Our Meet the Vantage Team series is a way for you to get to know each member of the Vantage team, and why they love what they do. Today we feature evaluator Stacie Hanson, who shares the importance of finding and seeing connections.
A continuation of our series about the Equitable Evaluation Design Sessions, this post focuses on why Vantage Evaluation decided to focus on what is considered valid findings, what we did (or tried to do), what we learned, and where we are going next. Our hope in sharing our experiences is that others might find inspiration to engage in similar work, and that those organizations will take what we did and improve upon it.
As part of our participation in the Equitable Evaluation Design Sessions, Vantage Evaluation took on two design challenges. In this blog post, we offer a summary of one of them, where we created an Equity Learning Club. Our hope in sharing our experiences is that others might find inspiration to engage in similar work, and those organizations will take what we did and improve upon it.
What does it take to incorporate equity into our work? What would that look like? Is that even something we want to do? These are the questions we set out to tackle this past summer as part of the first Equitable Evaluation Design Lab. Evaluator Laura Sundstrom reflects on what she’s learned from the experience.
Nonprofit leaders often use surveys to take the pulse of their communities and get a sense of the impact of their organization’s work. Surveys are also beloved by politicians, marketing folks, and researchers. Unfortunately, they have become overused because they’re easy to build and send with cheap online survey software options. This has led to survey fatigue in our communities that has real consequences for nonprofit leaders.
We have gotten to the point where evaluation is such a buzzword in nonprofit and foundation work that we assume all nonprofits should be evaluating everything, and for the same reasons. However, that is not true. Evaluation should serve an intentional purpose. It should teach you something new, and something that you care about.
Learn how to create an evaluation purpose statement that outlines why you want to do evaluation in the first place, and what the results will be used for.
An effective evaluation takes internal resources. Before you decide to ask an evaluator to figure out what to measure, it's important to sit down and think about the 30,000-foot view of why you are dedicating resources to evaluation in the first place. Learn about the five core elements of an effective evaluation, and what to consider before handing the project off to your evaluation team or external consultant.
NOW HIRING: The Open Media Foundation is hiring for an Impact Manager to take a big picture view of both the organization and its clients, helping articulate, theories of change and measure social change and impact. This search is managed by Vantage Evaluation through our work to build evaluation capacity in our communities, through staffing solutions.
The American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) annual conference theme, Speaking Truth to Power, left us with a lot to process as a team and individually.
Our evaluator Aisha Rios, PhD explains how a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame combined with the conference sessions challenged her to reflect on the role power plays in defining truth and knowledge, and offers steps for encouraging honest communication when power dynamics are at play.