Award Descriptions for the 2012 Fiscal Year
Leaders’ Services - $150,000
This award supports the Leaders’ Center, offering state legislative leaders specialized services including timely information on public policy and ideas for innovative management. Meetings include the annual Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Puerto Rico in December 2011, the Legislative Leadership meeting in Washington, D.C. in the spring and an emerging leaders meeting at a time/location to be determined. Publications include training materials, NCSL’s annual Guide to Leaders and the Legislatures, and articles about legislative leaders featured in State Legislatures magazine. It also supports ongoing outreach and contact with legislative leaders to encourage their involvement and participation in NCSL.
Legislative Training Innovations - $140,000
The extraordinary pressures state legislators face as they try to develop public policy in a contentious political world while reducing state budgets to fit shrinking revenues emphasize the value of institution strengthening and personal and professional skills development for legislators and their staffs. The NCSL Legislative Management program makes such resources and technical assistance available to legislatures. The program is unique in the United States for its long record of collecting data on legislatures, their members and their staffs. The program's information base and staff expertise provide legislators with training in innovative collaboration techniques, organizational skills needed to direct committees, skills in office and staff management, the knowledge of legislatures that new members must acquire at warp speed, best practices in constituent outreach and communication, and staff skills development. This award will allow NCSL staff to bring unique expertise and many years of experience to these needs.
Legislative Strengthening - $135,000
The primary mission of NCSL is to improve and strengthen state legislatures. This award will support research, writing and consulting about the institutional problems facing legislatures today. It will include support to the Legislative Management program’s efforts to examine public understanding of the legislative process, relations with the media, and legislative capacity for policymaking. It will also provide support for analysis of legislative trends and enhance NCSL’s collection of data on legislators and legislative staff. Writing and research will be disseminated on NCSL blog and web pages, in State Legislatures Magazine and professional journals.
Webinar Learning Program - $120,000
This award will fund 1.0 FTE to pilot a new webinar learning program at NCSL. The program will focus on providing legislators and legislative staff with policy information from numerous groups including Foundation sponsors. This webinar and e-learning program would be funded in the first year through a Foundation grant and be self-supporting in FY 2013.
Challenge Grants - $110,000
This award will support the entrepreneurial spirit of NCSL staff, who are challenged to develop innovative ideas to expand services and support legislators and legislative staff in the 50 states and territories. Strong consideration will be given to proposals that not only expand services but also generate revenue. Proposals will be submitted to the NCSL executive director and approved at his discretion.
Web Development, Editing and Design – $100,000
In the last three years, NCSL staff members, guided by Executive Committee recommendations, have undertaken major initiatives in the re-engineering and redesign of the NCSL website. While a majority of the website has been updated, there are still significant portions that can be re-engineered. These include the completion of the e-commerce portal, the reprogramming of numerous database applications into the new site’s platform; evaluation, acquisition and deployment of online collaboration modules and e-learning applications; and acquisition of photography, video and other content featuring issues of importance to state legislators and staff. These funds will support part of the internal staff capacity, fees for external technical and design consultants, and procurement of required software and content.
Member Outreach and Database - $75,000
This award will provide significant support to NCSL's ongoing outreach campaign to members and staff.
These activities include the regional meetings of state fiscal chairs that were so successful during FY 2011, the meeting of agriculture chairs being held during this Legislative Summit, the development of promotional material to reach legislators and legislative staff, and the expansion of NCSL’s activities in the states through its state assignment system. These are just a few of the activities that will be funded by this award. This award also will provide funding for the expansion and updating of NCSL’s Personify system, the database NCSL uses to reach its constituency.
Legislative Staff Management Institute - $40,000
Since 1990, the Foundation has supported the operation of the annual Legislative Staff management Institute. The Institute is the nation’s premier program for developing and enhancing management and leadership skills for America’s leading legislative staffers. The Foundation’s assistance enables NCSL to provide scholarships for senior legislative staff attending this executive management program.
Know Who Data Base - $35,000
This award will allow NCSL to expanded its data on legislators for the StateConnect online directory, and continue its work collecting and analyzing pre-election and election results and enhance existing data collection efforts in the Personify system (association management software) system.
E-Learning - $35,000
For the past three years, the Foundation has provided funding for the production of videos by NCSL’s legislative staff sections and standing committees. This award has formed the basis for the NCSL University programming on the website, on-line training for legislative staff and on-line issue programming for legislators and legislative staff.
Design Center - $30,000
This award will allow the Conference to meet the significant graphic needs of the new web platform including flash technology, interactive maps, multi-media, surveys, image database, a more robust online magazine and e-learning tools in order to maximize the outreach potential of the site.