Fall Highlights 2023

Impact offers this newsletter as a way to share the incredible work its partners are engaged in and to demonstrate how Impact might support your organization in reaching its goals.

Spotlight: Evaluation Training

Impact recently provided evaluation trainings for NyE Community Coalition (Nye, Esmeralda, and Mineral Counties, NV) and PACT Coalition (Clark County, NV). The coalitions invited staff, subrecipient agencies, and interested community members to learn more about the basics of program evaluation.

Impact is fully aware that evaluation is not usually perceived to be the most exciting topic. At best, evaluation becomes a confusing chore tacked on to an otherwise exciting and impactful program. At worst, funders' evaluation requirements can feel like a weapon used to penalize and terrorize agencies. With all of this in mind, Impact was thrilled with the attendance and open attitudes shared during the trainings.

We spent time discussing the purpose and types of evaluation, various instruments and tools, basic methodological considerations, and different approaches to analysis and reporting. Participants broke into small groups along the way and practiced what they learned using real examples from their own work.

The basis of any effective evaluation is a solid logic model. We'll learn more about logic models in Nerd Corner...I'll bet you can't wait!

"We had a wide range of knowledge in the room and Margo did a great job of keeping us moving forward with the process and integrating the learning into our programs and practices. I have heard from staff and community partners how they can use what Margo taught them about data collection, evaluation, and the systems of evaluation. We appreciate Margo's ability to make evaluation a tool for all of us."

Stacy Smith, CEO

NyE Communities Coalition 

Nerd Corner: Logic Models

Impact strives to emphasize the SCIENCE in the social sciences. This section of the newsletter is devoted to a brief overview of methods and theories Impact utilizes from the fields of Anthropology and Evaluation to support its partners.

If you are like most people, you just cringed a little bit when you read the words "logic model." To thank you for being brave enough to continue reading, here's a little joke:

"Why did the evaluator get new head shots?

"Because she wanted to be a logic model!"

(Joke Credit: Non Profit AF)

Margo Teague, Impact's Principle and Owner

In all seriousness, many funders require logic models and many of you feel tremendous pressure to put something together that makes some kind of sense. Non Profit AF, which produces an irreverent, cutting edge non profit newsletter that everyone should check out, loves to make fun of logic models (and consultants but we'll leave that alone for now). If you take a little time and effort a logic model can be transformed from an exercise in nonsense to a seriously useful tool. There are thousands of options for constructing a logic model. Whichever one you choose, Impact recommends you address at least the following topics:

Problem: Overarching problem backed up by data.

Subproblem: What are the contributing factors to this problem? This should be based on research not intuition.

Goal: A bold, simple statement about what you are hoping to accomplish.

Objective: What are the two or three steps you will take to accomplish your goal?

Activities: Provide an enumerated, detailed list of your activities.

Process Measures: How will you know, with data points, that you did what you said you were going to do?

Short-Term Outcome Measures: You probably won't be able to "fix" anything in one fiscal year, but what evidence do you have that you are on the right track and this project should continue?

Long-Term Outcome Measures: Were you able to move the needle toward improving the problem you identified?

It is helpful to have an outsider who is not emotionally invested in your project work though this process with you and help you determine where you might be making assumptions or missing steps. It is magical when a program can demonstrate outcomes directly related to the problem they are worried about. Actually, it's not magic, it's LOGIC.

If you are interested in finding out how Impact can help your organization meet its goals, contact Margo at margo.impactevaluation@gmail.com or call (775)397-0785.

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