Monthly Archives: November 2021

Do You Know Your Impact?

Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Can Better Help You Understand Your Organization’s Impact

Your organization is mission-driven and without a doubt, making a positive impact in your community. But can you point to clear metrics when asked how your organization is doing and how you’re making a difference? Do you know your funder’s priorities and how they understand impact? Can you compare your outcomes to the state or the national average? 

Monitoring and evaluation systems offer organizations an effective way to tell your constituents, funders, and stakeholders what you do and how your approach and strategies are working. It can also be a tool to determine your group’s next steps and future growth.

Lydia Sierra Consulting (LSC) is now offering groups like yours services to develop a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system specific to your needs. LSC will help nonprofits standardize their data collection and analysis systems, develop important questions that will guide program and project evaluations, and once the data and information is collected, generate regular reports for donors and stakeholders. LSC will work with you to develop clear and compelling evidence of programmatic impact and unify and simplify the data collection and analysis process, reducing the reporting burden on program staff. 

LSC offers services to develop three M&E approaches:

  • Organization-wide M&E systems that track each project or program within an integrated, organization-wide framework.

  • Project-specific M&E that is used as a tool to communicate with project funders about what was completed, how the money was used to meet goals and objectives, and what the funder’s investment will produce long term.

  • One-time impact evaluations that cover a variety of topics that often focus on your programs rather than the organization as a whole. These tend to be more like a "report card" of a project or program. 

LSC believes that the best evaluations are user-focused and driven by the people who are the true experts: staff, clients, and stakeholders. Therefore, we work with you to co-develop systems that reflect your needs, your staff capacity, and the demands of your stakeholders. All of our work begins with a needs assessment where we define the parameters of the project and identify key resources. We will then engage in interviews, discussion sessions, document review, and external research to build the most appropriate system. LSC always works closely with a key staff member from your organization and conducts consensus building activities to ensure that the resulting system is truly co-produced. Through it all, we assess staff capacity, the appropriateness, and any potential limitations. LSC also helps integrate the M&E process with CRM software, such as Salesforce, to streamline your data collection and report development.

For many, adding M&E to their operations may seem like a lot.  And while measuring your impact, defining your successes, and identifying your areas of growth may be a monumental task, let LSC be your partner to establish this incredibly important component of an organization’s best practices.