Course Description

470.623 - Nonprofit Program Development and Evaluation

(Formerly Program Development & Evaluation in Nonprofits.) A major goal of this course is to help students become more proficient in recognizing, evaluating, and encouraging the kinds of benefits or outcomes intended by our society's variety of nonprofit and public programs. We will examine what needs and opportunities are addressed by four major types of programs: those serving individuals, those serving communities, those serving networks or systems, and those serving other organizations. Evaluating each requires different lenses and different tools; we will explore the role of culture and context in choosing particular approaches to evaluation. A view of programs as interconnected rather than isolated will be encouraged. A second goal is to help students become more proficient in managing an evaluation process: We will explore purposes and uses of evaluation, the essential elements of an evaluation inquiry, and ways to communicate and use evaluation results. We will explore the variety of quantitative and qualitative strategies useful for evaluating progress in an organization's attainment of its intended outcomes or benefits. Students can expect to become more proficient in discussing issues of nonprofit and public "program effectiveness," and strategies for improving nonprofit and public program designs. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.