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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
In recent years, millions of words have been written about the need to measure the effectiveness of nonprofit social programs, and millions of dollars have been spent doing just that. It’s time to ask: What has been the impact of this effectiveness movement?
While nonprofit leaders have become more thoughtful and skilled about community outcomes, in too many cases, funders – foundations, government agencies, and donors – get lost in the labyrinth searching for effectiveness.
The Way Stations
Developing measurements are invaluable exercises in thinking about how nonprofits and programs can improve, but it’s easy to stumble if we mistake any of these way stations as the destination. To stop at one place on the road of outcomes implicitly equates effectiveness with its measure. At a job training center where I was finance director we found ourselves drawn to teaching to the test – focusing more on interview skills and resume writing than