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 sectors capacity to respond to the increasing need for tools to measure the impact of civic engagement and social change work.
Community Engagement Assessment Worksheet
This tool helps agencies take stock of their current level of community engagement by presenting a set of activities and prompting agencies to think about how often they currently engage in each of these activities. The worksheet also helps agencies think about how they want to go about addressing this level of engagement and helps them think through their priorities in this area. (Developed by Margi Clarke and Emily Goldfarb, consultants to social change organizations.)
Integrating Civic Participation Strategies into Service Delivery
This toolkit was designed to support the NCLR Latino Empowerment and Advocacy Project (LEAP) to measurably increase Latino electoral participation, but it can be applied to any social service/social change group seeking to increase civic participation as part of their organizations work. Included are a variety of tools including surveys, intake forms, flyers, workshop guides, and petitions to assist in the integration process.
Learning Circles for Root Cause Analysis
This handout from BMP offers information and a process to engage staff and constituent partners in learning circles focused on root cause analysis. It describes how to organize the leaning circle, set it up for success and provides tips for the facilitator.
The purpose of a learning circle is to develop a deeper understanding of community problems and issues experienced by agency constituents. The learning circle fosters critical thinking and analysis among circle participants, who begin to form and re-examine their assumptions about their role in community life and their ability to propose solutions for community change.
Common Good Message Box
This agenda and worksheet can be used to create a common good message for a community issue or concern. This tool can be a useful first step towards crafting new messages about the problems we confront in our work for social change. Use it to develop values-based messages, and reframe the issues that matter to your group.
Building Organizational Capacity for Social Justice
Recognizing that much has been done in the general field of capacity building of the nonprofit sector, the National Gender and Equity Campaign (NGEC) began conducting extensive research to understand existing frameworks, tools and approaches in capacity building. The transformation framework and accompanying tools within this publication highlight NGECs intention to elevate the social justice movement by supporting the development of social justice organizations.
Assessment of Organization Readiness for Social Change
A seven-question, multiple-choice assessment, this tool helps help groups determine if the process described in “Social Service & Social Change: A Process Guide” is an appropriate match for their organization. Based on the final score of the assessment, a basic analysis and starting point is suggested.
Racial Equity Tools
Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.
Client Voice and Engagement
When engaging clients or constituents more deeply in the work of your organization, it is helpful to examine not only the ways they are already involved, but also the quality of that engagement. Understanding who has power and how to share it is key to effectively involving constituent voice in your work. This agenda and the accompanying worksheet can help you to delve deeper into individual programs or areas of your work and begin to generate concrete ideas for next steps in engaging clients.
A Developmental Evaluation Primer
This tool offers a clear, concise introduction to the evaluation framework known as Developmental Evaluation, developed and popularized by researcher Michael Quinn Patton.
Overview of Current Advocacy Evaluation Practice
This brief offers an overview of current practice in the new and now rapidly growing field of advocacy evaluation. It highlights the kinds of approaches being used, offers specific examples of how they are being used and who is using them, and identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
Four Components of Community
This discussion guide can be used to explore the key components of community building and evaluate where it is currently happening in your organization, and where it can be built up. You can use this agenda and worksheet to delve deeper into individual programs or areas of your work to begin to generate more concrete ideas for next steps.
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.
Evaluation for Strategic Learning
This paper makes the case for the value of using evaluation to inform strategic learning. Organizations that are set up for learning will make the best use of this type of evaluation approach.
An Advocacy Theory of Change
This tool can be used to design an advocacy theory of change. It leads a group through six questions for discussion, provides facilitation tips, and several graphic representations of what final strategies might look like.
A Practical Guide to Evaluating Systems Change in Human Services Systems
This Guide is for practitioners and evaluators who would like a practical way to think about systems and systems change. The author presents a framework (page 4) that looks at the collaborative group as a way to organize for systems change not the change itself.
Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-impact Nonprofits
This book, first published in 2007, is a guide to how nonprofits achieve extraordinary social impact. After studying 12 nonprofit, the authors identified six practices that lead to success. Advocacy and constituent engagement are key.