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April 2007Vol. 8, No. 3Evaluating Program Impact on the Community

A new collection of tools and resources can help community-based programs evaluate their organization's ability to impact the communities they serve. Using input from key constituencies in community development and related evaluation fields, NeighborWorks® America created the Community Development Evaluation Storymap, a visual guide to the abundance of information and tools available about evaluation. The Storymap helps organizations, funders, and intermediaries better understand what type of evaluation would best serve their needs, categorized in three areas:

  • Capacity Assessment measures the ability of a program to perform or facilitate key organizational functions (governance, financial management, etc.).
  • Performance Measurement determines the effectiveness and efficiency of a program in relation to planned objectives.
  • Outcome Evaluation measures benefits for the people, organizations, neighborhoods, and systems for which the program is designed.

Among the tools the Storymap highlights, one of the most promising is Success Measures, an outcome-based evaluation method that includes a subscription-based online data system. The data system offers 44 indicators of community development outcomes and over 100 quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, including secure data management and storage and the ability to share evaluation results with partners, funders, or other stakeholders.

Learn more about the Success Measures program on the website:

Access the Community Development Evaluation Storymap:

Read more about promising evaluation resources in the article "New Evaluative Methods: Measuring Your Impact on the Community," by Catherine A. Smith, found on the NeighborWorks website at: (866 - KB)