Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – A Boston-based nonprofit takes on program evaluation – 10/08/12

There is more and more pressure on nonprofits to address strategic questions like, “What long-term impact are we having on the people we serve?”and “What do we want this community to look like as a result of our work?” and finally, “How will we track our progress?”

My guest this week runs a Boston-based non-profit that was created some six years ago from the merger of two historic and well-known Boston nonprofits that served low-income women. This show is a really interesting look at how that merger breathed new life into the staff and board, and created the need to initiate evaluation processes to measure their achievements.

Beth Babcock is president and CEO of Crittenton Women’s Union, an organization that transforms the course of low-income women’s lives so that they and their families can achieve economic independence. We discuss how the merger raised big questions, caused a new strategic direction, and prompted evaluation activities that involves the entire staff. During our interview, she mentions a practical book about evaluation that she uses a lot. Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity by Mario Morino can be ordered from Amazon.com.

This is one of those shows that is rich with ideas for what you can do to incorporate evaluation and become a learning and risk-taking organization.