Inciter | Blog Masonry
40572
blog,paged,paged-3,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-1.7.1,smooth_scroll,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive

The Opioid Epidemic – When Prescriptions Become the Problem

by Sheila Matano[su_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx7WLlJzrlw"] Recently, CRC has been working with several clients who are evaluating initiatives to combat substance misuse and abuse. In particular, these agencies have been concerned with how their local communities have been impacted by the problem of drug overdoses and opioid-involved deaths, which have markedly increased in the United States over the past decade (CDC.gov). More than six out of ten drug overdose deaths involve an opioid, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (Rudd, Seth, & Scholl, 2016). In this interactive quiz from the New York Times, you can place the opioid epidemic in deeper context, seeing just how steep the rise has been, by drawing the trends in deaths from guns, the HIV epidemic,...

Read More

How to Prove Your Youth Program is Rockin’

by Mandi Singleton Are you passionate about making a difference in the lives of youth? Many of my clients are, and the time, effort, and money they put into creating killer programs is proof enough that they are invested in forming positive and meaningful experiences for the young people that they work with.  BUT, how do program directors really know they are creating quality experiences for youth? How exactly is this measured? By the size of smiles on youth’s faces? Perhaps by tracking enrollment, attendance, and engagement? Maybe a youth satisfaction survey? These are all good answers – but I’ll let you in on a well-known secret; there’s a tool designed specifically for this purpose: The Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA).   The PQA is a research-based tool developed by The...

Read More

Need to Measure Collaboration? We’ve Got a Tool for You

Collaborating is hard; measuring collaboration doesn't always have to be. We're currently working with a client to do just that, among other things. A system-wide change initiative, located in California, this client's work is aimed at helping a large number of agencies and organizations work together to reduce domestic violence. A primary goal of the initiative is to improve the ways in which the various, diverse partners work together. Measuring this type of change can be a challenge for evaluators. So for this project, we once again turned to the Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory.  This tool, developed by the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, measures 20 factors, backed by extensive research, that can help you to know whether and to what extent your collaborative is working well. It takes only about fifteen...

Read More

Design& Evaluation: Focus on Human Values

This is the second post in a series about design thinking in evaluation. The goal of this series is to share insights from the world of design that may help you think differently about how you work and, hopefully, start a conversation about what the world of social sciences can learn from the world of design. If you missed Part 1 about radical collaboration, check it out here.This time around we’re focusing on another key idea in the design thinking world: human values. As evaluators, we may deal largely in numbers and spend a lot of time in front of spreadsheets. Yet we can’t forget the real reason we do what we do – helping people. And to help people, we have to understand where they’re coming from. The Institute...

Read More

Monitoring Program Capacity

Over the past couple of blog entries, Taj has shared lessons learned about design thinking that you can apply to your work. Taj will be continuing that series soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a related example of creating a simple, but effective, visualization for a client. Background A local agency wanted to track client capacity on a monthly basis. This agency oversees services to pregnant women across multiple program locations, so tracking such information is necessary not only for their oversight of services, but also for sound management of dollars received from their funderEach service program under our client’s purview has an individualized contracted site capacity (i.e., maximum number of clients that they could serve), and dealt with an influx of clients enrolling and withdrawing from services each...

Read More

Numbers Count: How to Use Data for More Effective Fundraising

Let’s face it, fundraising can be one of the most dreaded aspects of running a nonprofit. A lot of people feel unprepared and apprehensive about it; asking for money is hard. But there are ways to make it a little easier, and more effective.That’s where data come in.Perhaps you think of data and fundraising as natural complements to each other. Perhaps you never considered using data in your fundraising efforts. And perhaps you aren’t even sure what qualifies as data. Well, I’m here to help. In this post I’ll go over how you can use data to support and enhance your fundraising efforts for more successful results.Why Even Use Data?You might be wondering, “Isn’t fundraising all about emotional appeal? So why even use data at all?” It’s true that people...

Read More

Design & Evaluation: Radical Collaboration

by Taj (Pardon our silence over these past several months! After our unintentional hiatus, we’re be getting back into our blogging routine, sharing evaluation related news, tips, and tricks on a somewhat monthly basis. Starting with today’s post, the first in a series of posts about design and evaluation...

Read More

Tips & Tricks for Child Focus Groups, Part 2

by Mandi Singleton  (Note: this post is the second part of a two-part series.) As I mentioned in the my last blog post, one of my favorite things about my job at CRC is conducting focus groups. Focus groups with elementary school students can be the most challenging and the most fun for me as a focus group facilitator. Here in part two of my discussion of tips & tricks for doing focus groups with kids, I get into strategies that make for effective and enjoyable groups. 5. Make it fun with hands-on-activities! Studies show that incorporating hands-on activities in focus groups with school-aged children increases participation and stimulates discussion.In focus groups I've conducted, I led children in several hands-on activities as part of data collection. During one activity, children were given...

Read More

Tips & Tricks for Child Focus Groups, Part 1

by Mandi SingletonOne of my favorite things about my job is conducting focus groups. I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to interact with people, capturing and learning from their thoughts and feelings about experiences they’ve had. While at CRC I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate a series of focus groups with elementary school students. Although many of my projects are education-related, I had never done a group with children so young before. The focus groups I’d done in the past involved middle grade students, parents, and school staff, so the thought of conducting focus groups with elementary school students made me a little nervous. I could just imagine rambunctious 6 to 10 year olds, hopped up on sugar and far too excited to break away from their schools’ typical routines and...

Read More

Visual Reports

Several weeks ago, one of our clients came to us with a challenge: find compelling ways to present 10 years of grantmaking data. The client wanted us to tell their story and present the data in a way that people at all levels (data nerds and non-data nerds) at their organization could easily understand.I was tasked with analyzing the data and worked closely with the CRC dataviz experts, Taj and Matthew, to come up with the different visuals for the report. I'm no dataviz expert but here's what I learned: Client feedback is important: Take time to hear your client's thoughts on the visualizations you are creating, you want to make sure you are meeting your client's expectations. Patience is key: I spent a lot of time creating and re-creating multiple charts and graphs. It...

Read More