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Working Hard & Working Well     by David Hunter, consultant and author of this practical guide to performance management for leaders of organizations serving children, adults and families. This “sleeves-rolled-up companion” to Leap of Reason describes the theory of change approach Dr. Hunter has developed working with some of the most effective organizations in the United States.

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy a publication of the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Building Capacity to Measure and Manage Performance a publication by the Bridgespan Group

Room For Improvement: Foundations’ Support of Nonprofit Performance a report published by Center for Effective Philanthropy

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity,    by Mario Morino. Morino, McKinsey & Company, and a host of notable nonprofit leaders have collaborated on a new book that presents a candid indictment of the state of “outcomes assessment” in the social sector. “We funders need to help our grantees define, create, and use the information they need to be disciplined managers,” says Morino, “rather than foisting unfunded, often simplistic, self-serving mandates on our grantees.”

The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox by Robert Penna offers tools and models to help Nonprofits more effectively manage their outcomes and initiatives. One of the greatest challenges faced by Nonprofits today is how to measure and report their performances and results.


PerformWell: A new web resource helping to improve human service effectiveness

A new web resource helping to improve human service effectiveness. Formerly the OEPP, PerformWell is a free, online resource that provides practical knowledge that human service professionals can use to manage their day-to-day performance. The goal of PerformWell is to help human service practitioners deliver more effective social programs.

Evaluation Readiness Report

This tool was created by David Hunter, Ph.D. Dr. Hunter is an internationally recognized expert in strategic performance management and evaluation. This tool is designed to help leaders of social service nonprofits and interested stakeholders such as funders to assess an organization’s evaluation-readiness.

The Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT)

Developed by McKinsey & Company for VPP, the OCAT measures operational capacity and identifies areas which need improvement.As part of VPP’s dedication to sharing our knowledge, the McKinsey report “Effective Capacity Building in Nonprofit Organizations,” which includes the OCAT, is available for download completely free of charge.

Blueprints for Violence Prevention

The Blueprints mission is to identify truly outstanding violence and drug prevention programs that meet a high scientific standard of effectiveness. In doing so, Blueprints serves as a resource for governments, foundations, businesses, and other organizations trying to make informed judgments about their investments in violence and drug prevention programs.Click herefor further resources vetted by Blueprints.

The Institute of Education Sciences – What Works Clearinghouse

Find interventions (educational programs, practices, or policies) that address your school or district’s needs and summarize their evidence of effectiveness.

The Foundation Center

The Foundation Directory Online

Provides fundraisers with access to searchable online databases of grantmakers, grants, and 990s. With five subscription plans available by month or by year for all levels of grantseekers.


Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact (TRASI) is a searchable, expert-reviewed database of over 150 approaches to measuring the impact of social programs and investments. It also features a community portal for nonprofits, grantmakers, and social enterprises to connect with peers and evaluation experts.



Child Trends

A nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that works to provide data-driven, evidence-based guidance to people and institutions that affect children.

The Urban Institute

A research center that works to provide evidence-based guidance to Americans in order to stimulate their ability to develop sound public policy and effective government.

Mathematica Policy Research

For more than 40 years, Mathematica has provided policymakers and program managers with high-quality research and evaluations. They design and execute both large-scale and small-scale studies answering complex questions. Their experience covers the areas of disability, early childhood, education, family support, health, labor, and nutrition.


MDRC is dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income people. Through their research and the active communication of theirfindings, they seek to enhance the effectiveness of social policies and programs. MDRC has 5 main areas of focus:

  • Promoting Family Well-Being and Child Development
  • Improving Public Education
  • Promoting Successful Transitions to Adulthood
  • Supporting Low-Wage Workers and Communities
  • Overcoming Barriers to Employment

The Campbell Collaboration

The Campbell Collaboration is an international research network that produces systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions in education, crime and justice, and social welfare. Campbell’s International Secretariat is now located in Oslo and hosted by the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services.  News

The Center for What Works

The Center for What Works and The Urban Institute completed the initial phase of research to provide the first sector-wide framework for nonprofit program outcomes and indicators for success.  For service providers, the framework assists in identifying and measuring common program outcomes to benchmark and improve.  For grant-makers, the frameworks provide a common language to compare grantees.

