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#41. The best things in life may be free, but they won't get you Carnegie ... CE Classified

Does your heart race when you see the following list?

  1. Internal Budgetary Allocations

  2. External Funding Support

  3. Fundraising

  4. Financial Investment

My heart is practically pounding out of my chest. But we can't avoid talking about this.

To make the experience less gruesome, we are taking a cue from brilliant, irreverent blog, Nonprofit AF this month. Many of us are ill at ease around the topic of money, so we start thinking with our lizard brains, who are really good at keeping us alive but aren't known for their higher order thinking skills.

Here, have a picture of a stunning feline specimen covered in bling.

(If you missed the 2012 research about how cute stuff makes us more productive, behold: "The Power of Puppies: Looking at Cute Images Can Improve Focus.")

With that out of the way, we can introduce this month's Carnegie Hacks theme: The 4 Money Questions (1st-time framework p.4 -5; Reclassification framework p. 5).

These questions appear straightforward on first glance, but tend to befuddle applicants when the rubber hits the road.

This month we will distinguish each question and list out what to cover in each answer.

This week, we are tackling money question #1:

Internal Budgetary Allocations

What's Really Being Asked Here?

The question preceding this one is about whether community engagement is guided by a "coordinating infrastructure." This question and the question that follows it (External Funding Support) are building off that coordinating infrastructure question.

These 2 items that collectively ask: if you claim there is a coordinating infrastructure, how is it funded? And how are any other community engagmement activities funded?

Part one of this question, Internal Budgetary Allocations, is asking, when the campus's budget committee made its pronouncements, how much was earmarked for community engagement?

Carnegie's Criteria for Addressing This Question

According to the Carnegie CE Classification Public Framework advice, answers to this question should address the, "amount or percent of total institutional budget that funds the primary investment and ongoing costs of the infrastructure…as well as any other funds dedicated to community engagement."

To Include

  1. Internal incentive grants

  2. Faculty fellow awards teaching assistants for service-learning

  3. Scholarships and financial aid related directly to community engagement

  4. Funding for actual engagement projects, programs, and activities

To Omit

  1. Embedded costs

  2. Example: faculty salaries for teaching service-learning courses in their standard workload.

Motivation Behind This Question

This question is essential revealing for reviewers whether the campus puts its money where its mouth is. You may walk the walk, but do you talk the talk?

To the classifiers, the allocation of institutional funds is an indicator that the campus decision-makers have endorsed the community engagement priorities and activities espoused by the rest of campus. It signifies that CE is not just a grassroots movement, but that the leadership are on board.

A campus that doesn't allocate much in the way of funds will draw attention here. Keep in mind your option to highlight the $ amount OR the % of the campus budget and choose whichever helps you tell your story better.

And for reclassifying campuses, a decrease in allocated funds will serve as a red flag to reviewers. If your campus has responded to financial pressure by decreasing allocations broadly across programs, you'll want to compare the fate of SLCE to other decreases that will contextualize the downgrade.

You survived the first week of money talk!

Join us next week for a discussion of External Funding Support!

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Heather Mack Consulting, LLC

Getting Carnegie Classified™️ and Heather Mack Consulting, LLC operate independently from and are not affiliated with the Brown University Swearer Center for Public Service or the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.