evaluating community organizations

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Thu Nov 1 19:42:00 CST 2001


From: Miriam Axel-Lute <miriam at nhi.org>

Evaluating Community Organizations 

http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/sf119.html

Evaluation is perhaps the most loaded, and often the most
feared, word in a community organization’s vocabulary. Most
nonprofit managers have a horror story or two about a
funder-driven evaluation that missed the entire point of
what they were trying to do. On the other hand, without good
data and regular reflection organizations risk departing
from their mission without noticing, getting into a rut, and
not being able to communicate their impact to anyone else.
This issue of Shelterforce, guest edited by Mary Jo Mullan
of the Heron Foundation and Martin Johnson of Isles, Inc.,
examines the ups and downs of evaluation – from how to
measure qualitative benefits like “increased sense of
community” to a look at organizations taking control of the
process through “participatory evaluation.” The issue also
includes a roundtable discussion with funders, nonprofit
managers, and academics about the current state of
evaluation, where it is going, and where it ought to go.



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