Empowering Nonprofits Through Data


Nonprofit Program Evaluation Made Simple:
Get your Data. Show your Impact. Improve your Programs.

by Chari Smith


Are you overwhelmed on how to do nonprofit program evaluation? You’re not alone. And I’m here to help!

There are many ways to do program evaluation, making it difficult to know how to start. Funders require data to demonstrate impact, which just adds to the stress. Those stressful and overwhelming days are over. This book outlines a clear approach, filled with real world stories as well as examples of evaluation plans, surveys, and reports. I detail exactly how to adopt this simple approach so that you have the data you need to satisfy funder requirements and to make program planning decisions.

Key topics addressed:

  • How to plan your program evaluation so you avoid common pitfalls that can be time consuming and expensive
  • Understand how to build buy-in for evaluation with your team and how to address staff resistance or fears
  • Create measurable outcomes for both grant applications and to guide program improvement
  • Develop an impact and/or logic model that visually communicates what your program does and the difference it makes
  • Create useful surveys that measure what matters
  • Understand the choices in how to manage your data – spreadsheets vs. database solutions
  • Create a clear data collection process that is realistic and satisfies everyone’s timeline
  • Basic data analysis and reporting to make meaning of your data
  • Use data visualization to create compelling reports

Bonus: Every book comes with access to a companion website, which is full of downloadable real-world examples and templates you can use to get started!

Special thanks to the following nonprofits generously allowing me to include excerpts from our work together in order to help others learn how to do program evaluation:

Curious about why I wrote a book in the first place? Read about my journey!


Now we have an amazing way to measure the physical, emotional, and mental effects of our programs...

Chari accurately captured the fundamental goals and mission of our organization and transformed our input into a clear evaluation process that helps us assess the impact of our programs on the lives of the families that we serve. Now we have an amazing way to measure the physical, emotional, and mental effects of our programs and to guide change, ensuring that we are delivering services in the most effective way possible.

Brandi Tuck, Executive Director, Portland Homeless Family Solutions

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