How do we know our efforts are making a difference in people’s lives? This is a meaningful question that challenges our nonprofit community in Central Texas on a daily basis. Without the right data, it’s hard to know if all the knowledge, passion, and hard work are actually paying off and creating a brighter future for children and families.
Good Measure is a collaboration of a group of funders, in partnership with our nonprofit partner Mission Capital, dedicated to improving access and the effective use of data to drive social change. This information empowers organizations to align on strategic goals, monitor real-time progress and make data-informed pivots, communicate the value of their work, and share what they have learned with others. By building data literacy and investing in training and resources, we can achieve greater outcomes for our community and work more effectively. All by measuring what matters.
Anything that can be measured can be improved.Michael Dell
How it Helps
To help organizations impact lives through better data, Good Measure works to:
- Invest in the data measurement and analysis skills and practices of service providers;
- Advocate for community data systems, access and infrastructure efforts;
- Encourage and equip funders to support grant partners’ data and evaluation work;
- Support nonprofit efforts to build strong program cultures of learning, where data is regularly used to guide program and organizational improvement.
Nonprofits in Central Texas can engage with Good Measure through a range of programming, including webinars, coaching circles, special events, and even funding opportunities. As one example, Measuring What Matters is an innovative six-month program designed to help a team make progress on a specific data or evaluation-related goal. Each cohort includes 10 organizations that are preparing to move from data theory to implementing solutions, through interactive full-group sessions, peer learning with a cohort coach, customized coaching with local data and evaluation experts, and a stipend to continue working towards their goals.
The initiative also calls on funders to play a role, helping nonprofit partners to advance internal evaluation systems and utilize data-driven insights. This includes providing grant funding for evaluation efforts and supporting capacity building. But perhaps most critically, it translates to funders playing a more collaborative role. Evaluation is a learning process to help strengthen programs and services; it shouldn’t become a process of simply validating funder-required metrics that don’t otherwise advance the work.
Additional Resources from Good Measure
- Guiding Principles for Funders
- How Nonprofits and Funders Can Get Involved
- Guiding Principles for Data & Learning Champions