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.
The Power of Stories
This webpage has a link to a video that describes the cultural treasures of one community in California. The video highlights youth working for change and developing leadership through civic engagement and advocacy.
Nonprofits Must Speak Out about Poverty and Income Inequality
This paper makes the case for nonprofits to work to ameliorate income inequality beyond providing services to those who are already poor or are in danger of falling out of the shrinking middle class and into poverty.
Midwest Academy Strategy Chart
This handout guides the organization to explore what is currently happening within the organization as well as identifying those who will work with you and those who might block your efforts.
Everyday Advocacy Resources
From advocacy toolkits and informative “how to” sheets to recent opinion pieces and material about federal, state, and local lobbying laws, this section of the National Council of Nonprofits website provides resources to nonprofit leaders about ways to advance their missions through everyday advocacy.
This website is the portal to Better Together, the 2000 report that identified Americas civic apathy and ways to revitalize it. There are links to the book, Bowling Alone, which describes how isolated members of our society have become, as well as a social capital primer, research and measurement tools.
Transactions, Transformations, Translations
“Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Metrics That
Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements” is a way of looking at organizational growth and the alliance building that brings groups together. This evaluation approach can capture the importance of narrative and numbers, of politics and policies, of transformation as well as transaction.