Service organizations are very often well-practiced in measuring outcomes about individual and/or family progress using an array of assessments that are program related. It is common to ask if a “client” or constituent is better off as a result of services or program participation. It is less likely that the organization measures the impact of constituent engagement in building the organization or in civic engagement activities. While the results of service provision are an important part of the organization’s story, expanding the view to include the impact of constituent engagement contributes to long-term change beyond the individual. The tools in this section are aimed at helping groups and individuals do just that. Learn more in the Constituent Engagement section of the Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE) Guide.

Caught in the Middle: Conflict between Grassroots and Instrumental Forms of Civic Participation

This article explores the various roles of citizen participation in community based organizations (specifically community development corporations). It includes a “Citizen Participation Continuum” which helps organizations and groups understand the source of conflicts between different types of citizen participation and provides organizations with a road map for evaluating programs that promote change in society.


Sources of Power

This handout can be used with organizations working in partnerships. It is helpful to understand the different ways that participation and communication styles can be perceived in groups and encourages users to consider how to share power in order to establish trust.


Developing the Leadership of Recipients

This mini report is part of the 5% shifts series and focuses on the ways in which two nonprofit organziations are working towards leadership development.


Exploring Community Engagement

This is a series of small-group discussion questions for use during an agency retreat or extended meeting that offers a structured opportunity to explore the agency’s potential for community engagement work.


Client Voice and Engagement

This agenda and activity worksheet is designed to identify opportunities for constituents to have more voice and leadership in your organzation and to generate a list of concrete practice shifts that can be proposed to others in the organzation.


Shields for Families

This case study tells the story of Shields for Families in Los Angeles that actively integrates social change and service provision by building on the leadership capacity of their clients and staff. Shields creates many opportunities for learning, enagement, and social change efforts that are exemplary. Use this case study to learn from Shields and discuss what would work locally and how to move forward.


From Input to Ownership: How Nonprofits Can Engage with the People They Serve To Carry Out Their Missions

This article is about asking, listening, and more. It looks at how some leading nonprofits are engaging clients, beneficiaries, or residents—their constituents— in order to deliver services more effectively and have more impact on the social concerns they are trying to address.


Creating Effective Feedback Loops

This essay provides a set of principles that practitioners can use to design feedback loops with a higher probability of success. It suggests that effective efforts benefit from getting constant feedback about what works and makes the case that constituent (or consumer) voice is critical to design systems that are effective and responsive.


Constituent Voice: A Techincal Note

This technical note offers a method to maximize and measure constituent voice.


Measuring the Impact of Civic Engagement

This report provides an overview of a process to develop tools to measure the impact of civic engagement practices in human services. The Civic Engagement Measurements System (CEMS) is an inter-related set of tools that are believed to represent a promising new approach to the measurement of outcomes and impacts of civic engagement.