs of the greater community.

Here’s an Example of What We Can Do with Data

Blueprint for Housing was created to help the Windham Region Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness create more affordable housing and meet its mission. Click the Logo to Learn More. blueprint_housing_logo_rgb

Meet the Founder

Chris Profile

Christopher Brechlin is a recent graduate of reSET’s Social Enterprise Accelerator Program. He became passionate about using data to solve community problems while working as an Americorps VISTA.

Over the past two years, Christopher has developed a unique skill set that blends his expertise in nonprofit management, research, analysis, and communication with a strong passion for developing tools that make impact thinking and community leadership more naturally data-driven. In his spare time, he is active in helping to make Connecticut a hub of social enterprise.

You can also connect with Christopher on LinkedIn. Just Follow this Link.

Join the Conversation

How to Use Us

Step One

Set up a free consultation to discuss if one of our Blueprints can help strengthen your social impact.

Together, we will determine if a Blueprint is the right tool for you given the status and conditions of your project.

Step Two

Review your proposal containing project details, opportunities for impact, and pricing options.

All proposals contain a free community needs, assets, and culture assessment report.

Ask questions. Set up a second meeting.

Step Three

Discuss how the initial proposal could potentially influence your work and decide on next steps.

Discover how your project interfaces with the detailed perspective you now have based on the data in your report.

Step Four

Solidify details of our partnership and begin the project. Projects will usually have a timeline of 3 to 6 weeks.

We want to get you out of the board room and back onto the front lines; armed with new tools and plenty of data.

How We Can Help
Our Blueprints and other services can help organizations that are local, statewide, national, or international in scope by providing a framework for the impact you seek.

- New Project or Program
- New Community Initiative or Partnership
- Scaling a Successful Program
- Aligning Organization-wide Data with your Mission

 

Learn more about how we play nicely with others. 

Whether your business is in the idea stage, or operating around the world, we can help you target and maximize your impact. Your business model will provide a pathway to the change you seek, our blueprints will help shape that path.

As a social enterprise, we understand the challenge that demonstrating impact poses.

Learn more about how cool we think you are.

It is important that citizens know about the social impact of policies and programs. It is even more vital to assure the public that tax dollars are being spent wisely to address the community issues that they experience every day.

Together can use your data to help focus and communicate new or evolving programs or services.

Learn more.

Blog

Follow Up Resources for CT AmeriCorps VISTAs

Below are some additional resources as a follow up to the “Using Data to Rethink, Reboot, and Scale Social Impact” workshop that we conducted for the Connecticut AmeriCorps VISTAs on February 21. We’ve also attached the additional documents from the training.

If anyone has additional questions about resources or links you can add a comment or send us a message.

Measuring Impact:

PopTech – Made to Measure: The New Science of Impact

Emerging Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations – Guide

Idealware.org is a leader in technology and impact measurement

Beth’s Blog is a very popular resource for trends in data and measurement

Data Visualization:

Edward Tufte’s Principles of Data Visualization

15 Data Visualization Tips

Visual.ly

Curated Content:

Nonprofit Tech Blog

Responses to Learning:

Cycle through the written responses below and scroll down to see the rest of the evaluation responses.

Impact is a domino effect; no matter how large or small the cause or issue is, it affects everyone in some way (good or bad).
Before Workshop: making a positive change in at least one person’s life. After: influential change on an individual person, location or on the environment.
Before Workshop: When someone or something takes action and creates a large, visible affect. After: Lasting, measurable affect on something through purposeful action.
Before Workshop: change brought about by action. After: measurable change(physical, psychological, emotional) brought about by action and data.
After Workshop: Impact is the ability to identify an issue or goal, demonstrate progress made, and empower the target population to carry on work and progress in your absence.

 

Questions:

1. The concepts and ideas discussed in this workshop were relevant to my work.

2. I will use the material from this workshop in my current AmeriCorps position.

3. I will use the material from this workshop in my future work for a social good organization.

4. Would you recommend this workshop to a friend or colleague?

Note: Numbers below correspond to the questions above.

VISTA Workshop Feedback

 
Strongly Agree
Agree
Neither
Disagree
Strongly Disagree
Total #
1.7 (35%)9 (45%)4 (20%)0020
2.3 (15%)11 (55%)3 (15%)2 (10%)019
3.9 (45%)10 (50%)00019
YESNOTotal Responses
4.15 (88%)2 (12%)17

Printed Resources from Workshop

B for a Dream Impact Thinking Worksheet

Impact Thinking Worksheet

Review: ‘Understanding and Emulating the Social Business Model’

Note: In this post “social business” and “social enterprise” are used interchangeably, as though they have the same definition. According to some experts, the two terms have different meanings, and it is worth noting. One example of the difference can be found here, provided by Zen-Venture OnlineMBA, a website that “strives provide [prospective students] with comprehensive resources and up-to-date information on how to choose the best online MBA program to fit [their] needs,” recently published a fantastic resource for anyone interested in starting a social enterprise. Here is the link to ‘Understanding and Emulating the Social Business Model.’ Read more »

Data

Our Philosophy:

Data is a vital component of our mission. We use data from open government sources, community partners, and our own research to do three basic things.

1. Tell the story of the impact your organization is having or can have in the future.

2. Help you understand need and plan for meaningful impact.

3. Develop digital blueprints that make data-driven grant writing, advocacy, and communication easier.

At the heart of our data philosophy are two concepts essential for rethinking, rebooting, and scaling social impact: Feedback Loops and Hyper-Local Perspective.

Feedback Loops are systems in which community programs and ideas can be tested and improved based on feedback from the residents and partners whose lives are affected by the work that nonprofits, government, and businesses do every day. We can use them to shape programs and maximize impact.

Hyper-Local Perspective is the viewpoint from which we believe all leaders need to see a problem to understand the best way to solve it. Explore the chart below to see how Median Household Income begins to look differently when we minimize your perspective. Most people only look at the city/town level to understand community needs, but imagine how different programs would operate if they were all informed by this level of data.

After exploring the chart, see how we can drill down and visualize data to provide a hyper-local perspective down to the neighborhood level.


This is a map of the town of Windham broken down by Census tracts.

Source: 2007-11 5 Year ACS Estimates

Visit Blueprint for Housing to see an example of how we use data to rethink impact.

Contact

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Please Feel Free to Contact Us.

Email: BlueprintforaDream [at] gmail . com
 
Phone: (203) 631-2840

 
Blueprint for a Dream
P.O. Box 571
Willimantic, CT 06226
 

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