This year, REC blogs will focus on data best practices. We have explored some of these practices in the past, as in 6 Tips to Collect Quality Data. This blog series will elaborate on several data collection best practices as nonprofit organizations and their programs are getting back to “normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a great time to refocus and realign program evaluation and strategic planning efforts.
Nonprofit Data Collection and Evaluation: Moving Past COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic had major impacts on nonprofit operations, making it difficult to collect meaningful evaluation data. A survey of 126 nonprofit organizations found that about 66% reported that COVID-19 had a moderate to significant negative impact on their organization. Some organizations ceased in-person programming due to the dangers of the pandemic. Others adapted their programs to ensure the safety of their staff and the communities they served. For some organizations, program evaluation and data collection were limited. Now, as organizations transition back to more routine programming, it is important to leverage program evaluation to make data-informed decisions, improve programs, and communicate to funders how your organization is making a difference.
Data Best Practices 2023 Blog Series: Upcoming Topics
Given our focus for this year, REC will be posting blogs on the following topics:
- 5 Evaluation Questions to Ask Your Funders
- Understanding evaluation requirements makes it easier to build an evaluation plan that meets your funders’ and organizations’ needs and utilizes evaluation resources appropriately.
- 5 Common Data Myths
- Data can be confusing and difficult to understand. Understanding common data myths is important before, during, and after you conduct evaluation.
- 6 Common Survey Mistakes and their Solutions (2-part series)
- Is your survey producing good data? In this two-part series, REC will identify some common survey mistakes and their solutions to improve data quality.
- 4 Dos and Don’ts for Creating Youth Surveys
- Surveying youth can be necessary, but it is challenging. This blog will highlight some best practices to create effective youth surveys.
- Data Collection in Practice: A Non-Profit Organizational Case Study
- Not sure which data collection method to use? This case study will highlight different data collection methods that can support a comprehensive approach to program evaluation.
Still have questions about data?
Reach out to REC! We can help your organization implement effective and feasible evaluation best practices.
Chalise, N. (2021). Nonprofits Struggle in the Face of COVID-19. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Link: https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2021/december/nonprofits-struggle-in-face-of-covid-19
Martin, H., Gehling, K., and Buteau, E. (2021). Persevering Through Crisis: The State of Nonprofits. The Center for Effective Philanthropy. Link: https://cep.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CEP_Persevering-through-Crisis_2021.pdf
Shtivelband, A. (2017). 6 Tips to Collect Quality Data. Research Evaluation Consulting LLC. Link: https://researchevaluationconsulting.com/6-tips-to-collect-quality-data/
4 Data Collection Methods – Pros and Cons