Our Blog


Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

25

Jul 2016

Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

With two comics done, we naturally felt that our third comic should focus on fruit. Indeed, as we note in the first frame, fruit is part of a healthy community. Yet, as with all our comics, this one has many layers. It should therefore not surprise you that this comic isn’t really about fruit, but about measuring what matters. In this comic, we start with...

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What We Learned From Talking Evaluation to Funders

21

Jul 2016

What We Learned From Talking Evaluation to Funders

In recent months, we’ve been talking with funders (including private foundations, public foundations and funders, government, and corporate funders) about evaluation. We’ve learned that, by and large, they are very interested in evaluation and see it as an important tool for learning and action. They understand the challenges that nonprofits face around evaluation and they acknowledge that some of these challenges arise out of their...

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Developing Big Data Analysis for Public Benefit

30

Jun 2016

Developing Big Data Analysis for Public Benefit

Big data is a term for “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze.” [1] The world now has the capacity to use big data for a range of applications. In the nonprofit sector, as well as within government, we are in the early stages of exploring the uses of big data for our work in...

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Championing Decent Work

29

Jun 2016

Championing Decent Work

Decent Work, as championed by ONN and a growing number of its members, provides us with a rallying cry to push back against the fraying of our labour market. In committing to and pursuing decent work, individual nonprofits can make important contributions to countering malpractices of work in our society. This is our opportunity to walk the talk and ensure that the passionate mission-focused objectives...

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ONN in Conversation: Nonprofit workers deserve to retire with a pension plan

10

Jun 2016

ONN in Conversation: Nonprofit workers deserve to retire with a pension plan

In our pensions work, there are a lot of terms and definitions, a lot of moving parts, and a lot of different ideas about what a sector-wide pension plan could look like. That’s why, to make sense of our progress on a sector-wide pension plan, I (Tara, here!) sat down for a conversation with my colleague Liz Sutherland, ONN’s Policy Advisor, to chat about one...

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Whaddaya mean, “evaluation?” — Mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

17

May 2016

Whaddaya mean, “evaluation?” — Mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

In Ontario’s nonprofit sector, evaluation is a word that gets used a lot. Different kinds of data gathering approaches with different purposes sometimes get lumped together under the general heading of evaluation. This can lead to miscommunication and unrealistic expectations. To try to clear things up a bit, we have created this resource (Editor’s note: We’ve updated this resource. Click here to see Version 2.0). For...

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Hot off the press! Our Evaluation comic 2.0

11

May 2016

Hot off the press! Our Evaluation comic 2.0

When our first comic got some chuckles, we sat back in our office and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done at the successful launch of ONN’s first comic series**. Then someone pointed out that a “series” necessarily involves more than one of something… As a result, we proudly present you with our second comic! (Kidding, we totally had this planned all...

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To scale or not to scale?

26

Apr 2016

To scale or not to scale?

The following is some early thinking from the ONN on the issue of scaling — why and how it’s done, some challenges and areas of concern, and a call to embrace a network approach. We welcome your insights, feedback, and any examples of scaling that you feel we could learn from. Is this really the question? It’s a complicated issue not least of which is...

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Why accessibility is fundamental to social inclusion: A case study with the Sistering community

25

Apr 2016

Why accessibility is fundamental to social inclusion: A case study with the Sistering community

By: Tina Shapiro, Drop In and Employment and Income Support Coordinator Sistering is a 24/7 drop in for at-risk, socially isolated women (cis and trans) in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. For over 30 years, we have been serving this diverse community, which includes participants with disabilities. We embrace this diversity – it is an integral part of our very fabric. The following...

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Making Evaluation Work for Nonprofits: Our Theory of Change

19

Apr 2016

Making Evaluation Work for Nonprofits: Our Theory of Change

If we are to make evaluation work for nonprofits, we need to rethink the system of evaluation. This means looking into the reasons why evaluation isn’t working as well as it should and figuring out how together we can make necessary improvements. As part of our early research, we spoke with a number of individuals to help us gain further insight into what is happening...

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