—Vermont Nonprofit Conference 2011 Preview– -Joy Livingston and Donna Reback of Flint Springs Associates are leading the Vermont Nonprofit Conference 2011 with a discussion of nonprofit outcomes. How do you know you make a difference? Join us on 4/14 and learn more from our experienced presenters.
Nonprofit organizations are responsible for making a difference in people’s lives, local communities and the larger world. As a result, they need to know if programs and services they provide are achieving intended outcomes. Communities and funders want to know if they are investing in programs that work. Organizations require targeted information to make strategic decisions that guide policy and program development and optimally serve clients.
What is the quickest way for a nonprofit organization to tell if it is making a difference? Instead ask: What does it take for a nonprofit to know if it is making a difference?
- Clarifying the outcomes for which an organization is accountable
- Identifying information needed to track progress towards achieving outcomes
- Training staff to regularly monitor progress towards outcomes and make needed changes in policies and practice
Can you do this on your own, or do you need a guide by your side?
Ideally, organizations can develop the capacity to do this on their own. Simply asking the questions: What do we do? How well do we do it? Do we make a difference? will help you to rethink the way you do your work. To take this on, it is important to have momentum and to develop staff skills to track and analyze your “results”. A champion–from within or outside of the organization–is vital get this process started and to keep you focused on the change you want to make!
You can reach Joy Livingston and Donna Reback at Flint Springs Associates.