Elena Harman, PhD, is the author of The Great Nonprofit Evaluation Reboot: A New Approach Every Staff Member Can Understand (2019, CharityChannel Press). She is CEO and Founder of Vantage Evaluation, a consulting firm committed to evolving the way purpose-driven nonprofits think about and use evaluation—from data for data’s sake to evaluation as a learning process, guiding strategic improvements. Elena’s expertise lies in maintaining the big-picture view of how evaluation can inform high-quality social programming and engaging diverse audiences in a productive conversation about evaluation. Prior to launching Vantage Evaluation in 2013, Elena was an internal evaluator at the Colorado Health Foundation, where she helped launch the foundation’s measurable results evaluation model. Elena holds a BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from M.I.T. and an MA and PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University. Her work has been published in the journal Evaluation and Program Planning. She is a regular presenter at nonprofit conferences throughout Colorado and served as the president of the Colorado Evaluation Network in 2019.

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Avoid Three Common Pitfalls When Using Data

As an evaluation consultant, I’m a fan of measurement and information, but only when it adheres to a thoughtful and intentional approach with those who are most directly involved using a balance of data sources.

Nonprofit Evaluation: How to Shift the Conversation from ROI to True Impact

All of a sudden, you start to see questions on your grant applications like, “What are the measurable outcomes your nonprofit is expecting to achieve?” and hear questions from donors such as, “How will I know my dollars are making a difference?” Ugh.