As part of a major re-branding that includes an overhaul of NSP's website, NSP will create this ideas portal; this is not something that currenty exists or that ever has been a part of their work. NSP will also need to assign staff to oversee the ideas portal, partner with other student organizations and encourage their participants to use the portal, assemble an advisory committee of experts to agree to engage with students on the portal and establish a regular communications plan to public and non-profit thought leaders about the best ideas surfaced on the site. NSP will focus first on engaging their base of over 6,000 current student advocates and program alumni to contribute ideas; they will then lean on a network of program partners that we plan to assemble to more broadly encourage students nationwide to contribute ideas. NSP will not exclusively limit participation to students; they will also invite clients, community members, and other program partners to engage on the portal. All NSP requires is that people demonstrate that they have had a direct community level experience that contributed to the generation of their idea.
This ideas portal will break the false divide between individuals interested in direct service and individual interested in systems change. NSP believes that we will build the most sensible ideas for practice and policy changes only by culling ideas from individuals with actual front line, 'in the trenches' experience with issues related to poverty in America.
NSP approaches their work on poverty alleviation holistically, addressing a broad range of needs that fall into the following five categories: (1) Housing; (2) Financial Stability/Employment; (3) Literacy/Education; (4) Access to Healthcare; (5) Basic Necessities (including food, clothing, and transportation). NSP has 10 years of experience engaging student advocates to work side-by-side with individuals and families living in poverty. During that 10 year history, NSP has placed over 30,000 families on a path out of poverty through the hard work of over 5,000 student advocates who now comprise their alumni network. Over the past 10 years, NSP has found that their students are keen observers of the trends that they witness over and over again through their work with families, and they consistently cite the need for there to be a place for them to voice their ideas on broader systems change.
February-August 2009: Complete web development of new NSP website and ideas portal. Assemble expert advisory committee. Create initial partner network. Establish strawman concept of ongoing thought leader communications plan.
September 2009: Launch site. Begin encouraging NSP network to propose ideas and to begin dialoguing. Begin weekly 'guest' expert presence on site.
September-December 2009: Goal - over 300 people have contributed ideas and insights; active dialogue on site has begun in earnest.
January 2010: Launch broader site roll out to partner network, encouraging students from outside the NSP network to participate.
January-May 2010: Goal - over 300 additional participants have contributed ideas and insights; active dialogue continues.
May 2010: Launch summer push, encouraging students involved in relevant summer internships to contribute to the site as part of their learnings. Engage NSP summer fellow network on the site.
May-August 2010: Goal - 1,000 people will have contributed and engaged on ideas. NSP staff and expert advisory group begins culling best ideas for circulation.
September 2010: First 'ideas book' is circulated to public and non-profit thought leaders.