Evaluating Coalitions and Networks: frameworks, needs, and opportunities

Evaluators have developed an impressive array of approaches, frameworks, and tools to support both coalitions/networks and their funders. The report explores these developments, and points to challenges and opportunities that remain in efforts to assess the effectiveness and impact of coalitions/networks. This review is for coalitions and networks that are considering embarking on evaluation. It begins with what makes coalitions and networks different from standalone organizations, and the implications for evaluation. It then reviews five selected evaluation frameworks, highlighting their advantages, limitations, and applicability. Finally, it offers a set of lessons and opportunities related to coalition/network evaluation based on real-life experiences, along with insights for funders on how best to support evaluation of the coalitions/networks they support.


Evidence of Change: Exploring Civic Engagement Evaluation

Building Movement, the Alliance and the Ms.Foundation were all part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Civic Engagement Learning Year in 2008. As part of the project, groups who formed partnerships were eligible for small Connect Grants. The three groups received a grant to hold a summit with practitioners, researchers, intermediaries and funders to look at civic engagement impact measurement and dialogue with other organizations. This report presents a brief summary of the key findings that came out of the Civic Engagement Evaluation Summit. It also examines how organizations currently view their relationship with impact measurement. It then ends with a set of recommendations for how to increase the nonprofit sector’s capacity to respond to the increasing need for tools to measure the impact of civic engagement and social change work.


Theory of Social Change

This discussion guide and exercise applies an adapted version of this familiar framework to your organization in order to help participants consider how service work differs when it incorporates social change goals. Both types of planning and impact are important.


Theory of Change Facilitator Source Book

This facilitator source book defines Theory of Change vocabulary, offers suggestions for preparation for group process, and provides a step-by-step explanation of what it takes to design a Theory of Change.


Sharing Values

This exercise is designed for working with partners to explore where values are aligned and where there might be differences. There is a discussion guide that focuses on both the alignment and possibilities where values differ.