Surveys are often the first or only evaluation tool used by nonprofits, but poor survey design can produce untrustworthy or irrelevant results. The first step in creating a new survey, or reviewing an old one, is to take a step back and ask four big questions. These questions can prevent big problems down the line. What… Read more »
A theory of change is a powerful tool that helps an organization articulate the connection between its mission and its programs, using the language of outcomes. In this workshop, we explore what a theory of change is, how an organization can use a theory of change, and the implications of a theory of change for staff and board leadership.
Surveys are often the first or only evaluation tool used by nonprofits, but poor survey design can produce untrustworthy or irrelevant results. This workshop will introduce participants to the fundamentals of good survey design. Participants will learn strategies to choose, write, and test survey questions that are effective for their audience and evaluation purpose.
Evaluation is an extremely helpful addition to any strategic, planning, or development process, but it is often left out due to time or money constraints. Not all evaluation processes, however, come at a high cost: Team-Based Inquiry could be a user-friendly way for your team or organization to incorporate evaluation into its development and planning… Read more »
As leaders in an organization, the board plays an important role in supporting the practice and use of program evaluation. In this article, we discuss the leadership actions that support program evaluation in an organization and how a nonprofit board of directors can contribute. This is the third of three articles on the role of… Read more »
When engaging with program evaluation, a nonprofit board of directors should not fall into the trap of playing only an oversight role. Board members are highly-skilled volunteers who live half in the organization and half in the community: they add valuable perspective to the results of program evaluation. But, as anyone who has served on… Read more »
Working with nonprofit organizations that are just starting—or ramping up—their evaluation process is one of the best parts of this job. A little evaluation goes a long way for these organizations. People are excited to get started and see the results. When 12 people sit around a boardroom table, they bring 12 slightly different ideas… Read more »
Recently I wrote a free e-Study about theory of change for the Hubert Project at the Humphrey Institute (University of Minnesota). Theory of Change is one of those terms that can elicit groans from nonprofit practitioners. Who has time to think about theories? And the word “change” makes people sweat a little. But, every organization I’ve worked with… Read more »
We’re very pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2017, Al Onkka, our Senior Consultant, and Sarah Cohn of Cohn Consulting will purchase Aurora Consulting from our founder and principal, Julia Classen. How will our organization’s next act affect yours? Only in the best ways possible: our evolution will broaden and deepen our ability… Read more »
If you’ve ever been on a nonprofit board with no staff, you know firsthand how different they are from typical boards. In addition to handling governance responsibilities, directors do all of the day-to-day work of the organization. Let’s call these boards operational boards. Operational boards have so much to do that their directors can easily… Read more »