Tag: Evaluation strategy


Evaluating Public Benefit

15

Dec 2017

Evaluating Public Benefit

Evaluating Public Benefit: How Changing Evaluation Practice Might Help to Solve an Identity Problem As an evaluator working in the nonprofit sector, I’m often struck by the things our society sees as inherently, obviously worthwhile, and the things it feels it needs to evaluate. For example, everyone seems to take it as given that public parks are not simply worthwhile, but are in fact a...

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Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

06

Feb 2017

Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

Evaluation… Impact Assessment… Reporting… Simple in concept, but capable of causing severe challenges for your organization if not properly managed. So, why are many nonprofits missing this important piece? In the private sector, where my experience lies, measurement and evaluation is relatively straightforward: Return on investment. Profitability. Efficiency and effectiveness. In the nonprofit world as I’m learning, however, measurement and evaluation is much more complicated....

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Who sets the evaluation agenda? Five important discussion questions to make evaluation useful

28

Oct 2016

Who sets the evaluation agenda? Five important discussion questions to make evaluation useful

Too often, an evaluation enters the mindset of a nonprofit as a fully formed process imposed on their organization by someone else. In other words, who sets the agenda? In many cases, nonprofits are told what to evaluate and how to evaluate it, and then are left to their own devices to get it done. As one funder has noted, evaluation should be about accountability...

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Should nonprofits be reporting evaluation findings to funders?

07

Oct 2016

Should nonprofits be reporting evaluation findings to funders?

We have pointed out in previous blogs that evaluation is less likely to lead to learning or action when it is mandated by an external actor, such as a funder. In this blog, we are going to explore in more depth the relationship between accountability, evaluation, and learning. What is the relationship between evaluation and accountability? What should it be? Can we imagine a sector...

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Our 2020 Vision for Nonprofit Evaluation: Let’s Be Bold!

09

Aug 2016

Our 2020 Vision for Nonprofit Evaluation: Let’s Be Bold!

One of the goals of our work to develop a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy was to think beyond the limits of the system that we have now.  When it comes to the fundamental questions about why evaluation matters and what makes it useful, there really isn’t much disagreement. People find evaluation useful when it helps to answer questions that matter, involves a spirit of collaboration...

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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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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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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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Move Over, Dilbert! Introducing The Evaluation Comic Series

31

Mar 2016

Move Over, Dilbert! Introducing The Evaluation Comic Series

For years, no one asked us the question, ‘why doesn’t ONN do a comic series?’ Luckily, however, through our work to develop a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy, someone finally did. The result is an ONN milestone: our first ever comic series!  The evaluation comic series** is inspired by one of the key themes in our conversations with the sector about nonprofit evaluation: when evaluation is undertaken primarily because it is...

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