Knowledge Advisory Group

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5 Things All Nonprofit Leaders Should Know about Logic Models by Ann Emery

A post from our special guest blogger, Ann Emery…

Logic models, log frames, and theories of change, oh my! No matter what you call them, logic models are crucial evaluation tools for all nonprofits.

Here are the top 5 things all nonprofit leaders should know about logic models:

1.  There’s no “right” design for a logic model. A simple Google search will return hundreds of examples of logic models…

 

… and that’s okay!

Logic models are pictures that show the connection between the work you’re doing and the changes you hope to see. For example, the work you’re… Learn more

More Great Online Resources – Technology

If you’re looking for great online resources for your business or nonprofit organization, look no further!

This month, we’re highlighting SimpleBooklet, Product Donations (by Microsoft), Screencast-o-Matic, Present.me, and npCloud. These resources help you create compelling stories, share information, and better serve your communities.

1. SimpleBooklet.com helps your organization create a web and mobile version of your company’s brochure, flyer, annual report, or other printed marketing materials. You can easily create online booklets that can be shared and promoted to multiple destinations on the web. Because this resource is hosted in the cloud, any tweaking… Learn more

Smart Online Resources – Web Tools for Nonprofits

If you’re looking for smart online resources available to the nonprofit sector, look no further! This month, we’re highlighting Nonprofit Technology Magazine, Mobile Marketing Watch, MobileCause, Meetup, and Giving Library. These tools focus on how to best use technology for your nonprofit organization.

1. Nonprofit Technology Magazine is a monthly virtual publication. This free multimedia magazine can provide your organization with quality technological information supplied by some of the leading authorities in the nonprofit sector.

2. Mobile Marketing Watch blogs about anything and everything related to mobile technology and commerce. As more and more people access the internet from… Learn more

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Enjoyed Attending “Evaluation 2013”

I recently traveled to Washington, DC for Evaluation 2013, that is, the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association. It was a great trip, filled with networking, new techniques, and resources that I could use to serve my clients better.

As I reflected on the event while watching David Letterman last night, I decided that a top ten list might be the best way to commemorate the occasion. Therefore, I bring you:

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Enjoyed Evaluation 2013

 

10.   Spent four full days basking in the vibe of 3000+ like-minded evaluation peeps. That’s… Learn more

Evaluations are Scalable – Who Knew?

First, a brief definition of what we mean by scalable: scaling refers to expanding your reach to larger populations. To say that evaluation is scalable means that you can use the information gained in an evaluation to apply it to a larger, different, or related sector.

This might mean that an evaluation on one aspect or program of an organization could be scaled to some relevance in other aspects of the organization.

 

It could also mean that an evaluation on one nonprofit could be scaled, to some extent, to have some relevance to a similar nonprofit. Let’s go back… Learn more

It Was a Slow Train To Dallas, But So Worth the Trip

I’d like to introduce you to Dallas.

He’s the puppy that joined our family in December 2012. He’s full of joy and playfulness and unconditional love. I can’t imagine our household with him. I’m sharing his picture with you because:

 

1. He’s adorable. See how he’s waving at you? 2. He’s a great example of how nonprofits work to improve our communities.

 

When my husband, son and I decided to add a dog to our family, I’ll admit that I became a bit overwhelmed with questions. Could we find the right puppy? If so, HOW? What breed… Learn more

“Baby Steps” Towards a Strong Evaluation Culture

As an evaluator, a large part of what I’ve done in recent years is ask nonprofit professionals how they generally feel about program evaluation and measuring specific outcomes.

These professionals typically identify some of the benefits of the evaluation process, but our conversations also reveal concerns such as anxiety, intimidation, and uncertainty about evaluation. Some of the reactions I often hear are:

“We don’t have the time or expertise to do this but our funder is requiring it!” 

“I know we’re doing great things, but how are we supposed to measure them?”

“What if we discover something that we… Learn more

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 of the most important terms and definitions to help you along the way.

 

  • Logic Model visual representation of the most critical elements of a program’s operation and expected outcomes, which identifies critical areas for evaluation
  • Evaluation systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of a program in order to… Learn more

Why Do Nonprofits Need Program Evaluation?

Nonprofit organizations, in the ongoing effort to achieve their missions, typically undertake program evaluations to serve one or more of these three general purposes:

 

  • Accountability – measuring the results of programs and accounting for the use of resources

 

  • Knowledge Generation – creating new understanding of what works and what doesn’t

 

  • Program Planning or Improvement – supporting clear, well-designed, feasible, and measureable grant-making programs which thereby promote overall organizational effectiveness

 

 

Let’s absorb that for a minute.  Evaluation not only allows you to see where your program is but offers tangible room for growth and enhancement.… Learn more

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 involved in an evaluation can change based on the kind of programs being evaluated.

However, there are several stages any evaluation must work through.

1. Identifying Measures of Success Clarifying the goals of the program and identifying how to measure its success

2. Evaluation Design Designing the research and creating specific,… Learn more

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