Outcomes Portal. The Center for What Works released two online tools to put current research to use:

  • The Outcomes Browser: Navigate through the 14 programs areas and browse their respective outcomes and indicators.
  • The Impact Measurement Framework: This tool generates a customized document putting together outcomes and measurable indicators of success applicable to your organization’s mission/program impact statement.

Promising Practices Network (PPN)

The PPN website is a unique resource that offers credible, research-based information on what works to improve the lives of children and families.

Harvard Family Research Project

The Evaluation Exchange is a one-of-a-kind periodical that contains new lessons and emerging strategies for evaluating programs and policies, particularly those focused on children, families, and communities.

The Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database

A compilation of profiles written by HFRP of research studies and evaluations of OST programs and initiatives. It provides accessible information about research and evaluation work on both large and small OST programs to support the development of high quality evaluations and programs in the out-of-school time field.

Model Programs Guide

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Model Programs Guide (MPG)
is designed to assist practitioners and communities in implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention programs that can make a difference in the lives of children and communities. The MPG database of over 200 evidence-based programs covers the entire continuum of youth services from prevention through sanctions to reentry. The MPG can be used to assist juvenile justice practitioners, administrators, and researchers to enhance accountability, ensure public safety, and reduce recidivism. The MPG is an easy-to-use tool that offers a database of scientifically-proven programs that address a range of issues, including substance abuse, mental health, and education programs.



Learning Driven Assessment

A three-step process to guide a foundation, its grantees, and stakeholders through the creation of a Learning Driven Assessment plan for a portfolio of programs.

Learning Driven Assessment Workbook from McKinsey & Co.

Developed a workbook to help you plan a Learning Driven Assessment. Created for foundation program officers, social investors and others charged with determining the effectiveness of social sector programs, this workbook is designed to support discussions between program and evaluation colleagues

NCRP National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

For more than 35 years, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has served as the country’s independent watchdog of foundations. Over time, institutional grantmakers, federal and state governments, and individuals have taken our recommendations and turned them into policy, such as our promotion of comprehensive financial reporting for foundations as well as the inclusion of advocacy organizations in the Combined Federal Campaign—now both widely accepted as “good practice.” One of NCRP’s early accomplishments also involved tackling United Way’s monopoly on workplace fundraising. It played a critical role in the development of alternative workplace giving funds, such as Community Shares, Earth Shares and Community Coalition Funds.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy

Provides foundations and other philanthropic funders with comparative data to enable higher performance. Through research, assessment tools, and programming and communications, CEP’s data and insight helps funders achieve the most positive outcomes on issues, fields, communities and people. CEP’s work spans the toughest challenges facing leaders of grantmaking institutions:

Assessing Performance: How are we doing? How do we know?

Developing Strategy: Is our strategy clear, coherent, and well-implemented?

Optimizing Governance: Is our board engaged and effective?

Funder-Grantee Relationships: Are we working productively with our grantees?

Managing Operations: Is our staff satisfied and high performing?


The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP):

While there is an increasing number of organizations supplying information and advising services to philanthropists, CHIP’s approach is uniquely guided by their focus on social impact and the necessity to be both actionable and evidence-based. They start by asking and answering a series of questions:

  • Is the change/impact not only measurable but meaningful in the lives of others?
  • What do we know works? What doesn’t?
  • Where there has been success, how much does change/impact cost?
  • What organizations are best positioned to deliver this change/impact?

CHIP produces philanthropic investment guides and reports. These provide substantive, actionable analysis for donors seeking impact in particular areas. All of these guides and reports can be downloaded for free.

