Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Performance Management vs. Catch-All Solution

April 30, 2012

Making the Most of Demonstrating Value

“Don’t start with a tool and ask ‘what can I use it for?’.  Ask: ‘what do I want to accomplish?’, then match the right tool and strategy.” Chronicle of Philanthropy @philanthropy (Twitter, April 24)

The Demonstrating Value website offers an assortment of resources that can help you at various stages of your organization’s development. The Demonstrating Value tools and resources were developed to help social enterprises and community organizations build capacity around monitoring and evaluation, enhance their business planning and communicate their social impact. However, we’ve learned that sometimes groups really need to ask the question: when is the right time to embark on the process of developing a snapshot with the Demonstrating Value framework?  

Just as this quote from @Philanthropy says, it doesn’t make sense to pick up a tool like the Demonstrating Value snapshot for the sake of  finding a way to use it (as cool as it is). Rather, in the case of Demonstrating Value, you need to ask whether this is the right tool for your business at this point in its development. (more…)

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Mind-Mapping Evaluation Terminology

April 26, 2012

Following up from her webinar “You Say Impacts, I Say Outcomes”, Kylie Hutchinson (Community Solutions Planning and Evaluation) shared an Evaluation Terminology Mind-Map in a recent Community Solutions newsletter. We discussed Kylie’s webinar in a previous post, Navigating the vast ocean of evaluation terminology – but be sure to check out this mind-map as well. It is a great tool for visualizing the complexities in evaluation terminology and will help you understand some of the common themes that link evaluation terms. Take a look at this mind-map and our post about Kylie’s webinar to help make sense of the inconsistencies in evaluation terminology, which will allow you to more comfortably interpret and use this wide vocabulary to its greatest potential.

Interested in learning more about Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation? Visit their website to access an assortment of great resources, find out about upcoming webinars, and register for their newsletter.

Demonstrating Value featured on TechSoup!

April 25, 2012

Demonstrating Value is crossing borders, with a recent feature on both techsoup.org and techsoupcanada.ca that includes excerpts from the Demonstrating Value Workbook.

Take a look at the article (click on the TechSoup links above) to read more about how Demonstrating Value assists nonprofits, social enterprises, and community investors to ask the right questions about their work, and to develop systems to track and communicate their value.

A big thanks to the folks a TechSoup for also sharing these additional resources that will help you demonstrate your organization’s value through data: (more…)

Keeping Contacts Organized: Selecting & Using CRM Systems

April 20, 2012

Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems are a mix of policies, processes and strategies used by organizations to manage contacts and track their interactions with their stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, volunteers, employees, funders, donors, clients and others. Keeping these contacts organized can be difficult (especially as organizations grow in size), so many seek to develop more formal systems for tracking this information using CRMs. Yet selecting and effectively using CRMs can be a challenge, especially for organizations with limited resources. There are many different options. Which one is the best for you?

Demonstrating Value has recently put together a guide that presents guidelines and tips for selecting and using CRM systems. The guide will help you make CRM decisions for your organization by sharing discussions about key decision factors and outlining a selection of CRM software options that could be of use to your organization.  

Visit the DV website to download this guide (scroll to the bottom of “Tools & Resources”).

Navigating the vast ocean of evaluation terminology

March 16, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an insightful webinar facilitated by Kylie Hutchinson at Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation. This webinar, entitled “You Say Impacts, I Say Outcomes” was all about clarifying the confusion in evaluation terminology. For anyone new to the evaluation field (and even to seasoned evaluation experts), the myriad of interchangeable terms can often lead to miscommunication or even frustration due to the inconsistency and lack of one official “evaluation dictionary”. While there is no immediate solution to solving evaluation term inconsistency, we can help ourselves and those we work with by broadening our understanding of the common themes that link these terms, which will allow us to more comfortably interpret and use this wide vocabulary to its greatest potential.

For me, one of Kylie’s lasting messages was the importance of understanding the foundation of evaluation theory to develop a stronger grasp on the assortment of terms that flood the evaluation field. (more…)

Demonstrating Value featured as seToolbelt Resource of the Week!

February 6, 2012

seToolbelt.org is an open content resource hub that is committed to making free tools accessible to social entrepreneurs to help them plan, start, manage, and grow successful social enterprises. In this week’s seToolbelt Resource of the Week, Demonstrating Value is profiled. Take a look at this post to learn more about some key impact measurement tools developed by the Demonstrating Value initiative, including a Performance Snapshot webinar, the Organizational Sustainability Assessment Tool, and “Why You Matter”, a tool for mapping your social, environmental, and cultural impact.

The seToolbelt Resource of the Week is featured on Social Earth, a comprehensive news and information site for social entrepreneurs.

Tools for enhancing online storytelling: Making the most of your tale

January 12, 2012

Have you ever found yourself wanting to tell your organization’s story “digitally”, but unsure how or even where to start? In this day of rapid technological changes and advances, we are fortunate to have a variety of useful tools at our fingertips that make online storytelling a simple – and fun – process. The folks at frogloop.com, the non-profit marketing blog produced by care2, have put together a list  of tools for nonprofits in their post 4 Tools to Help Any Nonprofit Tell Stories Online. (more…)

10 Ways to Show Your Impact: Part 2

January 11, 2012

Social Capital Partners: Our Approach

In Part 1 of “10 Ways to Show Your Impact”, we discussed five things you can do to show your value including: 1) be as clear as possible in describing your vision, mission, and strategies, 2) describe what differentiates you, 3) describe and show evidence of the value you create from the perspective of all your stakeholders, 4) tell your story and the stories of those you work with, and 5) create a map of how you are influencing change. Here in Part 2, we will show you five more ways you can express your impact as a community-based organization. While Part 1 focused more on qualitative measures, the tips in Part 2 will take a different spin on things with a greater focus on quantitative measures. (more…)

10 Ways to Show Your Impact: Part 1

January 4, 2012

Community-based organizations are in a tough position: they work tirelessly towards goals that will have positive social or environmental impacts and they know they create a lot of value for the communities they serve –  but, this value is hard to express and recognition from the community is hard to come by. The value created by community-based groups doesn’t get captured very well by standard financial statements because conventional accounting methods do not consider value beyond the financial returns. Expression of the value of social and environmental impacts often falls through the cracks.

So what are community-based organizations to do? How can they express this value to others and get the recognition they deserve? (more…)

Genuine Evaluation

December 16, 2011

Let’s chat about real, genuine, authentic, practical evaluation…

In their blog, Genuine Evaluation, Patricia Rogers and Jane Davidson share their enthusiasm for evaluation with weekly posts that reflect their commitment to improving the quality of evaluation. Blogging from Australia and New Zealand, Patricia and Jane employ an international approach from a distinctly Southern Hemisphere perspective.

An intriguing feature of the blog is the everyday language and practicality with which thoughts and ideas are expressed. Guest bloggers are also invited to contribute, adding a fresh burst of thinking from experienced and insightful evaluators from around the world.

Recent blog posts have discussed what’s new and exciting in evaluation and have also continued to enhance the collection of Friday Funnys. Take a look for yourself, and soak in these ideas and conversations on evaluation – an important element of tracking and expressing your success!