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Measuring Impact: The State of Nonprofit Evaluation in the Greater Orlando Area

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
Research shows that since the mid-1990s funders of the nonprofit sector have significantly increased the sophistication of their reporting requirements. Funders today want agencies to demonstrate beyond outputs and report on outcomes and the impact they have on the communities they serve. Funders are monitoring community impact by requiring more complex reports from the agencies they fund. These changes have meant that agencies must become proficient in data collection, management, and analyses practices in order to accurately respond to funders' report requests. Nonprofits, however, find these requirements difficult to conceptualize and even more difficult to attain. Managing and analyzing the data necessary to create the required reports proves a formidable task. This research shows that among many obstacles reported, a lack of communication between agency and funders about their intended goals leads to some frustration from both sides, ultimately making it exceptionally difficult to attain the ultimate goal of the new reporting requirements: to measure community-level impact. This study utilizes qualitative interviews with 8 human service nonprofit agencies and one funding agency in the greater Orlando area to investigate what agencies report are their major obstacles when trying to meet funders' new reporting requirements and what a funder's response to these concerns is. Agency interviews were analyzed for the most common themes and concerns reported. The interviews explore the way nonprofits are responding to the new requirements from donors and what they think could be done differently to better capture valuable data that would speak to issues at the community level.
Title: Measuring Impact: The State of Nonprofit Evaluation in the Greater Orlando Area.
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Name(s): Strickhouser, Sara, Author
Wright, James, Committee Chair
Jasinski, Jana, Committee Member
Gay, David, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Research shows that since the mid-1990s funders of the nonprofit sector have significantly increased the sophistication of their reporting requirements. Funders today want agencies to demonstrate beyond outputs and report on outcomes and the impact they have on the communities they serve. Funders are monitoring community impact by requiring more complex reports from the agencies they fund. These changes have meant that agencies must become proficient in data collection, management, and analyses practices in order to accurately respond to funders' report requests. Nonprofits, however, find these requirements difficult to conceptualize and even more difficult to attain. Managing and analyzing the data necessary to create the required reports proves a formidable task. This research shows that among many obstacles reported, a lack of communication between agency and funders about their intended goals leads to some frustration from both sides, ultimately making it exceptionally difficult to attain the ultimate goal of the new reporting requirements: to measure community-level impact. This study utilizes qualitative interviews with 8 human service nonprofit agencies and one funding agency in the greater Orlando area to investigate what agencies report are their major obstacles when trying to meet funders' new reporting requirements and what a funder's response to these concerns is. Agency interviews were analyzed for the most common themes and concerns reported. The interviews explore the way nonprofits are responding to the new requirements from donors and what they think could be done differently to better capture valuable data that would speak to issues at the community level.
Identifier: CFE0004757 (IID), ucf:49781 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Sociology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): evaluation -- program evaluation -- nonprofit -- outcomes -- funder reporting
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004757
Restrictions on Access: public 2013-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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