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  • Writer's pictureHealthQ

Please leave your blindfold at the door!

Perhaps that will be the sign outside the door at your next NFP Board meeting.

  • 73% of non-profits, say they can’t tell if their programs are effective or reaching the populations they want to serve (1)

  • 71% of non-profits say they measure outcomes, but only 15% of those nonprofits consider that the community sector measured its outcomes well (2)

  • There is a tendency to measure outputs, not outcomes (3)

  • The level of understanding among the wider community of the (non-profit) sector's role and contribution is poor … Evaluation of the sector’s effectiveness is essential if the sector and government are to embrace an evidence-based approach to social investment. (4)

I was extremely fortunate, this week, to meet with the Board and leadership team of a local NFP this week that has invested in program and service evaluation. They are regularly reporting outcomes measures to the Board and key stakeholders. It’s a rare thing! And what a difference it is making,

The blind faith in the impact of service delivery needs to change. Boards need to seek outcome data from management and hold the organisation accountable to deliver on its mission and outcomes.

The tools and techniques are available and well tested by evaluation in public health, social services and international development sectors. Let's make a start and relentlessly seek impact.

Want to know a little more about evaluation services? Click here


(1) 2nd Edition Nonprofit Trends Report, 2019 (Survey of 725 nonprofit professionals in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands)

(2) Callis, Z., Seivwright, A., and Flatau, P., (2019) Outcomes Measurement in the Australian Community Sector: A National Report Card, Bankwest Foundation Social Impact Series, No. 10, Bankwest Foundation. (Survey of 347 ACNC registered organisations in Australia)

(3) Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Measuring the outcomes of community organisations

(4) Productivity Commission, Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector, 2010

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