Preparing for Data Collection
Does your nonprofit need clarity on which evaluation method(s) make the most sense for measuring the impact of your programs? Join us to learn about the different methods and to plan your data collection protocol.
- Understand the benefits and costs of data collection methods, including assessments, surveys, interviews and interactive focus groups.
- Identify a data collection tool that fits your organization.
- Draft a data collection protocol.
This 2-hour workshop is a follow-on to the Logic Models and Measuring What Matters workshop. Participants should bring their organization's logic model. Participants will consider the benefits and costs of various data collection options, including assessments, surveys, interviews and interactive focus groups. They will then choose the option that fits their organization goals, and yields the best data for the effort. Finally, they will develop data collection protocols that address outputs and outcomes from the organization's logic model, and that make use of rubrics that capture levels of performance.
Executive directors, operations managers, and program managers
Melissa Binder, Ph.D., is Director of the UNM Master of Public Policy and Associate Director of the UNM Evaluation Lab, which she helped create in 2015. The Evaluation Lab has worked with dozens of New Mexico nonprofits since then to build effective and sustainable evaluation systems that are inclusive, embedded, and that measure what really matters. The Evaluation Lab has two programs: a student fellowship that partners graduate students with nonprofits looking for hands-on support, and an annual Summer Institute that trains nonprofits in building internal evaluation capacity. Melissa is also a faculty member in the UNM Economics Department.
Guiding Practices for Nonprofits
- Nonprofits should create an environment where continuous quality improvement is prioritized and data is reviewed by the Board of Directors and employees on an ongoing basis.
- Nonprofits should utilize the appropriate evaluation methods for their work based on their programming, service provision and capacity.
- Nonprofits should develop a plan that includes dedicated employee time and resources for evaluation, including data collection. Employee capacity to conduct evaluations is essential to the success and sustainability of the process.
- Nonprofits should include realistic evaluation expenses in all project budgets.
- Nonprofits should invest in basic training, at a minimum, for employees to conduct evaluations and analyze data, even when working with external evaluators.
- Nonprofits must keep personal information collected from individuals through an evaluation process confidential unless the individual has explicitly given consent for its release.
- Nonprofits must ensure that all ethical guidelines and state and federal regulations are followed when conducting any research or evaluation involving human subjects.
- Board members should be provided with basic training so they can understand data that staff presents.
- Nonprofits should establish evaluation procedures for data collection, confidential storage, analysis and reporting.
- Nonprofits should include Board members, employees and constituents throughout the evaluation process to inform development, implementation and interpretation of results, reporting and adaptation of programs.
- Nonprofits should use evaluation methods and collect data in ways that are culturally respectful and accessible to participants.
- Nonprofits should determine which evaluation methods to use based on well-defined program goals and performance indicators.
- Nonprofits should systematically collect qualitative and quantitative data in ways and over periods of time that are manageable for the organization.
- Nonprofits should ensure that all data is kept in a locked filing cabinet or on a password protected computer, with data de-identified so that participants’ names are not associated with responses.
- Nonprofits should openly share evaluation results with employees, Board of Directors, constituents, donors, and community partners to demonstrate organizational impact and ongoing need, as well as organizational commitment to learning and improvement.
The Guide is available as a free digital download at CNPENM.org/Guide. Hard copies of the Guide and Companion Workbook will be available for purchase at this training for $25 each with a credit card or check.
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence often takes photos during our trainings to share on social media. If you prefer not to be photographed, please let us know in the Special Needs field when you register.
2340 Alamo SE, 2nd Floor
Email: [email protected]