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Deb Halliday

Deb Halliday
Community builder, master facilitator; engaged in education, social welfare policy; lover of underdogs and innovators. Visit me at or @deb_halliday.

Recent Posts

Feeding the Light

Posted by Deb Halliday on May 25, 2018

My teen daughter is going through the anxieties and insecurities we all remember from those coming-of-age years. Adding to the stresses of her life are the much-noted amplifying effects of modern living: social media, 24-hour news cycles and the dehumanizing pace of an unbalanced world.

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Collaborative Frameworks

Posted by Deb Halliday on October 26, 2017

Earlier this month I participated in a workshop on collaboration at a gathering of several hundred grantmakers, hosted by Philanthropy Northwest. During the session, Collaborative Exchange, I presented on Graduation Matters Montana, a public-private initiative that resulted in record-breaking high school graduation rates.

As I was preparing for the session, I was reminded of a Tamarack Institute talk in which Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj described what effective change efforts have in common. There are three things, they posited: (1) a framework; (2) principles; and (3) practices. How, I wondered, could I describe our work raising graduation rates, based on Weaver and Cabaj’s insights?

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After the Ecstasy, The Laundry

Posted by Deb Halliday on June 1, 2017

I recently attended an extraordinary conference hosted by the Tamarack Institute. I met wonderful, warm and interesting people, the workshops I gave were well-received, and to top it off, my mother came to see me present and she was very proud of me. Really: I couldn’t imagine a better work week.

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Data is More Than Just a Four-Letter Word

Posted by Deb Halliday on May 2, 2017

I recently spoke with a very experienced, very frustrated community organizer. She had just come back from a meeting with a funder who repeatedly admonished her to provide measurable evidence that her project is making a difference. 

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Building Trust for Collaboration

Posted by Deb Halliday on April 21, 2017

“Do you trust me?” Jack asks Rose in the movie, Titanic.  Jack is holding Rose by the waist so she can lean over the bow of a massive ship to experience what it might feel like to fly. Had Rose replied “No,” or had Jack been untrustworthy, the movie would’ve ended there. Luckily, there was trust, and so we all experienced something beautiful. 

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100 Cups of Coffee

Posted by Deb Halliday on March 13, 2017

Before launching a new initiative, I often advise groups to have “100 Cups of Coffee.” Not to be confused with the popular Futurama Frye video clip, 100 Cups of Coffee is a way to understand the complexity of an issue, build relationships with key people and organizations, and discover opportunities for synergy.

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