The vocation of every man and woman is to serve humanity. -Leo Tolstoy

Evaluation of Nonprofit Programs

In evaluation on August 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Over the past couple of years I have become  possibly the only evaluation groupie on earth. Last year I attended the American Evaluation Association conference in San Antonio on my vacation. I read (and barely understand) academic journals about evaluation. For a while I considered getting a masters degree in evaluation before discovering that my remedial math skills would be a barrier. My new goal is to have a basic understanding of the evaluation process and results.

Why is evaluation important? Because it is the most accurate way to discover the results of our work. Without true evaluation we have no idea if the programs that we devote time and money to really benefit anyone.

The nonprofit sector that I have found most lacking in their evaluation methods is the arts. Many arts organizations seem to believe that have no need to prove that their work benefits the public. If the the arts are to be respected this has to change.

If anyone reading this has a interest in evaluation or knows someone who does, please let me know.

  1. One of the classes of my Masters program I’m most excited about is program evaluation. I’m a total nerd for this stuff too. Luckily we don’t have to do the math ourselves any more, just understand how to make computers do it for us. 🙂

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