Root Cause’s Social Impact Research

Conducts independent research on social issues and organizational performance to provide leaders in the nonprofit, foundation, government, and business sectors with the actionable information they need to make strategic decisions about creating and investing in social impact.

Charity Navigator

America’s leading independent charity evaluator works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency of America’s largest charities.


The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Works to advance opportunities for low-income children and young adults in the United States by investing in with proven outcomes and growth potential.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Focuses on helping to reduce global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change, improving education for students, improving reproductive health and rights worldwide, supporting vibrant performing arts in our community, advancing the field of philanthropy, and supporting disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

REDF (The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund)  A San Francisco-based venture philanthropy organization that provides grants and business assistance for well-run Californian nonprofits in order to create jobs for young adults that may not be employed otherwise.

Sea Change Capital Partners Work to increase the effectiveness of nonprofits by supporting mergers and collaborations between organizations that have an interest in coming together, and providing organizations assistance managing and understanding their opportunities with comprehensive Investment Readiness Reviews.

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) A philanthropic investment organization that provides funding, expertise, and personal contacts to help nonprofits in the National Capital Region become more effective in providing opportunities to low-income children and youth.


Charity Intelligence

Charity Intelligence does research and analysis on Canadian charities to help donors make their own giving decisions. Research takes time, and a little experience helps too. Most Canadian donors don’t have this time. The site works to make research easily available.

Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada was created through the union of two of Canada’s leading charitable umbrella organizations: the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (CCP), and the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations (NVO). It supports and strengthens charities and nonprofits so they can, in turn, support the Canadians and communities they serve. Strengthen the sector’s collective voice; Act as a forum and meeting place; and, Create an enabling environment in which organizations contribute to building stronger communities.

The Institute of Education Sciences – What Works Clearinghouse

Find interventions (educational programs, practices, or policies) that address your school or district’s needs and summarize their evidence of effectiveness.


A nonprofit resource center made up of a community of people who exchange information.  You can find and post resources, and search by content type.


5 Responses to Resources

  1. Ruth Provost says:

    Absolutely interesting (Managing to Outcome resources)!
    I work under a few different sectors; non-profit (with charity), Native American Tribal systems (post secondary) and for profit (my owns small business). I have been struggle as a First Nation as we work under two systems of the non-profit sector; province and the non-profit of federal government with its own arm into tribal government! Absolutely challenging…

    I work for a incorporated charitable organization that has be set up to work with the tribal college whereas the government does not recognize it as a qualified done and therefore we have to be more strategic in our efforts but communicating this understanding to both system of boards, leaders and staff has not been easy. This is the first time I feel like a found the language I been needing to express this understanding. If I can get this type of presentation for our organizations I think this will be a breath of fresh air to our many efforts of spinning our wheels. Please send me some quotes of pricing to have a workshop completed for our organizations. I would absolutely recommend this for a staff retreat in the summer of 2015. We are located in southern Alberta Canada. More likely the workshop will be held in Lethbridge Alberta.

    When will the module video be available on I was able to watch module 1, 2 and 3 but the others that follow are repeating module 1.

    My name is Ruth Provost, I am the CEO for the Mikai’sto Foundation.

  2. FoxSector says:

    Amazing blog full of useful information!

  3. Sara says:

    Hi there,
    I help run a small community center here in Austin, and I was wondering what the price of screening your documentary would be for an audience of less than 15 people?
    Thank you

    • Robby says:

      You can screen it for free, Sara. shoot me an email or call Kate 512-934-1963 and she can get you set up. You can also come see our new film Failing Forward this Thursday, 4/4 at 6pm at AUSTIN PUBLIC
      1143 Northwestern Avenue
      Austin, TX, 78702

  4. Michele says:

    There is a very thin line of difference between Nonprofit and Not for Profit Organization. The two term are often used synonymously many time but they does- not mean same. Here is a comparison chart presented through which you can understand both the terms easily.

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