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How Do You Know You Are Achieving Excellence and Making an Impact?. Presented by: IT Resource Center and TCC Group March 25, 2005. Introductions. IT Resource Center. Nonprofit technology assistance provider Technology consulting, training, and problem-solving for nonprofits

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How do you know you are achieving excellence and making an impact

How Do You Know You Are Achieving Excellenceand Making an Impact?

Presented by:

IT Resource Center and TCC GroupMarch 25, 2005

It resource center
IT Resource Center

  • Nonprofit technology assistance provider

  • Technology consulting, training, and problem-solving for nonprofits

  • Objective source of information

  • Advocacy on the importance of technology to nonprofit effectiveness

Motivations for evaluation
Motivations for Evaluation

  • Interested and supportive funder in The Chicago Community Trust.

  • 20th Anniversary of ITRC – mature organizations should set good examples

  • Desire for outside confirmation of impact in the community

  • Need for long-term evaluation strategy

  • Develop a logic model appropriate to field

Big question impact of itrc
Big Question: Impact of ITRC

  • On staff behavior of individuals

  • On nonprofit organizations in making them more effective

  • As a management support organization assisting a community of nonprofits

Tcc group s history
TCC Group’s History

  • In operation for over 26 years

  • Formerly The Conservation Company

  • Started in Philadelphia, now with offices in New York City, Chicago and affiliates in other geographic locations

  • 25 professionals with diverse education and professional experiences across the nonprofit sector

  • Management consulting, board development, organization assessment, grants management, evaluation

Tcc values
TCC Values

  • Stakeholder involvement (community of learners)

  • Capacity building among stakeholders (evaluative learning)

  • Rigorous data collection

  • Utilization focused reporting

  • Recommendations for strategic direction

What is evaluation
What is Evaluation?

  • The key sense of the term “evaluation” refers to the process of determining the merit, worth or value of something (including the product of a process) through the identification of standards, an investigation of performance, and an integration of results.

    -Michael Scriven’s Evaluation Thesaurus, 4th Edition

  • Evaluative learning is an ongoing and a collaboratively designed process that has the primary purpose of serving organizational learning and planning.

    –Peter York , Learning as We Go


What it is…What it is not…

Analytical yet broad, general Empirical research

Multidisciplinary (a science & an art) Purely hypothesis testing

Focused primarily on utility Focused solely on theory

Results in evaluative conclusions Results focused in proofs

Readiness for collaborative relationship evaluative learning capacity building
Readiness for Collaborative Relationship:Evaluative Learning/Capacity Building

  • Have receptive staff

  • Conduct periodic organizational assessments

  • Conduct periodic needs assessments

  • Have strong organizational leadership

  • Have Board buy-in/familiarity

  • Conduct periodic environmental scans

  • Have some form of MIS/data management

  • Have strong administrative support

  • Engage clients in planning efforts

  • Build and maintain external relationships

  • Acquire diversified and sustainable funding

  • Have knowledge of how to use research

  • Have evaluation history and knowledge

  • Have staff job security and low staff turnover

Extremely important

Very important

Consulting relationship
Consulting Relationship

  • Collaborative in nature

  • Evaluation team governed

  • Unique roles and responsibilities

    • TCC Staff

    • ITRC Staff

    • ITRC Board

  • Significant time in planning phase to develop relationship, define roles and responsibilities, and develop the evaluation design framework

Advantages of collaborative approach
Advantages of Collaborative Approach

Allowed for:

  • Incorporation of internal expertise related to the field, the organization, and the context for evaluation

  • External objective evaluation framework and data collection

  • Evaluation capacity building among IT Resource Center staff

  • IT Resource Center investment and ownership in the evaluation

  • IT Resource Center readiness for use of evaluation findings

Evaluation for capacity building
Evaluation For Capacity Building

Definition: an ongoing, collaborative, and stakeholder-led evaluation process that has the primary purpose of informing program and organizational planning and development.

Traditional evaluation

Capacity building evaluation

Designed and implemented by a few

Problem centered

Report card

External accountability

Low stakeholder involvement

Imposition on those being evaluated

Passive learning

Focused on the past



Designed collaboratively

Focused on strengths and/or solutions

Organizing tool

Internal planning and decision making

High stakeholder involvement

Owned by all stakeholders

Active learning

Future oriented


Low risk

Logic model
Logic Model

A systematic and visual way to present and share your understanding of the relationships among the resources you have to operate your program, the activities you plan to do, and the changes or results you hope to achieve.


Logic model terminology
Logic Model Terminology

  • Inputs: all the resources necessary for supporting a program; e.g., money, time, expertise, experience, leverage, facilities, technology, etc.

