Methods

 

STRATEGIC THINKING

Whether you’re planning a new project or program from the ground up, re-working an existing project or program to make it more effective, or trying to make sense of findings from previous evaluations, we’re here to help you assess your current environment. You have goals you need to reach. We have the research, evaluation, and analysis expertise you need to face the challenging tasks ahead. And we know not everyone knows how to tell what their impact has been and how to demonstrate their worth to others, so we make sure we communicate our findings in a way that makes sense to you.

 

 

RESEARCH & EVALUATION

CRC has the skills and resources to meet all of your research and evaluation needs. Some of our services include:

 

Program Evaluation
Maybe you have to conduct an evaluation as part of a grant that you received? Or, perhaps your Board has been asking questions about outcomes, or your staff is starting to wonder how effective a particular program is? Whether you’re thinking about evaluation because of internal requirements, outside pressures, or you’re just interested in learning more about how well your organization is doing, assessing your activities can help you get the most impact out of every dollar you spend.

 

Data Collection and Analysis
We love data! Have we mentioned that yet? Depending on your organization’s needs, we can help select and design surveys, implement data collection, conduct interviews, or help compile existing data within your organization. We are often asked to conduct focus groups, needs assessments, or help our clients better understand survey results. And we love every second of it. We have extensive experience with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, including use of SPSS, Excel, and ATLAS.ti. software packages, and we put that experience to work for you.

 

Logic Models
Everyone has a theory about the impact that their programs have or will have on the people in the community, but wouldn’t you want to know why your program is expected to have an impact? That’s where logic models come in. Logic models help lay out the chain of causation that stakeholders often look for. Why will a certain strategy work? How will this new strategy affect the program as a whole? We work with organizations to develop the tools they need for program planning and improvement, grant applications, evaluation, and strategic decision-making.

 

Training And Technical Assistance
While we think data is fun on its own, we know that you have goals you need to reach, so you need to be able to access and use it. We provide the support you need to help you generate and use evaluation findings and make you feel like a data expert too. Our services include:

  • Training individuals at all levels of experience in evaluation, program design, and outcome-based assessment.
  • Assisting local government agencies in writing RFPs that include an evaluation component.
  • Helping funders develop systems for measuring the impact of the work they fund.
  • Conducting Evaluation 101 seminars for grantees to assist them in developing evaluation plans that will help them secure funding.

 

Grant Writing Support
Many grant proposals require applicants to include a detailed description of their evaluation plan. If you don’t live for evaluation, like we do, this can seem overwhelming. As experienced evaluators, we can work with you to write this section, making sure you understand what your evaluation plan should be and how to communicate it, so that you can create a winning proposal.

 

 

DATA STORYTELLING

CRC specializes in storytelling with data. It’s something we pride ourselves on. And by storytelling, we DON’T mean fudging the numbers or spinning the facts. We help you tell your organization’s stories with real data, so that you can share and act upon the findings of our research and evaluation. This means we present findings in clear, digestible, and visually interesting ways and make sure you and your team know how to access the data whenever you need it.

 

Reports
For every project we do, we provide an easy to understand report. It will be succinct and well-written to make sure it is useful for your projects and programs. We’re ultra-organized and good at explaining things. After reviewing a report from us, you’ll clearly recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your program and feel more confident in planning your program’s next steps. Our reports incorporate context and big picture considerations and provide you with the language and content you need to communicate your project or program’s impact to different audiences. 

 

Dashboards
We’re good at what we do. So when we’ve finished our research and evaluations, you’ll have a ton of data that you’ll need to access. We know it can be a lot to take in and a lot to keep organized. And if you need to combine new data with data you already have, things can start to get confusing. Straight tables, graphs and charts are hard to interpret and need to be updated constantly. Our dashboards are more dynamic. They can be easily accessed online, so you can answer questions about your program, school, agency, or other organization quickly and knowledgeably. They allow you to use multiple visual elements to explain the benefits of your programs and communicate findings clearly. And they’re easy to update. We will help you set up a dashboard and make sure you and your team know how to use it.

 

Database Management And Reporting
Whether your organization uses a complex database system or a simple spreadsheet, we can help you keep the data you need at your fingertips. We’ll help you get the most out of your data by teaching you and your team to navigate the data retrieval and reporting process. Our experience in database design, building, and management includes many popular software options, including Social Solutions’ Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) and Microsoft Access. We offer support for all stages of database development, from choosing software and creating complex databases from scratch, to advising on restructure techniques, so that you can maximize the potential of your existing databases. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure your organization’s unique data needs are met.

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