Nonprofit professionals are often asked, "what is the impact of your program/organization?" and collect survey data to answer this question. While fielding a survey is a common and effective way to collect information, the success of a survey requires careful planning and a clear goal in mind.
This JPro Master Class will begin by exploring the purpose and benefits of, as well as the organizational keys to, successfully implementing a program evaluation. Next, participants will dig into the learning goals for data collection and discuss alternative methods for answering your questions. In the last session, you will dive into survey design and question writing, highlighting common pitfalls, and provide considerations for data analysis.
This class is for you if:
- You are responsible for describing the impact of your programs
- You are unsure about the best approach to measuring your program outcomes
- You are new to survey writing and analysis
This class is not for you if:
- You are interested in program evaluation but are not involved in the hands-on aspects of program evaluation
- Your past efforts to evaluate your programs have been successful and satisfying
- You have some familiarity with data collection procedures
By the end of this class you will:
- Understand the purpose and value of evaluating your program
- Know the characteristics of an organization that is prepared to conduct evaluation activities
- Understand some ways to approach a program evaluation process
- Gain greater awareness of ways to make evaluation work more equitable
- Gain strategies for collecting information via surveys
Session 1: Fundamentals of Program Evaluation – we will come to a shared understanding about the purpose and benefits of program evaluation including the kinds of questions program evaluations can answer, and how they can be conducted to advance equity. Participants will reflect on their program or organization’s needs in doing an evaluation, and consider the organizational resources, skills, knowledge and capacity necessary to conduct evaluation activities.
Session 2: Planning for Data Collection – we will describe the importance of clearly articulating your learning goals and provide participants with the opportunity to outline what they hope to learn from the data collection. We will also briefly describe common data collection methods, both quantitative (e.g. surveys) and qualitative (e.g. interviews, focus groups). Participants will spend time thinking creatively about how to collect data as part of existing program activities using a variety of tools that may already be at their disposal (e.g. Google Forms, participant databases). We will also consider strategies for engaging their constituents (including but not limited to program participants) in data collection and analysis.
Session 3: Survey Development – we will dive into survey design and question writing. Drawing on the previous session, we will discuss how to draft a survey instrument that will provide answers to your key questions. We will outline common sections included in a survey (e.g., introduction, core questions, demographic questions) and pitfalls to avoid when designing a survey. We will also discuss ways to analyze the data based on the questions asked in the survey.