Leveraging Evaluation to Elevate and Advance Your Nonprofit
1. Understand the valuable tool of implementation and process evaluation to improve program quality and impact
2. Learn how to use evaluation to advance organizational learning, build organizational capacity, and make hard decisions
3. Use communication tools to simplify complexity in evaluation and tell your story in a transparent and compelling manner
Evaluation is often perceived as a necessary “evil” as nonprofits are required to account for the use or impact of funds invested by philanthropy. What if you flipped the switch on evaluation? Rather than close your eyes and assume what you are doing is helping your clients or viewing it as an agonizing requirement, you used it as a way to identify gaps, advance organizational learning, increase impact and capacity, and tell your story in a transparent and compelling manner?
It is possible to make evaluation your friend, using it to your advantage to tell your story and attract new funders, even if it means changing course or ending a program.
In 2015, United Way of Greenville County launched OnTrack Greenville, a cross-sector education initiative in Greenville, SC focused on keeping middle school youth on track toward high school graduation. OnTrack Greenville was initially funded by the Social Innovation Fund, which required a robust evaluation be in place to measure impact. This session will use OnTrack Greenville as a case study to consider how nonprofits use evaluation to learn and grow, build and advance work, and yield additional buy-in.