Framework for a Basic Nonprofit Program Evaluation Plan

Sections of this topic

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, Ph.D., Authenticity Consulting, LLC.


    The following framework will guide you through the completion of your basic nonprofit program evaluation plan document. Resources and basic questions to fill in each section of the plan are referenced in Module 7: Program Design and Marketing

    Readers are encouraged to work with a planning team in their organization to fill in this framework. After completing this framework, readers can move information from the framework to a more suitable document to be the final version of the plan document, if desired.

    Also, consider
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    [name of the program!]


    Purpose of Evaluation?
    What do you want to be able to decide as a result of the evaluation? For example:
    __ Understand, verify, or increase the impact of products or services on customers/clients (eg, outcomes evaluation)
    __ Improve delivery mechanisms to be more efficient and less costly (eg, process evaluation)
    __ Verify that we’re doing what we think we’re doing (eg, process evaluation)
    __ Clarify program goals, processes, and outcomes for management planning
    __ Public relations
    __ Program comparisons, eg., to decide which should be retained
    __ Fully examine and describe effective programs for duplication elsewhere
    __ Other reason(s)

    Audience(s) for the Evaluation?
    Who are the audiences for the information from the evaluation, for example:
    __ Clients/customers
    __ Funders/Investors
    __ Board members
    __ Management
    __ Staff/employees
    __ Other(s) _________________

    What Kinds of Information Are Needed?
    What kinds of information are needed to make the decision you need to make and/or enlighten your intended audiences, for example, information to understand:
    __ The process of the product or service delivery (its inputs, activities, and outputs)
    __ The customers/clients who experience the product or service
    __ Strengths and weaknesses of the product or service
    __ Benefits to customers/clients (outcomes)
    __ How the product or service failed and why, etc.
    __ Other type(s) of information?

    Type of Evaluation?
    Based on the purpose of the evaluation and the kinds of information needed, what types of evaluation are being planned?
    __ Goal-based?
    __ Process-based?
    __ Outcomes-based?
    __ Other(s)? _____________

    Where Should Information Be Collected From?
    __ Staff/employees
    __ Clients/customers
    __ Program documentation
    __ Funders/Investors
    __ Other(s) _____________

    How Can Information Be Collected in a Reasonable and Realistic Fashion?
    __ Questionnaires
    __ Interviews
    __ Documentation
    __ Observing clients/customers
    __ Observing staff/employees
    __ Conducting focus groups among_____

    When is the Information Needed?

    What Resources Are Available to Collect the Information?

    For the Category of Evaluations (Many Kinds):

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