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Nonprofit Sector | Alaimo, Salvatore | 2014

The increasing call for accountability and competition for resources has given the demonstration of the effectiveness of programs more importance, prominence and attention within the United States nonprofit sector.  It has become a major focus for nonprofit leaders, funders, accrediting organizations, board members, individual donors, the media and scholars, and it is clear the demand for program evaluation is growing. A byproduct of this demand is the increasing use of program evaluation as a management tool and component of organizational performance measurement.

Nonprofit managers and leaders are faced with the challenge of responding to the external pull from funders, government agencies, accrediting bodies and other stakeholders while developing an intrinsically motivated internal push to build long-term capacity to evaluate their programs. This course will tap into the evolution of evaluation capacity building (ECB) to discuss its role in nonprofit management. It will draw from leadership, organizational behavior, organizational culture, and organizational learning; incorporate a multi-stakeholder approach for a holistic perspective of who participates in ECB; provide the nuts and bolts for ECB tasks and responsibilities; and incorporate evaluability assessments at both organizational and programmatic levels.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Gain knowledge in the evolving concept of evaluation capacity building (ECB), its role in nonprofit management and be able to help build capacity for program evaluation in a nonprofit organization
  • Gain knowledge in the contextual factors that impact ECB, and recommended steps for effectively confronting and managing them
  • Conduct evaluability assessments at both organizational and programmatic levels
  • Develop a working knowledge of how to evaluate a nonprofit program including –
    • Developing the program’s theory and logic model
    • Developing an evaluation plan
    • Understanding the various available evaluation tools and methods available
    • Using evaluation results