We teach, you grow


We take the radical view that everyone can be taught evaluation.

Trainings brought to you |  Upcoming workshops


Trainings Brought to You


Bringing evaluation know-how to you

We have training topics ready to go, which we can customize and bring to your team or a cohort of nonprofit partners.


Let’s start with the fundamentals:


Focusing Your Evaluation


You want to do an evaluation, but don’t know where to start? Take a step back from the day-to-day and use this opportunity to focus your evaluation.

  • Define your program

  • Develop key evaluation questions that get at what you really want to know


Strengthening Your Survey Design Skills


A well-written survey generates substantial, actionable data. Design high-quality surveys by understanding:

  • When surveys are most appropriate

  • Key principles for writing surveys

  • Best practices of structuring surveys

  • How-to tips on survey distribution

This training can also be combined with content on survey analysis.


Designing & Conducting Qualitative Evaluations


Sometimes, we get the most illuminating, rich information from going out and talking with people!

  • Learn how to design and conduct interviews and focus groups to make the best use of time for everyone involved.

  • Understand the process for designing and conducting interviews and focus groups from start to finish, including selecting a topic (and what makes a good topic for interviews or focus groups), writing questions, facilitation skills and grasping the nuts and bolts of interview and focus group logistics.

This training can also be combined with content on qualitative analysis.


Looking for something more?

Our evaluation fundamentals, explained above, are the most cost-effective to start with, but other training topics we offer include:

  • Evaluating Collaborations

  • Presenting Data Effectively

  • Putting Evidence to Work: Evidence-Based Program Design

  • Position-Specific Training:

    • What Board Members Need to Know about Evaluation

    • What Development Staff Need to Know about Evaluation

    • What Communications Staff Need to Know about Evaluation

    • What Nonprofit Leadership Needs to Know about Evaluation

    • What Funders Need to Know about Evaluation


Want something completely customized?


We can also work with you to develop an evaluation training specific to your needs!

Anything evaluation-related is our bread and butter.

Let’s get started


We are excited to discuss your needs and co-develop a training plan.

Let’s start with a conversation where we can answer any questions you might have.

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Upcoming Workshops


Find us at an upcoming conference or event


Communications Network Webinar // Webinar: Join from anywhere!
March 26, 2019

WEBINAR: What Communications Staff Need to Know About Evaluation | March 26, 2019: Noon-1pm MST
As a communications pro, you play a dual role: you mobilize communications vehicles to achieve your nonprofit’s mission AND you use those vehicles to promote your organization’s progress towards its mission.

In our next Communications Network webinar, we’ll be joined by Elena Harman, author of The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand. Elena is the founder and CEO of Vantage Evaluation, a firm committed to evolving the way purpose-driven organizations think about and use evaluation – from data for data’s sake to evaluation as a learning process for strategic improvements.

In this session, Elena will speak to both of your roles, including tips for embracing learning in your external messaging and tips for measuring your own communications strategies.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get meaningful feedback about your events

  • How to measure success in your external facing communications

  • Best metrics for social media

  • Tips for embracing learning in your external messaging

  • Best practices for communicating about the impact of your programs

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Small Giants Community Summit // Detroit, Michigan
April 30 - May 2, 2019

How to Get Your Business to Run Without You | May 1, 2019: 1pm-2:30pm
What would happen if you completely walked away from your company for an entire month? Elena Harman, CEO of Vantage Evaluation, put that to the test when she took a month-long sabbatical and left her team in charge of themselves. In her absence, the team successfully managed everything from onboarding new employees and signing new contracts to handling difficult client relationships.  In this breakout session, hear both Elena’s perspective and the perspective of her team member, Morgan Cook, on the systems they implemented to ensure that the culture thrived in Elena’s absence. Plus, learn how to successfully re-enter your company after an extended break without disrupting the magic of a business that runs without you.

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Volunteer Engagement Roundtable // Colorado Springs, Colorado
May 16, 2019

Evaluating Your Volunteer Engagement Efforts | May 16, 2019: 11:30am-1pm
Understanding the impact of volunteer engagement efforts has traditionally relied on tracking the number of volunteers and the number and length of engagements. But what do you really want to know to understand if your volunteer engagement efforts are working? Understanding what’s working and what’s not in your volunteer engagement efforts helps you improve your efforts, increasing your impact and motivating donors and funders. We will discuss different strategies for understanding the impact of your volunteer engagement efforts, possible uses for data collection methods, and how you can engage your volunteers in evaluation efforts.


Western Slope Rural Philanthropy Days // Hotchkiss/Paonia, Colorado
June 12 - 14, 2019

What Development Staff Need to Know About Evaluation | June 13, 2019: 1-2:30pm

How often have you sat down to write a grant proposal and had no idea what to write in the evaluation plan section of the grant? Grant application questions about evaluation can be a nightmare. It’s hard to figure out what they are asking overall, let alone what the differences between each question are. Want to know the dirty little secret? Few funders understand evaluation better than you do. Everyone is just trying to figure it out and doing the best they can. The bad news is that the result of funders’ best evaluation efforts can be confusing and burdensome for you. The good news is that if you provide high-quality, substantive responses - even if they are not quite answering the question that was asked - it can go a long way to setting your application apart. In this session, you will participate in a facilitated discussion about what development staff need to know about evaluation in order to better understand the ways in which development staff touch evaluation, effectively communicate with and motivate funders and donors around evaluation, and support staff in meeting evaluation requirements.