Work Smarter

Want to bring precision to your passion?

We all want to ensure that every child is ready for college, work and life. The challenge is not a lack of energy or commitment. The challenge is fragmentation: too many disconnected plans, programs and policies that don’t add up to a comprehensive solution—to collective impact.

Our managing partner, the Forum for Youth Investment has strategies to help leaders work smarter so that they can achieve their goals. Bringing you the ideas, inspiration and tools you need to work smarter is a part of that plan.

Ready to learn how? Check out our video on how to work smarter.

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Are You a Ready Leader?

Leaders are individuals at all levels who have the energy, motivation and capacity to act. No matter what your role, you can be a stronger leader and advocate for children and youth.

Imagine & Use Data

Imagine isn’t a word usually associated with data—but the best way to use data effectively is to take the time to ask, "What do we really need to know to manage our work better?" and then imagine the answer. What data? When? Presented how?

data
Karen examines a growing commitment among leaders around the country to expand learning beyond the classroom and the traditional school day.
ZERO TO THREE BABYFACTS
Advocates take note: ZERO TO THREE has a new Baby Facts series with ready-to-use data on how babies are faring in each of the 50 states, and the role federal programs ...
ABCs
What if we combined education indicators with youth development indicators to create a holistic early warning system?
Momentum for evidence-based policies appears to be reaching new heights, which brings both good news and challenges for advocates, practitioners and policymakers.

Ready by 21

This section brought to you in partnership with Ready by 21.
(About Ready by 21.)

Improve Quality

Services and programs must do more than be there, they must be high-quality—providing appropriate content in appropriate contexts. Poor quality opportunities for kids can actually be worse than no services at all. Quality is key if you want positive outcomes, high participation, staff satisfaction and effectiveness.

ABCs
What if we combined education indicators with youth development indicators to create a holistic early warning system?
Accountability is a policy tool that has extraordinary power to reshape schools.

Engage Youth & Families

Far too often, we create solutions without involving those who are supposed to benefit. Whether you’re creating a plan, assessing your program or trying to increase your outreach or your staffing, engaging youth and families is an effective way to be sure that your efforts pay off.

feeding american video
Feeding America spoke with people across America about how SNAP, or food stamps, make a difference in their lives.
youth advisoary board orange county
Upstate youth succeed in reversing budget cuts and restoring funds for youth development programs. They even got legislators to provide new grants!
Congressman Larson and youth
Youth and high-level policymakers gathered in Connecticut to discuss the true goal of youth input into policy.
One Stone
One Stone is doing great things for communities in Idaho. Check out their story!

Build Partnerships

When a crisis happens—an outbreak of gang violence, a rise in the dropout rate—the response is often to create a new program or task force, even when effective responses already exist. Consider how much more effective the work can be if it's based on long-term, inclusive partnerships that connect policymakers, leaders, community members and young people and link existing efforts in a true, sustainable collaboration.

WallaceFoundationCollectiveImpact
A study examines how community institutions in three mid-sized cities can use the "collective impact" model to tackle social and educational challenges.