Archive for the Featured Posts Category

A Brief, Non-Political Reflection on the Komen/Planned Parenthood Situation

I don’t plan to use this blog as a political forum, so fear not – this post has nothing to do with my personal opinions on the missions of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood organizations. In addition, I admittedly haven’t read every word written

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Measuring the Impact of Your Organization: Why Do It?

In recent years, nonprofit organizations have been encouraged to embrace a new mindset. This groundswell of change invokes terms such as “performance outcomes” and “results measurement,” but focuses on one primary concept: accountability. As funding becomes increasingly competitive, the demands of foundations, government agencies, and benefactors have

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It’s a Big World Out There

Recently, I traveled for the first time to Canada. I’ve been out of the country before, but I’m not a frequent international traveler. On this particular trip, I was on my own and therefore freed of certain worries, such as where I’d stashed my son’s passport or

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Evaluation Can Be Fun? Yes it Can!

People who know me well have heard me say many times that I see evaluation as part science and part art. Armed with markers, flip charts and their imaginations, students in my Outcomes Evaluation class (hosted by Nonprofit Learning Point) discover their preconceived notions about evaluation, envision

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How Can Measurement & Evaluation Help My Organization?

How Can Measurement & Evaluation Help My Organization?

Someone remarked to me the other day, “Oh, I think measurement is great; it helps a lot of companies figure out what they are doing well and not so well and helps them plan, but I’m not sure I understand how it can help us.” I thought

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Everything Old Is New Again: Building Evaluation Capacity Within Nonprofit Organizations

Everything Old Is New Again: Building Evaluation Capacity Within Nonprofit Organizations

I just recently came across a post that I wrote about a year ago for the American Evaluation Association’s AEA 365 A Tip-A-Day by and for Evaluators blog. If you have any interest in evaluation or measurement-related issues, the Tip-A-Day series is an excellent resource that chock-full

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Don’t Be Confused, Be Informed!

Don't Be Confused, Be Informed!

I often hear nonprofit and government employees become frustrated with the “language” of evaluation.  On occasion, I’ve even seen a promising evaluation effort go off the rails because the terminology was confusing. What’s an input? …An output? …An outcome?   If you’ve been seeking definitions that can

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Set Your Destination for Eval Central

Just this week, I discovered a fantastic new resource for program evaluators, or anyone else who geeks out on real-world research like me.  Eval Central is the place “Where Evaluation Blogs Intersect”, including great contributors such as the American Evaluation Association, EvalThoughts, and Evaluation Unsanctioned, as well

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What is Capacity Building and Why is it Needed?

Need to learn more about nonprofit capacity-building? This article from the National Council on Nonprofits provides a great overview and provides numerous links, should you wish to dig deeper. Read the article here.

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Life Is a Highway

A few weeks ago, I enthusiastically jumped in my Honda with a clear intention on lunch with a colleague in Williamsburg, about one hour from my office near Richmond. I knew the broad strokes of how to get there, but needed an assist for the final approach, so I plugged the address into my handy GPS. As I entered the interstate, my friendly GPS voice calmly shared this feedback “Awaiting Better Accuracy”.

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