Category Archives: Evaluation
July 6, 2012, 10:27 am
Nonprofits need to get a lot better at asking clients what they think — and acting on the information they receive, says Peter York, director of research for TCC Group, a management-consulting company that advises charities.
Information from beneficiaries can help organizations improve their programs and spark new ideas for fighting tough problems. For real-world examples of charities using client feedback to strengthen their programs, read an opinion piece from The Chronicle’s current issue.
Too often, nonprofits are uncomfortable asking clients what they think about programs and fail to appreciate the value of their feedback, argues Mr. York. Instead, he says, charities prefer to ask employees for their comments and suggestions, and hire outside evaluators.
“Self-reporting has gotten such a bad rap,” says Mr. York, “and the entire private sector would just guffaw at…
March 23, 2012, 6:02 pm
“Innovation” has become such a buzzword lately, particularly among people working on social change. But let’s take a step back and talk about what the word could really mean. Innovation is more than just new ideas. To me, it means taking a completely new approach to how we finance, structure, and prove social change.
The nonprofit world has never lacked new ideas to address problems. In fact, you could argue that nonprofits are innately entrepreneurial, being borne out of a recognized market failing and a new idea to remedy it.
The need, then, is not more new ideas. Rather, true innovation lies in reinventing a field built on social change.
Here are some ways that is starting to happen:
New support mechanisms. The avenues for sending money to social-change efforts are increasing significantly. What started 10 years ago with venture philanthropy has now expanded into…
March 7, 2012, 2:36 pm
Charities that want to evaluate how well they’re carrying out their missions have a new tool at their disposal.
PerformWell, a Web site more than two years in the making, is designed to help social-service groups collect and analyze real-time data to help them improve programs and measure their impact. The site provides a detailed introduction to performance management and offers performance indicators, questionnaires, and other tools charities can use in their measurement efforts.
The site is a project of Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization; Social Solutions, a company that provides assessment software; and the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
“When you think about the people who are providing programs for children, families, adults, they get up in the morning to help people,” says Kristin Anderson Moore, a senior scholar at Child Trends…