This week’s topic:
“How should social impact (or nonprofit effectiveness) be evaluated?” How can we best understand the output of nonprofit or for profit social enterprises? It is not enough to simply say that an organization is “doing good”. How much good are they doing and how effective are they at turning “inputs” (donations and/or investment dollars) into social “outputs”?
Phil Cubeta worries that focusing on outcome measurement is trapping us in an “increasingly airless world” in “Measuring Social Good: Ode to the West Wind”.
Susan Herr wonders if donors even want metrics for their giving in “Accountability as a Struggle Between Head and Heart”.
Albert Ruesga thinks that only donors themselves can answer the question in “Some Hard Truths About Evaluation”.
The Washington Area Women’s Foundation profiles their evaluation process in “Evaluation: Beyond accountability to change”.
GiveWell offers their own “actual, defined, concrete metrics” in “Metrics: between losing your humanity and throwing up your hands”.
I explain why movie criticism may show us the best way to evaluate charities in “Rating Charities: A Qualitative Approach”.
Thanks to everyone who contributed.