By Peter Gamache, Ph.D. & Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS, Turnaround Life, Inc.
Nonprofits are closely watched when it comes to their effectiveness, return on investment and accountability. They’re expected to keep track of their programs by the funders, as well as government agencies, staff and boards.
Since becoming a supporter of a nonprofit takes trust first, there is a new emphasis placed on processes that help nonprofit organizations operate effectively. The most important out of these is the evaluation. Let’s have a closer look at how assessment affects nonprofits and why it is so crucial to have an evaluation process in place.
Why Nonprofits Should Be Dedicated to Evaluation
Even though funders expect nonprofits to conduct an evaluation, it shouldn’t be the sole reason why nonprofits do it. There’s more to an assessment than fulfilling a requirement — it can be beneficial to an organization that dedicates itself to doing it. Since evaluation is an analysis of the current systems in place at the organization, conducting one can provide important insights into the operation of the nonprofit, as well as ways in which it can improve.
For example, proper evaluation looks at details such as staffing patterns and program management, while not neglecting to provide information about the bigger picture. Nonprofits can evaluate whether their ROI is up to par, whether the people that the organization aims to serve are receiving the benefits they need and do a better job overall of fulfilling their mission.
Most importantly, evaluation paves the way towards better, more efficient planning, and ensures that the nonprofit will retain its public trust or gain more of it. It is an invaluable asset to every organization, as it is impossible to keep going without it.
Beneficial Outcomes of Evaluation
Having tangible proof of program efficiency that raises public trust can have many favorable outcomes for the nonprofit. More collaboration opportunities will naturally crop up once the success of your nonprofit is evident — other nonprofits, local businesses, and even government agencies will be more open to collaborating with you. It also attracts more funding, as donors can rest assured that their contribution will be making the kind of impact they’re seeking.
Evaluation doesn’t only improve the public perception of your nonprofit, but its efficiency in internal processes as well. Once you analyze each program and your day-to-day operations, you’ll have a better idea of where to focus your energies. By spending less time, energy and financial resources on the aspects of your program that don’t work as well as others, you’ll be significantly streamlining your nonprofit’s procedures.
In the world of nonprofit organizations today, it’s vital to be able to earn the public’s trust, as well as to operate as efficiently as possible. Evaluation is the first step towards those goals, so don’t hesitate to focus your organization on it.
Here at Turnaround Life, Inc., we aim to help organizations and programs that make it possible for people to turn their lives around. For more information about us, visit our website.