Usable Knowledge is committed to serving the nonprofit community with periodic white papers, book reviews, link lists and commentaries that discuss issues and emerging opportunities relevant to the field. On this page, you’ll find descriptions and links to papers in our white paper series. Some of these are concept papers, others are straight forward how-to guides. Keep checking back for new content as we develop it over time.
Of course, we would be very interested in your thoughts and reactions to our work, so do drop us a line if you have any questions or ideas to share.
Why Evaluate: Program Evaluation and Organizational Effectiveness
We believe that more than supporting funders’ investment decisions, evaluation should serve program improvement. A single-minded focus on THE NUMBER often misses what drives outcomes, how they came about, and for whom. This white paper talks about how nonprofits can use program evaluation to better address the need of those serve.
How to Hire an Evaluation Consultant
The United Way study focused on consulting in general and was not specific to program evaluation. But in light of what we learned, we thought it might be useful to share some thoughts about what to look for in an evaluation consultant and how to select and hire one for your next evaluation project.
Building Evaluation Capacity: Five Models for Funders
Providers of support and consulting services to the nonprofit community are increasingly combining a range of capacity building approaches to serve the management development needs of their not-for-profit clients. Termed blended solutions, these approaches provide organizations with more than just low impact training while costing substantially less than one shot consulting engagements. This White Paper explains how blended solutions that combine training, coaching, and the customized services can help nonprofit organizations develop the capacity to manage an ongoing monitoring and evaluation program.
Writing the Evaluation Section of a Grant Proposal
Most nonprofit organizations understand by now that funders expect program evaluation from the organizations they support. For certain governmental grants it’s a requirement. In fact, federal and state RFPs often require an evaluation plan as part of their grant application and many foundations ask for at least a short statement on how program success will be measured. But as a grant writer or development professional, how do you design a credible plan?
Usable Knowledge is in the process of creating a full length white paper to help address this question.