Guest post from Marygrace Bateman, Market Manager, IBM Predictive Analytics Solutions Marketing
With non-profits vying for fewer and fewer available dollars, it’s important to be “buttoned up” when asking for support – including performing rigorous program evaluations to justify continued funding. However, many find program evaluations as one of their toughest activities – and for good reasons.
Evaluating programs can be time-consuming and complicated. Or organizations may feel they lack the necessary resources, especially when faced with shrinking budgets. And, if the evaluation is farmed out to a third party, the process can be expensive – diverting precious financial resources away from the actual programs themselves.
Program evaluations are important and essential to evaluating the effectiveness or program and services as it helps justify continued funding, keeps donors and constituents apprised of performance, and enables appropriate adjustments to be taken when poor results are apparent. I will be discussing the impact of successful program effectiveness in a webinar on August 9 at 2:00 pm EDT.
At the heart of every non-profit is the organization's mission. Achieving program effectiveness requires the organization to ask itself, are we delivering our mission in the most effective and efficient way possible to best serve our constituents?
The first step to answering this question is to analyze available data to determine program inhibitors and drivers.
The analysis will help non-profits understand the needs of the community they serve, where services will be most effective, how constituent behaviors will affect program planning, optimal volunteer engagement levels, employee productivity and much more.
To address these issues, many non-profits are turning to business analytics software to understand precisely what is working and what is not within their programs, so they can take corrective action and achieve superior performance and results. Read how Marwell Wildlife and Medway Youth Trust are leveraging analytics to support their missions.
For maximum effectiveness, I suggest following these simple steps:
· Don't depend solely on historical data! How programs performed in the past is not a tell-all indicator of how they'll perform in the future. By leveraging additional data into your analysis, like social media and survey results, you will gain the deep, granular insight into how your programs are truly performing... and what you need to do now to make them better.
· Stop spending hours tinkering with spreadsheets! Spreadsheets have their place in this world, but not for achieving deep and efficient analytical insights. Learn how employing a predictive analytics solution can improve accuracy and performance, leaving you time to do what you do best – delivering the best programs possible.
· Visibility is integral to increased funding. Being able to quickly and easily display results via dashboards and key performance predictors to key stakeholders is necessary to secure future donations. Show constituents how your programs are working and where donor dollars are making the most impact.
For more information:
· Attend the upcoming webinar and learn how non-profits use business analytics to improve program evaluation and effectiveness
· Watch the video which explains how non-profits can improve program effectiveness, reduce costs and increase donations
· Visit the IBM SPSS Non-Profit Resource Center