Tag: Impact


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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There’s an Art to It: Exploring Creative Evaluation

23

Mar 2016

There’s an Art to It: Exploring Creative Evaluation

Using art in your evaluation process can help better engage your stakeholders, remove barriers and is a fun, useful process. Guest blogger Helen Yung explores creative approaches to evaluation. When it comes to evaluation, one size never fits all. And, if conventional approaches to evaluation strike you as uninspired, formulaic, or ill-suited for your program or community, there are more creative options to explore. Engaging an...

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Data-ness

13

Jan 2016

Data-ness

Some years ago, Stephen Colbert coined the term “truthiness,” something that has the aura of truth because it just feels like the truth. When it comes to making a point, numbers have a special appeal, no doubt because they appear to offer objective neutrality. But the accumulation of numbers, the use of data, often merely approximates truth, offering “data-ness” as the numerical equivalence of truthiness....

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Unpacking Nonprofit Evaluation: Who is taking the risks and who is making the decisions?

10

Dec 2015

Unpacking Nonprofit Evaluation: Who is taking the risks and who is making the decisions?

As part of the Ontario Nonprofit Network’s efforts to develop the Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy, we have been collecting feedback from people on some of the issues of concern to them and what a strategy could do to help make evaluation more useful for the sector. This blog post is the first in a series that we will share with you related to a specific...

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Admin Ratio Is a Poor Indicator of a Charity’s Effectiveness

26

Nov 2015

Admin Ratio Is a Poor Indicator of a Charity’s Effectiveness

Originally posted by The Huffington Post Canada 9/17/2015 When we look at businesses for evaluation or investment, we first look at the results that the business has delivered, products sold, customers gained, profits generated, and the track record over time. If we are more sophisticated, we might look at other things such as marketing and operating margins, cost of sales, or revenues per employee to understand...

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Simple tips for communicating about impact – Part 2

30

Sep 2015

Simple tips for communicating about impact – Part 2

Nonprofits in Ontario are often asked about the technical details of their evaluation work — things like survey response rates, or the amount of measurable change. As we work toward a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy, we’ve noticed that there aren’t as many opportunities to talk in-depth about why we do evaluation, and what we hope to learn. In Part 1 of this blog, we offered...

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