ItemBoards as an Accountability Mechanism(Urban Institute, 2014-05) Ostrower, Francie Dr.Boards are central to the system of nonprofit accountability, but their adequacy has been increasingly questioned by policymakers, media, researchers and others. There is good reason to be concerned about board performance, but to date but no preferable alternative mechanism has been proposed. Thus, understanding how boards function and identifying strategies for strengthening them remains key to enhancing nonprofit accountability. This paper examines board functioning in relation to both legal and broader conceptions of accountability, and empirical evidence from over 5,100 nonprofits in the Urban Institute National Survey of Nonprofit Governance. After discussing areas of board weakness, the paper considers various approaches to improving boards, including regulation, self-regulation, policy-oriented, and management-oriented strategies. The paper argues that as important as legal regulation and oversight may be, broader accountability and performance expectations must be addressed at the level of practice, within boards and organizations, and take nonprofit heterogeneity into account. ItemRestoring Rundberg: A Community-Research Partnership(Professional Development Journal, 2015) Springer, David W.; Lauderdale, Michael; Fitzgerald, Kyran; Baker, DonaldProfessional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education is a refereed journal concerned with publishing scholarly and relevant articles on continuing education, professional development, and training in the field of social welfare. The aims of the journal are to advance the science of professional development and continuing social work education, to foster understanding among educators, practitioners, and researchers, and to promote discussion that represents a broad spectrum of interests in the field. The opinions expressed in this journal are solely those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the policy of The University of Texas at Austin's School of Social Work or its Center for Social and Behavioral Research. ItemResident Feedback on the Restore Rundberg Community Survey(Professional Development Journal, 2015) Castro, Jessenia; Casstevens, Katie; Garcia, Barbara; Springer, David W. ItemHearts or Minds? Identifying Persuasive Messages on Climate Change(Sage Journals, 2015-03) Albertson, Bethany; Busby, Joshua WilliamThis article sheds light on what kinds of appeals persuade the US public on climate change. Using an experimental design, we assign a diverse sample of 330 participants to one of four conditions: an economic self-interest appeal, a moral appeal, a mixed appeal combining self-interest and morality and a control condition with no persuasive appeal.1 Participants were then asked a series of questions about their willingness to support advocacy efforts, including such actions as writing a letter to Congress, signing a petition and joining an organization. We hypothesized that for issues like climate change where it is expensive to address the problem, arguments based on self-interest are more likely to be persuasive than moral appeals. Our experiment yielded some surprising results. Knowledge was an important moderator of people’s attitudes on climate change in response to the persuasive messages. We found that among respondents who were more knowledgeable about climate change that the economic frame was most the persuasive in terms of a subject’s willingness to take actions to support the cause. However, among low knowledge respondents, the control condition without messaging yielded the most concern. ItemHill Country Conservation: A Network and Narrative for Large-Scale Collaborative Conservation(Cynthia and Georgy Mitchell Foundation, 2016-08) Bixler, R. Patrick; Lovell, Ashley NoelThis report describes the joint research and practitioner-based effort to understand the network and narrative that shapes Hill Country conservation opportunities and outcomes. From April 2015-July 2016, we collected and analyzed over 40 hours of interview data and developed an extensive database of information in an attempt to better understand the organizations and agencies that work to make the Hill Country a socially and ecologically thriving landscape. Our mixed-methods research approach also included an online survey. Through these efforts, we believe that opportunities exist to improve coordination of activities, leverage and pool resources, increase and use social capital, enhance conflict management (i.e., prevention, reduction, resolution), and improve knowledge management (i.e., generation, translation, and diffusion). Understanding the inherent capacities that a networked approach provides can identify opportunities for successful conservation action by leveraging largely informal networks that bridge geographic, economic, cultural, and political differences. The report that follows summarizes these efforts and offers insights and recommendations based on the analysis.