Evaluation can sometimes feel like a dirty word. It can make charities and nonprofits feel tense, and within good reason. Opening up the door to evaluation can lead to promising results, but it can also send your head spinning.
Hubspot recently surveyed nonprofit professionals. They found that while 90% of nonprofits collected data, only 6% felt they were using the collected information effectively.
Evaluation is difficult. There is overall pressure to do well as an organization, desire to keep the people you serve happy, and the need to understand how it all works.
Often new organizations reach out to us because they find themselves stuck in a cycle of questioning. Asking: what, how and when to evaluate.
We respond by asking organizations to define the motivation behind their desire to evaluate. By defining your evaluation goal, you can better choose outcomes to measure and ensure the results are used effectively.
We asked our organizations to define the motivation behind their evaluation and we chose 5 answers to share with you.
“In a perfect world my evaluation results would…”
Inspire my donors to give more generously
Convince our board to renew 2020 focus on STEM programming
Prove my grant theory of change
Help us improve our young mothers program
Convince our local government increase funding to women serving organizations
Some organizations have one goal, some have many. Finding your organization’s evaluation goal is the first step towards an effective evaluation and data use.