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               February 8, 2017                                                                


Don’t let evaluation become the elephant in the room

It’s been almost two years since we launched the Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy, a province-wide initiative to empower nonprofits and charities to become actively involved in setting the evaluation agenda.

Our focus has been to help organizations negotiate the current landscape. Sharing stories of when evaluation worked well, naming what frustrates nonprofits about the process and producing resources to help nonprofits to have open discussions with their partners and stakeholders.

We want to be bold and practical in this process and here are four new resources to do that!

And just a bit of proud posturing: our evaluation resource Evaluations that Work - What the Nonprofit Sector Can Learn was #10 in Vibrant Communities Canada’s Top 20 Popular Resources in 2016. Thanks for the recognition and thank you to the sector for being a partner on this sector-driven evaluation journey!

What’s the elephant in the room?  We’re back with a new comic!

In the final comic of our series, with an idea sparked by Dan Weber from Capacity Canada, we demonstrate why evaluation planning- and budgeting- should be tackled at the start. Nonprofit organizations need to fight the urge to jump into activity planning, without considering how they're going to assess results as they go. Dan explores this in his guest blog, reminding us of the perils of ignoring evaluation and how planning can actually make our work easier.

Check out our latest comic - let’s make a point of dealing with the elephant in the room.

Post it, share it and use it to inspire or cajole in your evaluation planning!

New podcast: How Hillside Festival uses evaluation

Andrew Taylor and Ben Liadsky, our evaluation team, chat with Marie Zimmerman from Hillside Festival in Guelph, one of the top ten festivals in Canada, to explore the ways in which evaluation has helped the organization to create a better event experience. Why is it important to evaluate the festival and its outcomes when it’s doing well, especially at a time when resources are limited?

New video: Who Sets the Nonprofit Evaluation Agenda?

In this short presentation, Andrew and Ben re-enact their talk as part of their adventure to Atlanta, Georgia, last year for the American Evaluation Association conference. In it, they pose a provocative question about what the nonprofit evaluation system looks like now and how it could be reshaped going forward.

New blog: Evaluation - Expanding design learning

While we’re talking about Atlanta, read this latest post from Ben about three things he learned listening, talking, and eating evaluation with evaluation experts south of the border.

Refreshed resource: Can a pizza party be evaluation, too? Updating mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

In 2016, we put out a resource to help clarify the different ways in which the term evaluation gets used (or misused) in Ontario’s nonprofit sector. Since that time, we’ve had some learnings of our own. So, we’ve updated this resource to better reflect what we’ve learned from further research and conversations with the sector. In short, sometimes a pizza party can be the best approach to gaining insight.

Want to know more about ONN’s work to develop a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy?

Visit our webpage where you’ll find more comics, presentations, and guides, as well as webinars, podcasts, and more resources.


Ontario Nonprofit Network | @Foundation House | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON, M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786


Ontario Nonprofit Network | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786 | info@theonn.ca
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