State of Evaluation 2012: Evaluation Practice and Capacity in the Nonprofit Sector

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Washington Evaluators Brown Bag
by Johanna Morariu, Kat Athanasiades, and Ann Emery
February 25, 2013

Nonprofits hear a lot of talk about evaluation these days—metrics and measurements, indicators and impact, efficiency and effectiveness. Everyone seems to want evaluation results—from nonprofit staff themselves to donors to board members. But there’s a gap in the conversation: What are nonprofits really doing to evaluate their work? How are they using evaluation results? Do nonprofit staff have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to carry out effective evaluation? We answered these questions—and many others—in State of Evaluation 2012: Nonprofit Evaluation Practice and Capacity. The State of Evaluation project is the first nationwide project that systematically and repeatedly collects data from nonprofits about their evaluation practices. During the brown bag, we’ll discuss the new findings from this research. For example, we found that: 90% of organizations report evaluating their work (up from 85% in 2010); 100% of organizations reported using and communicating their evaluation findings; Budgeting for evaluation is still low—more than 70% of organizations are spending less than 5% of organizational budgets on evaluation; and, on average, evaluation—and its close relation, research—continue to be the lowest priorities for nonprofits (compared to fundraising, financial management, communications, etc.).

Innovation Network is a nonprofit evaluation, research, and consulting firm. We provide knowledge and expertise to help nonprofits and funders learn from their work to improve their results. Johanna Morariu, Director, leads the work of the organization as well as projects with a broad assortment of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Kat Athanasiades and Ann Emery, Associates, provide project support.

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State of Evaluation 2012: Evaluation Practice and Capacity in the Nonprofit Sector

  1. 1. state of evaluation 2012 EVALUATION PRACTICE AND CAPACITY IN THE NONPROFIT SECTOR Johanna Morariu, Kat Athanasiades, & Ann Emery info@innonet.org Washington Evaluators Brown Bag Washington, DC February 25, 2013
  2. 2. Welcome! Do you have experience in the nonprofit or philanthropic fields? Tell me more! Based on what you know or may have heard about nonprofit evaluation, how do you think nonprofits are doing? Have you heard about data viz (visualization)? What do you think about the role of data viz in evaluation? www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 2 | #soe2012
  3. 3. Background www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 3 | #soe2012
  4. 4. Methodology Population of interest: U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations Using GuideStar data, the sampling frame was 501(c)3 Public Charities that had updated their IRS Form 990 in 2010 or more recently, and had provided a contact name and email address A total of 38,789 organizations met the criteria, and a random sample of 20,000 organizations were invited to participate in the survey The survey was available online three weeks in August 2012 and received 567 responses from representatives of nonprofit organizations The survey response rate calculated on complete responses was 4% www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 4 | #soe2012
  5. 5. Comparison of Budget by Sample www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 5 | #soe2012
  6. 6. Geographic Distribution of Respondents www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 6 | #soe2012
  7. 7. Role of Respondents www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 7 | #soe2012
  8. 8. Organization Age www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 8 | #soe2012
  9. 9. Data Visualization www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 9 | #soe2012
  10. 10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  11. 11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  12. 12. Overview of Results www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 12 | #soe2012
  13. 13. Overview of Results www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 13 | #soe2012
  14. 14. Overview of Results www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 14 | #soe2012
  15. 15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  16. 16. Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 16 | #soe2012
  17. 17. Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 17 | #soe2012
  18. 18. Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 18 | #soe2012
  19. 19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  20. 20. Evaluation Practice www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 20 | #soe2012
  21. 21. Evaluation Practice www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 21 | #soe2012
  22. 22. Evaluation Practice www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 22 | #soe2012
  23. 23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  24. 24. Staffing for Evaluation www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 24 | #soe2012
  25. 25. Staffing for Evaluation www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 25 | #soe2012
  26. 26. Staffing for Evaluation www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 26 | #soe2012
  27. 27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  28. 28. Audience & Use www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 28 | #soe2012
  29. 29. Audience & Use www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 29 | #soe2012
  30. 30. Audience & Use www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 30 | #soe2012
  31. 31. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Overview of Results Purpose, Approaches, & Resourcing Evaluation Practice Staffing for Evaluation Audience & Use Barriers to Evaluation
  32. 32. Barriers to Evaluation www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 32 | #soe2012
  33. 33. Barriers to Evaluation www.stateofevaluation.org | Page 33 | #soe2012
  34. 34. Related Reports Other reports exist that measure different aspects of evaluation in the social sector. If you’d like to take a look at what other organizations are finding, check out these resources:
  35. 35. Other Resources There are many, many more papers, interviews, and tools available— for free—through Innovation Network’s Point K Learning Center. Check it out! Here’s where you can find the Point K Learning Center on our home page, www.innonet.org:
  36. 36. Discussion Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 How do these findings fit with your professional experience? Which findings do you find most interesting? Are there questions you suggest we consider including next time? How might these findings impact your work? In your opinion, did the data visualization enhance or detract from the presentation of findings? What are the biggest takeaway messages for you from this work? Based on what you know about nonprofit evaluation, how do you think nonprofits are doing?
  37. 37. Thank You! Johanna Morariu, Kat Athanasiades, & Ann Emery info@innonet.org @InnoNet_Eval www.stateofevaluation.org #soe2012

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