Program Evaluation for Nonprofits‌ (Online)




Enhance your understanding of program evaluation within the nonprofit context.  Find out how to improve your evaluation planning, data collection, data analysis and data use.  Special attention will be paid to the real-world challenges that organizations may face when conducting evaluation, including staff time, costs and reporting evaluation results to funders. By the close of the course, you will have a complete program logic model and evaluation plan ready for implementation.

One-month course, Myia Welsh, MSW, Instructor.

Directional Arrows Course Objectives

  • To provide a basic understanding of evaluation in the nonprofit context
  • To provide tangible, useful information on how nonprofit professionals can plan and implement evaluation activities
  • To provide a basic understanding of how evaluation data is used in the nonprofit sector and how participants can improve their use of that data
  • To address the real-world challenges that nonprofit organizations face in conducting evaluation, and provide realistic solutions

Puzzle Pieces Course Outcomes
At the end of successfully completing the course, you will:

  • Understand what evaluation is, and what it is not.
  • Be able to identify steps your organization can take right away to improve evaluation activities.
  • Possess a completed program-logic model and evaluation plan.
  • Know how to collect and analyze data properly.
  • Know how to use that data to improve programs and report to funders and stakeholders.

outlineCourse Outline

Unit 1: Introduction to Nonprofit Evaluation & the Logic Model

  • What evaluation is and is not
  • Why evaluation is important to nonprofit organizations and why your funders are asking you for it
  • Planning for evaluation begins when you apply for the grant
  • Types of evaluation, and the approaches best suited to nonprofit programs
  • Planning tools for evaluation – introduction to the logic model
  • Crafting accurate, concise outcome statements

Unit 2: Creating an Evaluation Plan

  • What an evaluation plan is and why you need one
  • Using outcomes from our logic model to create your evaluation plan
  • Setting priorities for your evaluation (navigating barriers based on budget, funder requirements, staff time and staff capacity) 
  • Creating indicators for your outcomes
  • Defining benchmarks and targets where appropriate

Unit 3: Collecting the Data

  • Taking stock of the data you already use
  • Making data collection systematic
  • Choosing and/or creating data collection tools – output information, surveys, interviews, focus groups

Unit 4: Analysis, Reporting and Use – Putting it All Together

  • Appropriate analysis of the common data collection tools covered in Unit 3
  • Common analysis mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Reporting to various stakeholders (funders, donors, Board of Directors and the community)
  • Using data for program improvement

Question MarkAbout online learning

Online learning is a fun, enjoyable and very productive way to learn. Millions of people are learning online each year. You will engage with the instructor and other participants. You will get to know your instructor and other participants. You may make friends. 

GearsHow the Course Works

It is easy to participate in your online course. After you register, you will be given a web address to go to get into your online classroom.  You will have a password and use your email address and password to gain access.

Calendar Participate when you want

You can participate any time of day or evening. The online classroom is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no live real-time requirements or meetings. You decide when you participate. For the best learning, participants should log into the course on 2-3 different days of the week.

ChecklistWhat you will do

  1. In the online classroom, listen to audio lectures, view slides, even take an optional quiz to test yourself.
  2. Then post comments in the online discussion with your fellow participants and the instructor.  Your instructor logs on at least once a day to answer questions and join in on the discussion.
  3. Readings are assigned for each day from the textbooks provided at registration.

  4. Participate any time of day or night. The ideal is to go online 2-3 times a day since they are week-long courses, but you decide.

Discussion Discussion

The Discussion for each Unit lasts one week. All comments are made in writing and can be made at any time of the day or night.

Your instructor will log into the Discussion area at least once a day and answer questions, make comments, and respond to comments by you and the other participants.

We encourage you to make 2-3 comments each week to maximize your learning and enjoyment of the course.

It’s easy! It’s fun.

Mac Mini Technical Requirements

  • Internet access with Internet Explorer; Firefox Mozilla; or Safari web browser.
  • Audio software such as Windows Media, Real, or Flash.
  • Speakers to listen to audio.

About the Instructor

Myia Welsh, MSW, has over 12 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. As an evaluation consultant, she works with nonprofits and foundations to evaluate what differences programs are making, to help them understand how programs can be improved, and to provide training for organizations that are interested in increasing their evaluation capacity.  Some of her clients have included the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Migrant Clinicians Network, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and the Ford Foundation.  Myia holds a Master of Social Work Degree with a concentration in Social Policy and Program Evaluation from the University of Michigan.

Who Should Attend:

New and aspiring Nonprofit Managers who want to enhance your understanding of program evaluation within the nonprofit context.  

Experienced Nonprofit Managers who want to find out how to improve your evaluation planning, data collection, data analysis and data use.

Members of Nonprofit Boards of Directors and other interested individuals who want to better understand nonprofit organizations.


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Fall Session: 9/3/2013 - 9/27/2013
(Late Registration Deadline 9/6/2013)