  • Program Strategies: the specific activities, interventions, services and/or programs that serve a particular target audience; e.g., case management services for homeless families, advocacy efforts for particular legislation and/or policy changes, etc.

  • Outputs: a short-term measure of program strategy implementation; e.g., number of clients served, number of services provided, actual dollar expenditures per client or unit of service, etc.

  • Outcomes: the short- and longer-term effects of program strategies on client behaviors, attitudes, knowledge, and/or perceptions; e.g., improved student performance in math coursework, homeless clients obtain and maintain affordable housing, etc.

  • Impact: the long-term and aggregate effect of a sustained program, service or intervention on the overall target population.

If your strategies are fully implemented and of high quality, then the amount of service/product will be produced

If these benefits to clients are achieved, then certain changes in organizations, communities or systems will occur

Resources needed to operate your program effectively and efficiently

If you have the necessary resources, then you can use them to implement the strategies

If you accomplish your planned strategies, then clients will benefit in certain ways





Typical Logic Model


ExternalInfluences and Related Programs

Data collection
Data Collection

  • Key informant interviews with experts in the field of technical assistance

  • Interviews with partners, strategic relationships, funders

  • Focus groups with members

  • Survey with members and nonmembers

  • Site visits to member organizations

Roles and responsibilities

TCC Group

Primary tool design

Key informant interviews


Survey administration

Data analysis


IT Resource Center

Some tool design

Volunteers conducted some key informant interviews

Board member conducted focus groups

University experts conducted site visits

Roles and Responsibilities

Findings related to services at the individual level
Findings:Related to Services at the Individual Level

■Finding #1: Among both members and nonmembers, the IT Resource Center is best known for, and in demand for, its training services.

■Finding #2: Among members, consulting/customized services is the second most frequently needed (in demand) service.

■Finding #3: Members and nonmembers identified a need for advanced level training and services.

Findings continued related services at the organizational level
Findings (continued):Related Services at the Organizational Level

■Finding #4: The IT Resource Center is perceived as making technology readily applicable and accessible to a broad range of clients (at an organizational level).

■Finding #5: Members were more likely than nonmembers to indicate that their staff has the technology training needed to do their job.

■Finding #6: It appears that a greater proportion of members than nonmembers have functioning technology plans.

■Finding #7: Members participating in IT Resource Center Technology Planning value it.

■Finding #8: Members view the IT Resource Center as a resource for information and support related to software and other tools.

Findings continued related services at the organizational level1
Findings (continued):Related Services at the Organizational Level

■Finding #9: Members are more likely to routinely collect data (than nonmembers) and to do so electronically.

■Finding #10: Members value the support provided by the IT Resource Center around improving the quality of their data collection, reducing data redundancy and increasing data accessibility.

■Finding #11: Members attribute the improvement of their internal and external communications to the assistance of the IT Resource Center in building their (the nonprofit’s) technology infrastructure.

■Finding #12: Members report that the IT Resource Center’s role in equipping them with technology and training has improved their organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

■Finding #13: Members appear to use the IT Resource Center for specific immediate issues (e.g., crises such as a virus, troubleshooting, etc.) and in supporting these nonprofits through their crises the IT Resource Center builds capacity.

Findings continued related field level outcomes
Findings (continued):Related Field Level Outcomes

■Finding #14: Overall, funders vary in their understanding and support of capacity building including the role of technology as a capacity building tool.

■Finding #15: Technology plans are effective tools for nonprofits approaching potential funders.

■Finding #18: Members and nonmembers recognize technology as significant and/or critical to fulfilling their mission.

■Finding #19: Members’ and nonmembers’ responses revealed a growing trend toward using permanent staff to handle organizational technology needs.

■Finding #20: Among both members and nonmembers, organizational leaders are regarded as supportive of the appropriate use of technology, and it is integrated into requests for funding.

■Finding #21: A majority of members and nonmembers identified improved data collection, data entry strategies and database analysis as high priority needs.

Contact information tcc group
Contact Information TCC Group


  • 888-222-0474

Peter York

Director of Evaluation

One Penn Center

Suite 1500

Philadelphia, PA 19103

215.568.0399 [email protected]

Chantell Johnson

Senior Consultant

875 N. Michigan Avenue

Suite 3930

Chicago, IL 60611


[email protected]

Jen Avers


875 N. Michigan Avenue

Suite 3930

Chicago, IL 60611


[email protected]

Contact information it resource center
Contact Information IT Resource Center


  • 312-372-4872

Tim Mills-Groninger

Associate Executive Director

IT Resource Center

29 E. Madison Street

Suite 1005

Chicago, Il 60602


[email protected]

Betsy Murphy

Program Associate

IT Resource Center

29 E. Madison Street

Suite 1005

Chicago, Il 60602


[email protected]