Empowering Nonprofits Through Data

EIA News

Observations and Inspiration from Chari Smith

I’m going to get fired…

September 6th, 2022

I’m going to get fired. That’s what you might think if your boss emailed you a report showing your program isn’t meeting its goals. I’m going to get fired. Let’s unpack that. Your boss should never, ever email you a report with that kind of information. It just fuels fear. It’s a conversation. always. with […]

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The Secret to Increasing Survey Response Rates

June 15th, 2022

Communication. That’s the secret. If you want to increase the likelihood that you will have a higher response rate to your survey, communicate before, during and after your survey is administered. Let’s break it down into these three phases. Before. Do your participants sign up for your program and complete a registration form, intake, or […]

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Logic Models vs. Impact Models – What’s the Difference?

March 7th, 2022

When you hear the term ‘logic model’ does a nervous quiver runs down your spine? Or the opposite – do you absolutely love them? How people initially feel about the term definitely varies, but the bottom line is this: having a visual summary of what your program does and the difference it’s expected to make […]

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The Big Shift: From Compliance to Learning

September 9th, 2021

The intersection of program evaluation and organizational culture is critical to understand. Organizational culture relates to program evaluation in a very direct way: values and attitudes drive behaviors that make up the culture of your organization, and the way your staff feel and think about evaluation will ultimately dictate their behaviors and attitude towards the […]

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Creating Measurable Outcomes

June 22nd, 2021

*** This article was originally published in September 2018, and was updated and republished in June 2021 Outcome statements are change statements. They are critical to ensure you are collecting data that will inform program improvement efforts. They address the key question: What do you expect will change as a result of program activities? The […]

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Avoid This Common Survey Mistake

April 1st, 2021

Do you believe this blog post will help you? Yes No Maybe That, my friends, is a leading question. If I as the survey writer put into the question what I think, I am on a subconscious (or maybe even conscience) level make more likely that the survey taker will respond the way I want […]

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Why I Wrote A Book

December 7th, 2020

** Available for purchase as of January 2021! Purchase now on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble ** In the blur of workshops on program evaluation I’ve taught over the years, there’s one persistent question to which I’ve never had a satisfactory answer: “Chari, have you written a book about this?” While flattered, I never […]

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COVID-19 Can’t Stop Progress: Spotlight on Education and Evaluation

September 30th, 2020

In4All was able to adapt quickly when COVID-19 ripped through Portland, Oregon in March 2020. They closed their offices March 13, and were determined not to let this disruption stop their important work to bring educators and businesses together to impact students who are historically under-served at critical points in their K-12 education. Program Adjustment: […]

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Creativity, Flexibility, and Courage: How I am adapting my program evaluation practice during the global pandemic

May 15th, 2020

Since the global coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down, I can’t help but wonder about how all of this will impact current and future program evaluation work. Here are just a few of the questions I have heard from my clients, colleagues, nonprofits, foundations, and the evaluation sector at large: Should I keep working […]

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Data into Dollars: The Intersection of Program Evaluation & Fundraising

January 13th, 2020

I struggle with the intersection of fundraising and program evaluation. The primary reason to do program evaluation is to learn, for continuous program improvement. It’s not a fundraising activity. However, I’m often brought into an organization by a grant writer who wants my help to produce data that demonstrates the impact of their program. They […]

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Chari’s plan and coaching for evaluation over time helped create a data-driven culture within our team...

"Chari helped us take our broad program, which serves a wide range of people with a variable menu of services, and distill it down to the places where we have the most ability to create change within our participants’ lives. In addition to cultivating effective tools, Chari’s plan and coaching for evaluation over time helped create a data-driven culture within our team that we had not been able to capture before. We received two of our largest grants to date as a direct result of our collaboration with her."

Julia Doty, Director of Resident Services, Northwest Housing Alternatives

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