Connecting the Community

Working together towards a more perfect county

As of January 29, 2018, The Indiana Nonprofit database identifies 284 organizations in Brown County – many of which are dedicated to improving the quality of life within the county.  This list does not include county government, schools, boards, and commissions. It also does not include other improvement related initiatives such as the Salt Creek Trail Project, Wellness and Heritage Tourism, Leadership Brown County, etc.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 significantly reduced the number of people that can claim a tax deduction for a charitable contribution. This will make it even more important for nonprofits not only to work together more efficiently but also to document and report their effectiveness to potential donors.

“Connecting the Community” aligns with Principle 4.0 — State of the County – Annual Assessment and Report.

The following initial plan is intended to develop a community support network among non-profits. The Plan, Do, Study, Act Cycle for continuous improvement and learning is used as the project management format.

PLAN a change or test aimed at improvement. 

  • Connect the community and non-profits, provide visibility, and mutual support for respective improvement initiatives.
  • Coordinate strategies through the Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI)  supported by the State of Indiana – Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), Purdue University and Ball State University.
  • Apply a standard format for capturing strategic plans and any performance-related plans. This information includes Vision, Mission, Values, Goals, Objectives, and Stakeholders.

DO – carry out the change or test (preferably on a small scale).  

Examples of the concept, tools, and plans 

The platform and principles for “Independent Voters” is another initiative to raise community expectation for planning and collaboration that support continuous learning and improvement.

STUDY the results. Examine the results. What did we learn? What went went well and what did not?

  • Review results on a periodic basis. This would include the number of organizations/projects added to the database, feedback from stakeholders, etc.

ACT. Adopt the change, abandon it or run through the cycle again.

  • To Be Determined (TBD)

References and Background Information

  • The Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycle – also known as the Shewhart Cycle for Learning and Development is a continuous quality improvement and learning model consisting of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps.
  • During WWII, quality control methods developed by Walter Shewhart and W. Edwards Deming were applied to improve the quality of war materials produced during WWII. After the war, these methods were declassified and shared throughout the world – most notably starting in Japan.
  • After the war, quality experts and manufacturers sought ways to sustain the many quality-improvement techniques used during wartime and formed the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Today, ASQ has become a global organization, with members in more than 130 countries.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense built on lessons learned during the war and created Military Specification MIL-Q-9858A (Quality Program Requirements) of the U.S. government (first issued as MIL-Q-9858 on April 9, 1959, and revised to MIL-Q-9858A on December 16, 1963).
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)MIL-Q-9858A is the origin of the ISO 9001 standard and all other quality management system standards and regulations around the world. MIL-Q-9858A was titled “specification” because it was intended to be used as a contract specification for military contractors. However, it is actually a “quality management system standard” in its nature. It was withdrawn by the U.S. government in 1996 because of a policy decision to support industry consensus standards over government directives. These voluntary standards are maintained by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  •  ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) is internationally recognized as the world’s leading quality management standard and has been implemented by over one million organizations in over 170 countries globally. The ANSI standard is identical to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.
  • Strategic and Performance Plans. ISO 17469:2015 provides a standard vocabulary and format for the information commonly contained in strategic and performance plans and reports. This includes  Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, Objectives, and Stakeholders.
  • The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires all federal agencies to develop five-year strategic plans outlining its vision, mission, long-term goals for the agency’s major functions, performance measures, and reporting results. GPRA Example – Department of Labor
    • General Accountability Office (GAO). GAO-04594T: RESULTS-ORIENTED GOVERNMENT: GPRA Has Established a Solid Foundation For Achieving Greater Results GAO issued a report reviewing the 10 years since the introduction of GPRA and has pronounced it alive and well. Read highlights from the report.


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