Archive for the Outcomes Evaluation 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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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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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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The Best Parade Ever

In 2013, I had the honor of attending the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Annual Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. If you’re not familiar with drug courts, I encourage you to learn about them. They provide an innovative and intensive approach blending clinical treatment with criminal justice for

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Can Program Evaluation Improve Your Fundraising Success? Yes It Can!

In the nearly twenty years that I’ve been an evaluator, there’s one reason I hear over and over again for why some nonprofits (and other organizations) shy away from program evaluation: “Oh, we don’t need to do an evaluation. We know we’re doing great things!” My reply

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Program Evaluation Terminology 101

Program Evaluation Terminology 101

When an organization or nonprofit begins participating in an evaluation, some of the vocabulary can be unclear to staff who are newcomers to the process. Understanding evaluation terminology can help you gain a better grasp of the evaluation process, so we’ve put together a list of some

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Program Evaluation: A Breakdown

When people think of program evaluation, they often visualize undesirable symbols of judgment – things like grades, scores, and the SATs. However, evaluation doesn’t need to feel negative. New approaches in evaluation have begun to facilitate positive responses and potentially powerful effects on programs. Determining exactly what is

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