Empowering Nonprofits Through Data

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Observations and Inspiration from Chari Smith
Amelia Earhart quote preparation

The secret to successful survey administration….

June 10th, 2024

The secret to a successful survey lies in the preparation. Amelia Earhart’s words resonate deeply when it comes to survey ventures. To conduct a survey that ensures high-quality data collection to inform decision-making, you need to create a survey administration guide. This guide is the cornerstone of any survey project. It paves the way for […]


Bill Gates quote

How do you create a feedback loop?

February 20th, 2024

  One of the best ways to improve your program is to create a feedback loop with your participants. A feedback loop is a way of gathering, processing, and acting on the feedback you get from your participants. This helps you to better understand their wants, needs, and difficulties, and adjust your program accordingly. It […]


EIA Heart Math

Why does the heart matter?

September 19th, 2023

Let’s talk about a truth in our culture. We often operate from the neck up. Our brains often dominate our actions, here’s an example. First thing in the morning, my brain is ticking through my to do list, my body is going through the motions of getting coffee, brushing my teeth, getting my kids moving, […]


literature quote

Literature reviews will save you time

June 1st, 2023

A literature review is a great place to start your survey design. In some cases, surveys have already been created to measure whatever it is you want to measure. This can save you a lot of time and effort if you find something that already exists. It starts with a question. Then, a deep dive […]


alignment definition Webster dictionary

What is the key ingredient to create quality surveys?

February 10th, 2023

Alignment is the key ingredient to create quality surveys. Let’s unpack that. Alignment is defined as the proper positioning of parts in relation to each other. In program evaluation, these parts are: (1) measurable outcomes, and (2) survey items. The alignment between these two parts is the secret sauce in knowing what to ask in […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, Former Director of Resident Services, Northwest Housing Alternatives

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