Jul. 24, 2015 11:18 am

Building capacity in nonprofits is key — this program aims to prove it

Scattergood, Barra, and the Philadelphia Foundation are teaming up for this initiative

The Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, The Barra Foundation, and The Philadelphia Foundation have teamed up to support 11 nonprofits who will each receive two years of consultation services from The Consultation Center at Yale University.

The program, called the Building Capacity Initiative, is aimed at helping nonprofits better evaluate the outcomes and impact of their programs, and then to more effectively communicate that information. This is the fifth year of the initiative, with 26 organizations having completed the process.

From the foundations’ standpoint, the capacity to evaluate programming is something they increasingly look for in their grantees.

“To innovate or adapt effectively, organizations need to be able to accurately assess what is working and what is not.  In our work with grantees, evaluation capacity has emerged as an important need and one that is under-resourced,” said Kristina Wahl, president of The Barra Foundation, in a press release.

The Consultation Center has mix of services, including research, consultation and professional training for community organizations. According to a press release, the initiative provides:

  • an overview of program evaluation and its use in organizations
  • an introduction to logic models and their uses in evaluation
  • assisting organizations to identify program evaluation needs, goals, methods, and measures most appropriate for their program; and
  • helping organizations identify organizational capacities and barriers to program evaluation capacity and sustainability.

In past cohorts, there has been a focus on behavioral health. Now the initiative is open to organizations that work in arts and culture, education, physical health and wellness and human services.

More details are available on the Scattergood Foundation’s website. Applications must be submitted by August 17 at 5:00 p.m.

Image via Flickr User Ewan McIntosh

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