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“Can I Have a Moment of Your Time?” Overcoming Survey Burn Out by Showing Value

“Please be sure to go to the website on the bottom of the receipt to fill out our survey!”  If you’ve ever gone grocery shopping, eaten fast food, or shopped at a major retailer, you’ve heard these words spoken by a cashier at some point. In the age of big data, seemingly no venue is immune from solicitations to take a survey of some sort, be it online or in-person.  With this oversaturation of survey propositions, the question for the consumer then becomes: what’s the value of actually completing this survey – is it really worth my time? And as evaluators faced with this situation, in which our potential survey respondents are already feeling burnt out (and even more so if they’re part of an over-researched community) the question is...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: November 2014

by Sarah McCruden Welcome to CRC’s monthly series of articles on all things techie: Secrets from the Data Cave! (For those who don’t know, the title references our room — fondly referred to as “the bat cave”— where data staff can geek out in an isolated setting.) Here we’ll be offering you a fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!Visualizing Nonprofit Data: Tell the Real Story by Using Your Program Knowledge (This blog post originally appeared last month as a guest post for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.) Many nonprofit organizations rely on in-house staff members to crunch numbers and create reports for their program data. This means that, in some cases, those who are inexperienced at turning heaps of...

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Contracting 101: Accounting for People

by Kevin MajorosIt was pretty obvious from an early age that I would be working with numbers for a living as an adult. By the time I was seven, I could memorize the bowling averages, games bowled, and pin count totals of all 60 members of my mother’s bowling league.  Every week I would sit at a table in the bowling alley with the league stats in front of me while frightening women with bouffants walked by with questions like, “Hey kid, what do I need to bowl this week to raise my average to 170?”  My mother bowled in three leagues weekly and I always had the answers for any questions about the numbers.My father was the bartender at the same bowling alley and I was allowed to run around...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: April 2014

by Ashley FahertyWelcome to CRC’s monthly series of articles on all things techie: Secrets from the Data Cave! (For those who don’t know, the title references our room — fondly referred to as “the bat cave”— where data staff can geek out in an isolated setting.) Here we’ll be offering you a fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!April 2014:  Building Online Brochures for DummiesLet’s be frank: print advertising is going the way of the Dodo bird (RIP Mr. Dodo). Pamphlets, flyers, and brochures received in the mail(or in-person from a persistent kiosk salesperson while you’re walking through the mall, just trying to get your coffee fix) typically end up in the recycling bin or in a giant stack on your...

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Secrets from the Data Cave: March 2014

by Sarah McCrudenWelcome to CRC’s monthly series of articles on all things techie: Secrets from the Data Cave! (For those who don’t know, the title references our room — fondly referred to as “the bat cave”— where data staff can geek out in an isolated setting.) Here we’ll be offering you a fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!March 2014: I Am Going to S P A C EEarlier this month, while looking for some new and interesting data visualizations, I came across this nifty website that gives a spatial representation of the distance between planets in our solar system1. After thoroughly enjoying the learning experience (along with the witty interjections, as I patiently scrolled though the empty space...

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Social Media and Evaluation

I must admit I’m excited about today’s post. Not because it gives us an excuse to indulge ourselves in a lot of unfocused social media (e.g. facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter) fun, but because of the opportunities and uses these tools can provide program evaluators. Not only have these platforms have provided us, as evaluators, with greater ease in gleaning resources (such as through the American Evaluation Association’s facebook page) and communicating with clients and colleagues (via Twitter and our local evaluators’ LinkedIn group), but we’ve begun to see programs’ use of these platforms as an important piece of their evaluation “stories”.Social media allows for connections that are rapid and have the potential for wide dissemination. It isn’t easy to envision programs advertising their services through social media, but it is...

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